The Office of the University Chaplain provides interfaith services and programs and serves as a dynamic hub for all spiritual life at Tufts. The University Chaplain is the department head for the Tufts University Chaplaincy and works cooperatively with the Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, and Protestant Chaplains. The University Chaplain administers Goddard Chapel and the Interfaith Center. The University Chaplain provides special support for traditions not represented by the associate chaplains, such as Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The University Chaplain also reaches beyond traditional religious groups to support all aspects of university endeavor and relations with surrounding communities. This includes teaching, community service, counseling, helping to promote a positive ethical climate for Tufts as a whole, and serving in an ombuds role–mediating disputes and making recommendations to the President. The University Chaplaincy honors Tufts’ Universalist heritage and spirit of inclusivity and social justice.
The Jewish chaplaincy and Hillel is the foundation of the Jewish community at Tufts. Hillel’s concern is to foster a positive Jewish presence on campus, build Jewish identity, and enhance a commitment to Jewish life that will continue beyond the campus. Hillel is committed to putting the ethical values of the Jewish tradition into practice and providing opportunities for social action and public service, both on and off campus. Hillel is committed to building bridges to the many different religious, ethnic, and cultural groups on campus, and promoting inter-group dialogue and understanding. The Jewish Chaplain and Hillel staff serves the Tufts community in times of personal loss and crisis both through pastoral counseling and by integrating people into a supportive community. Both the Jewish Chaplain/Executive Director of Hillel and the Associate Director welcome opportunities for both formal and informal teaching in Judaism as well as the study of ethics in the university community.
The Catholic chaplaincy seeks to serve those who are united in Catholic life and worship, those who are attracted to the Catholic faith, and the larger Tufts community. Foremost among its services is the celebration of the Catholic worship, the Eucharist and other Sacraments, along with preparation for the sacramental life of the Church. Pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, retreats, study groups, and prayer groups extend this ministry to the many dimensions of the lives of students and others in the university community. Availability and presence for students in times of crisis, personal loss, and other difficulties is a priority of this ministry. Outreach in service is encouraged through student involvement in the youth and other ministries of the Catholic parishes in the local community. The Catholic Chaplain also welcomes the opportunities to participate in the academic study of religion and exploration of ethical issues on all Tufts campuses.
The Muslim chaplaincy works in partnership with the Muslim Students Association to provide opportunities ofr communal prayer and the celebration of religious rituals and holidays, religious education, fellowship, and pastoral care for Muslim students, faculty, and staff at Tufts. Retreats, study groups, service opportunities, and interfaith activities support the community in integrating their faith practices into their academic and personal lives on and off campus. In times of personal loss or crisis, the Muslim Chaplain serves as a resource to support the Muslim community in counseling and prayers. In addition, the Muslim Chaplain is committed to educating the campus at large about Islam and connecting the Muslim community to the rest of the campus through dialogue, social activities, and community service with different religious, ethnic, and cultural groups both on campus and off. The Muslim Chaplain welcomes opportunities to educate others about the religious and cultural aspects of Muslim life.
Operating under the auspices of the University Chaplaincy, the Protestant chaplaincy at Tufts seeks to ensure that interested members of the Tufts community have opportunities to continue in, or to explore, the Protestant tradition. Recognizing the internal diversity of that tradition, the Protestant Chaplain supports several Protestant campus groups and ministries, working in an inclusive and ecumenical way. Opportunities include worship, prayer, scripture study, fellowship, service and social justice opportunities, retreats, and pastoral support. All programs offered by the Protestant Chaplain seek to be marked by inclusiveness and respect for all people; by expressions of faith that support equality, peace, and sustainability; by intellectual integrity and critical reflection; by depth of spiritual practice; by openness to what the Protestant tradition positively offers in today’s world; and by respect in thought, expression, and deed for people and communities of other faith traditions, of no faith tradition, and those in exploration.