Interfaith Student Council

Opening Doors photo

The Interfaith Student Council (ISC) is the University Chaplaincy’s main undergraduate student advisory and programming board. It is composed of Interfaith Representatives (or their proxies) from the undergraduate religious and philosophical communities at Tufts. The ISC meets weekly during term. While the ISC is limited to formal representatives from Tufts’ religious and philosophical communities, any students interested in becoming involved in interfaith work more broadly are encouraged to join the CAFE interfaith student organization. For more information, please contact the University Chaplain, The Reverend Greg McGonigle.

Mission Statement

The Interfaith Student Council (ISC) is the peer leadership group for the Tufts University Chaplaincy and is a council of student leaders and representatives from undergraduate religious and philosophical communities on the Tufts campus. The council addresses interfaith engagement on several levels: interpersonal and as representatives of individual communities, as well as with the larger Tufts community and beyond. We seek to create a space for individual, active interfaith understanding and engagement among our council members and for anyone else seeking interfaith resources on campus. For the communities we represent, the council facilitates communication, support, and collaboration.

Through our communities and as a council, we seek to foster active interfaith engagement on campus with the Tufts University Chaplaincy and through campus programs. We also strive to promote and coordinate activism and service, including but not limited to serving our local community, partnering with other universities’ interfaith groups, and responding to global issues. Ultimately, the ISC acts to create a welcoming and pluralistic campus climate at Tufts that encourages interfaith dialogue, questioning, learning, and action.

List of Groups Represented on the Interfaith Student Council

  • Baha’i Students Association
  • C. Stacey Woods Programming Board
  • CAFE Student Organization (Interfaith)
  • Catholic Community at Tufts
  • Chabad at Tufts University
  • Humanist Community at Tufts
  • Latter-day Saints Students Association
  • Muslim Students Association
  • Non‐denominational Christian Fellowship
  • Protestant Students Association
  • Sikh Students Association
  • Tufts Adventist Christian Fellowship
  • Tufts Hillel
  • Tufts Hindu Students Council
  • Tufts Mindfulness Buddhist Sangha
  • Tufts Orthodox Christian Fellowship
  • Tufts University Unitarian Universalists

Background and Initiatives

The ISC was established in Fall 2013 as a council including formal representation from all of the religious and philosophical student organizations on campus (as requirement of their constitutions), and it meets weekly during the academic year to build positive relationships among Tufts’ diverse religious and philosophical communities as well as to promote a spiritually pluralistic campus climate at Tufts through advising, programming, and initiatives. Listed below are some of highlights of the ISC’s initiatives:

  • Interfaith Awareness Month (Spring 2016) – The University Chaplaincy and the ISC worked with over 10 of Tufts’ religious and philosophical communities to intentionally open up one of their weekly gathering times so that other students could observe, participate, and ask questions. The month concluded with an Interfaith Brunch in order to build community and reflect on the experience.
  • Interfaith Open Mic Nights (Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015) – A program that opens up the floor for all students to offer reflections, poetry, and/or performances from a religious, philosophical, and/ or spiritual perspective.
  • Interfaith S’mores Night (Fall 2015) – An opportunity to enjoy conversation and meet people from different religious and philosophical backgrounds over s’mores.
  • On-campus ISC Retreats (Fall 2014, Fall 2015) – The University Chaplaincy has brought new ISC Representatives together early in fall semester to build community, learn about religious and philosophical diversity and pluralism, and set goals for the upcoming year to advance the mission of the ISC.
  • Interfaith Conferences (Spring 2015, Spring 2016) – The University Chaplaincy has sent ISC representatives to interfaith student conferences, including the Coming Together 7 conference at Yale University in Spring 2015 and the New England Interfaith Student Summit at Northeastern University in Spring 2016. These conferences are opportunities for students to connect with interfaith leaders from other campuses and to share ideas about advancing this work at Tufts.