The Office of the University Chaplain serves as a dynamic hub, supporting all spiritual life at Tufts and providing multifaith programs and services. The University Chaplain leads the University Chaplaincy team, including chaplains and advisors, who serve Tufts' Africana Spirituality, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant communities. The University Chaplain provides special support and advising for communities not represented by the other chaplains, including Sikh and Unitarian Universalist and interfaith initiatives. The University Chaplain is responsible for Goddard Chapel and the Interfaith Center, and reaches beyond religion narrowly construed to support many aspects of university endeavor and relations with surrounding communities. This includes teaching, community service, counseling, helping to promote a positive ethical climate, and making recommendations to the President. The University Chaplaincy honors Tufts' Universalist heritage and spirit of interdependence, peacemaking, and social justice. See below for more information about our chaplaincies and find out more about our interfaith initiatives.
The Buddhist Chaplaincy, led by the Buddhist Chaplain, offers resources for practicing Buddhism and mindfulness at Tufts. The Buddhist Chaplain leads weekly mindfulness meditation sessions, and also offers small group opportunities to study Buddhist and other texts related to mindfulness and Buddhist values—such as peace, interdependence, and compassion. The Buddhist Chaplain cultivates the campus mindfulness community, offers resources for ethical reflection, and provides pastoral care. The Buddhist Chaplain also teaches about contemplative practices in student and faculty/staff groups and supports interfaith programming, such as the annual Buddha’s Birthday Celebration, which concludes the academic year. The Buddhist Chaplaincy provides a link with local, regional, national, and international resources for Buddhist and mindfulness study and practice, including retreat centers and conferences. The Buddhist Chaplaincy promotes a pluralistic approach to the Buddhist tradition and to mindfulness practice, connecting the campus community with many different forms of practice. Learn more about the Buddhist Chaplaincy here.
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. Learn more about the Catholic Chaplaincy here.
The Hindu Chaplaincy works in partnership with the Hindu Students Council (HSC) to provide opportunities for nourishing the mind, body, spirit and soul. Across the spectrum of philosophical, spiritual and religious understandings of what it means to be Hindu, we offer worship services, collaborative spiritual engagement, celebration of religious rituals and holidays, education, fellowship, and spiritual care for Hindu 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 addition, the Hindu Chaplain is committed to educating the campus at large about Hinduism and connecting the Hindu 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 Hindu chaplain supports the exploration of classical and contemporary themes at the intersections of where our participants live, work, imagine, and relax.
The Tufts Humanist Chaplaincy serves students of a variety of backgrounds, including Humanists, atheists, agnostics, the spiritual but not religious, and otherwise nonreligious students who might find chaplaincy resources helpful. Recognizing that nonreligious students find care and support through a wide variety of different practices, the Humanist Chaplain serves to help each individual find strength in their own way, be it through reflection, meditation, community, or social action. By working individually with students as well as in small groups, the Humanist in Residence is tasked with helping students find mutual support and care through shared experience. For students interested in interfaith dialogue and service, the Humanist Chaplaincy serves as an advocate for nontheist inclusion in pluralistic community. Insofar as there are many challenges in 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. Learn more about the Humanist Chaplaincy here.
The Jewish Chaplaincy and Tufts Hillel is the center of Jewish life on Tufts' campus. 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 Tufts. 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 serve 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 Tufts 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. Learn more about the Jewish Chaplaincy here.
Iman Abdul-Malik Merchant
The Muslim Chaplaincy works in partnership with the Muslim Students Association to provide opportunities of 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. Learn more about the Muslim Chaplaincy here.
The Reverend Dan Bell
Operating as part of the integrated Tufts University Chaplaincy, the Protestant Chaplaincy 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. Learn more about the Protestant Chaplaincy here.