Pastoral care is a type of counseling provided by professional chaplains and trained spiritual leaders. It involves nonjudgmental, compassionate listening that welcomes people to share their joys, concerns, and hopes in the context of their full humanity, and for many, their philosophy, religion, or spirituality.
At the Tufts University Chaplaincy, our chaplains are:
09/11/2019 - Medford/Somerville, Mass. - Walker Bristol, A14, Humanist Chaplain and Justin Tavares, E22, pose for a portrait together at the Interfaith Center on September 11, 2019. (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)
Chaplains are here for you
Chaplains are trained to provide care to you, no matter your identities. Find answers to common questions below, connect with us for any further questions.
Pastoral care creates a space for you to bring any and all parts of yourself. A pastoral care provider offers a calm presence, can provide spiritual resources, and share in practices like meditation, storytelling, or prayer. Tufts chaplains are able and eager to offer you space. Space to deepen your religious or philosophical identities, space to process a difficult event, space to explore your own big questions. Tufts chaplains can provide insights from a particular tradition and accompany you as you determine what is true for you. Chaplains are also available to check in when you are just not feeling like yourself.
At Tufts, chaplains offer pastoral care. They are trained to provide care to anyone in the Tufts community. All Tufts chaplains are affirming of allgenderidentities and sexual orientations. Allchaplains are confidential. At Tufts, thismeansthey are notmandated reporters. You can learn more about each of the chaplains on our Meet the Team page, and contact them through their emails or by emailing the University Chaplaincy.
A pastoral care provider offers a calm presence, can provide spiritual resources, and share in practices like meditation, storytelling, or prayer. People often seek pastoral care to process grief, for support in their identity formation, and to seek the wisdom of a particular tradition through prayer, scripture study, or meditation. Chaplains are also available to check in when you just aren’t feeling like yourself.
Our chaplains are trained to provide care to anyone in the Tufts community. You are also welcome to contact a chaplain within a tradition that you are familiar with, or a chaplain in any faith or wisdom tradition. You do not have to have to have any familiarity with religious or philosophical traditions to connect with and be supported by a Tufts chaplain.
Pastoral care sessions can range from a one-time meeting to a couple of times in a semester. A session is usually about an hour. Your chaplain will work with you to identify other support resources, should that be helpful to you.
Chaplains are trained through their education, ordination, and pastoral experience to be resources on the spiritual journeys of diverse people. While chaplains are endorsed by a particular tradition or organization to serve in their role and have unique expertise in that tradition, they all are expected to work in a multifaith capacity. Some chaplains undergo clinical training through programs like Clinical Pastoral Education.
Chaplains can connect you to communities
Chaplains also support religious and philosophical student organizations (RPSOs) on campus, and work to sustain communities on campus. If you are interested in learning more about a particular community on campus, please reach out to a chaplain. Please find the answers to commonly asked questions below.
The chaplains support the leaders of our student communities and help create programming for specific religious and philosophical traditions. Chaplains are available as a confidential support resource to anyone, including members of our student communities.
Our religious and philosophical organizations (RPSOs) make space for community members to live out and explore their spiritual identities. They are important points of connection for many students at Tufts, and are supported by our student leaders, chaplain staff, and collaborative partners across the university.
Chaplains are part of a network of care on Tufts campuses
Tufts chaplains support the entire Tufts community, including faculty, staff, and students, on all Tufts campuses. Please see below for the answers to commonly asked questions about emotional and spiritual support at Tufts.
Pastoral care is a process of accompaniment on the large questions of life, meaning, and identity, especially spiritual identity. Like many other resources on campus, chaplains offer emotional support and reflective listening, though our unique training is in.
Confidential resources are not obligated to report violations of Title IX to the Office of Equal Opportunity. Many people seek support from confidential resources while deciding how they want to proceed in situations of sexual harassment or sexual violence. For more information about confidential resources, visit the confidential resource page on the Tufts CARE website.
Chaplains work collaboratively with partners on campus to make sure our community members have the support they need. Chaplains can put you in touch with on-campus resources for mental health, physical health, substance use recovery, and academic support as needed, while continuing to support you in your experience.