New 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 2015:

Dear Class of 2019, 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 amazing college culture and campus community—and part of that richness you will find at MHC is offered through ORSL.

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

The Eliot House including its beautiful and unique Wa-Shin-An Tea House and Garden, Abbey Memorial Chapel and Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary is 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 recognize the value to unplug and just be. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life offers an oasis for your spiritual yearnings.

Providing a purposeful multifaith and multicultural engagement is our mission. Our chaplains, advisors, staff, and student group leaders work together to create an environment where you will find support to explore and reflect on questions of meaning, as well as experience and engage in religious pluralism and the art of global community building!

One of the highlights of our week is our Interfaith Lunch known as IFL. We gather in Eliot House 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, Sisters 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—we announce many of our programs here as well as post updates on our programs.

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 Gaelin Higgins, 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 6, 2015. A reception at the 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 one of our Leadership Events.