Tufts Humanist ChaplaincyA reflective space within the University Chaplaincy for care, support, and reflection with the nonreligious.
If we haven’t met yet, my name’s Walker, and I’m the Humanist in Residence at Tufts. We’ve come to the end of another exciting year on the Hill, and once again I’m proud of what we’ve done together to build the chaplaincy’s role on campus and create space for nonreligious people to make meaning in their time at Tufts.
At the Tufts Humanist Chaplaincy, we serve community members who don’t identify with traditional religion, but still want the kind of caregiving, resources, and programming the University Chaplaincy offers. Recognizing that nonreligious students find care and support through a wide variety of different practices, I work alongside the other members of the Chaplaincy team to help everyone find strength in their own way, be it through reflection, meditation, community or social action.
In the past year, we’ve expanded several programs through which we can explore and live out Humanism at Tufts. Our affiliate student organization, the Humanist Community at Tufts, offers a safe space for students who identify as non-traditionally religious and friends with weekly discussion meetings, multifaith service projects, and social programs. In my role, I’m tasked with helping students connect through shared experience–this might mean talking one-on-one, connecting likeminded nonreligious students with one another in small groups, or giving them institutional support as they live out their values in meaningful service and justice work. Through our Humanists Against Homelessness service program, we’ve partnered with HCAT, the city government, and the Somerville Homeless Coalition to give back to the greater community of which Tufts is a part. We hosted another New Directions in Chaplaincy panel, this year exploring end of life care for the nonreligious, which you can watch for yourself on the Tufts Chaplaincy Youtube page.
For students interested in interfaith dialogue and service, the Humanist Chaplaincy continues to serve as an advocate for nontheist inclusion in pluralistic community. Insofar as there are many challenges of college life common to the secular and the spiritual, all students are welcome and encouraged to seek out the support of the Humanist Chaplaincy resources.
This year has presented many unique existential challenges, but I’m proud to work with our vibrant campus community that engages thoughtfully and compassionately with our existential experiences whatever language we use to describe them, and always excited to see it grow. Have a great summer, and see you soon!
Walker Bristol (A14), Humanist in Residence