Religions and University Chaplains

Information about university chaplains who serve students and staff in various matters.

The Freedom of Religion Act

The Constitution of Finland guarantees freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. More detailed provisions on ensuring the right to exercise freedom of religion are laid down in the Freedom of Religion Act. The Act contains provisions on registered religious communities and membership of them, on joining and leaving religious communities and on practices concerning solemn declarations and the taking of oath.

The Act also has a bearing on the provisions on the teaching of religion and ethics in comprehensive schools and general upper secondary schools. There are also separate laws on the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and on the Orthodox Church of Finland. About 65 % of the Finnish population belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. (

University chaplain

At the University of Oulu we have University Chaplain who serves the students and the staff concerning Freedom of Religion and other religious matters.

You should have equal rights and possibilities to study and work here whether you belong to a religion or not, whether you have a faith or a conviction according to a religion or a world view or not. You can come to discuss with the University Chaplain in private about any problem you may have, also for example, if you need some support regarding problems with your social relationships. In addition to professional secrecy, he is also bound by the seal of the confessional. University Chaplain is specialised in questions related to religions, different world views and philosophies of life.

The University Chaplains arrange the Christian ecumenical services at the Opening of the Academic Year and at the Conferment of Academic Degrees as well as the Christmas and Easter devotional services. Everybody is welcome to these services regardless of religion, or faith, or conviction.

If there emerges an extensive crisis, the University Chaplain will provide mental assistance and help for everybody. He can be asked to perform Christian services, such as baptism, wedding, funeral, etc. The University Chaplain coordinates the common events of all religious student societies in the university.

The services are free of charge, and provided by the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland in Oulu. You are served regardless of whether you belong to a religion or to none!

Contact information

University Chaplain Ari Savuoja
- University of Oulu, office at Linnanmaa, room KK241
- telephone: +358 40 524 5919
- email:

University Chaplain Katariina Pitkänen
- Oamk (Oulu University of Applied Sciences): office at Linnanmaa, room KK241
- telephone: +358 050 386 8677
- email:

University Chaplain, Deacon Kaija Siniluoto
- University of Oulu and Oamk, office at Linnanmaa, room KK241
- telephone: +358 40 574 7132
- email:

University Chaplain Jenni Siljander
- Oamk (Oulu University of Applied Sciences):
- telephone: +358 044 316 1450
- email:

Other churches and religions