Pastoral care is a type of care and counseling provided by spiritual leaders. It involves nonjudgmental and compassionate listening that allows people to share their deepest joys, concerns, and hopes in the context of their full humanity, and for many, their spirituality. It has the goal of fostering a person’s spiritual wellbeing, and if desired can include spiritual guidance, scriptural study, and prayer. It can be a way to think through a relationship or a concern, and it provides a space for confidential sharing in the context of a holistic network of support. It is often especially important in times of loss and grief.
Ordained spiritual leaders cannot be mandated to share the contents of pastoral conversations (although they may do so if they determine that a person may be a threat to themselves or others). Chaplains are not mandated reporters, which means that they can confidential space for persons to discuss their experiences without requiring a mandated report to authorities. Tufts Chaplains keep no records of our pastoral care conversations and so they do not become part of any student or personnel record. Tufts’ Chaplains are available to provide pastoral care upon request to any member of the Tufts community. Please visit, call, or email the University Chaplaincy to make an appointment. If needed, a Chaplain may be reached at any hour by calling Tufts University Police at 617-627-3030.
Please note: The Tufts chaplains generally observe a three-session maximum number of pastoral visits per person per pastoral issue. If further pastoral care is needed beyond a third session, the chaplains will offer resources for referral. This is necessary so that the chaplains can remain available to serve all members of the Tufts community.