New & Transfer Students

If you would like to have a faith group contact you about their events, please complete the Faith Group Contact Request form.

A Message from the Interim Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life, Fall 2016:

Dear Class of 2020, new students, transfers and Francis Perkins Scholars:

Welcome to Mount Holyoke!

It is my honor and privilege to send you greetings from all of us at the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL). Congratulations! You are now a part of an amazingly diverse campus community, which includes a rich religious and spiritual culture. We celebrate our religious and spiritual pluralism.

We welcome all who come through our doors—regardless of one’s personal beliefs or practices; and provide sacred space for all MHC truth seekers. Some of our students have practiced a particular tradition since birth while others have recently awakened to something new growing within them; and still others come to our programs simply to be with those who share an openness to engage on contemporary issues related to religious and spiritual cultures.

Our Mount Holyoke student community has a significant international student population that provides a unique opportunity to explore and experience widely life’s meanings from varied religious and spiritual lenses. Religious literacy is important to shaping our global understanding and work for social justice and peace.

In terms of sacred space, we are fortunate to have the Eliot House including its beautiful and unique Wa-Shin-An Tea House and Garden, Abbey Memorial Chapel and Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary. All of our buildings are open to all—whether it is for a formal church service or simply to enjoy a personal contemplative moment or participate in our Zen meditation group. We value the need to unplug and to just be, and encourage you to find your special space for solitude.

One of our most popular programs is our Interfaith Lunch known as IFL. We gather weekly in the Eliot House Lounge on Wednesdays at noon for a vegetarian lunch of soup and salad and engage in a wide range of conversations on questions of faith, spirituality, and social justice in an ever-changing world—if you enjoy good food and good conversation—don’t miss this favorite MHC community activity!

We also offer a weekly Jumma Prayer and Halal Lunch, Kabbalat Shabbat, Roman Catholic Mass, Buddhist Mindfulness Mediation, Zen Meditation, Students in Hinduism Reaching Inward (SHRI) Puja and Dinner, Multifaith Council, Muslima Conversations, Halaqas: Exploring the Wisdom of Duas (Supplications), Baha’i Devotions, Monthly Community Shabbat Dinner and Blessing, Pagan/Wiccan Tea Time, Unitarian Universalist Gatherings, and tours and occasional tea ceremonies in the Japanese Tea Garden

If you would like to receive email from a particular faith group regarding their events, you can fill out the Faith Group Contact Request Form. And be sure to visit our Facebook page and “like” us at Religious and Spiritual Life at Mount Holyoke College.

Every space and offering – is open to everyone, no exceptions! If you have a disability and would like to attend any events in Eliot House, please contact Annie Clattenburg, 413-532-6131 or, one week in advance of the event to discuss your accommodation needs. We strive to model the inclusion that is at the heart of our many faiths and philosophical leanings.

Our “Spiritual Gathering of Welcome,” is our opportunity to personally greet you as well as to celebrate our diverse and spiritually alive MHC community. It will be held at Abbey Memorial Chapel at 1:30 PM on September 11, 2016. A reception at Eliot House will follow.

We are here to listen, guide, walk, and learn with you as you begin this new adventure. We look forward to welcoming you to Mount Holyoke College very soon!


Annette M. McDermott,

Interim Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life,
On behalf of the Eliot House Staff, College Chaplains and Religious Advisors


Students attending an Interfaith Lunch