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, Spring 2015:

Dear Incoming Students:

Welcome to Mount Holyoke!

It is my privilege to send you greetings from all of us at Eliot House—the home of our Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL)!

We warmly welcome all who come through our doors—regardless of your personal beliefs or practices—we are the place to come and engage with MHC truth seekers—some who have practiced a particular tradition since birth and others who have recently awaken to something new growing within them—and still others who simply just want to be with others 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 and Mount Holyoke Memorial Chapel and Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary are safe spaces for religious and spiritual expansion—respect for one another as well as positive multicultural engagement guides our programs and environment.   Our chaplains, advisors, staff, and student groups create a place where you can always find a listening ear from simple homesickness to those experiencing loss or anxious about their exams—we are here.

We are currently blessed with four college chaplains ( Roman Catholic, Jewish, Multifaith and Muslim) and religious advisors for Buddhists, Baha’is,  Christians, Hindus, and those practicing Creation Spirituality/Pagan/Wiccan. All of our staff work cooperatively with students to plan worship services, social events, community outreach, discussion groups, kosher and halal meals, guest speakers, holiday programming, and a variety of multifaith learning opportunities. In addition, we offer weekly Jumma Prayer and Halal Lunch, Kabbalat Shabbat, Roman Catholic Mass, Buddhist Mindfulness Mediation, Sisters in Hinduism Reaching Inward Puja and Dinner, Interfaith Lunch, Multifaith Council, Quran Discussion, and Unitarian Universalist and Japanese Tea Garden Tours on a regular basis on-campus.

One of the highlights of each week is Interfaith lunch. We gather in Eliot House on Wednesdays at noon for a vegetarianlunch and conversation about life’s questions and the practices that guide us in an ever-changing world—if you enjoy yummy soup, bread, salad, cookies—and good conversation—don’t miss this favorite student activity!

On the contemplative side of our programming, the Eliot House, Abbey Chapel, Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary, and Wa-shin-an, the Japanese Tea Garden provide individual and communal meditative and prayer spaces for you. We recognize and value the need to unplug and to listen to your inner voice. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life offers an oasis of such sacred spaces here on campus.

Please explore our website for more information. If you would like to receive email from a particular faith group regarding their events, 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.

Our spaces, every service – every offering – is open to everyone, no exceptions! We aim to model the inclusion that is at the heart of our many faiths and philosophical leanings.

Stop by and say hello on Sunday, January 18 for our Welcome Reception at Eliot House at 11 am in our lounge on the 2nd floor.

We are here to listen, guide, counsel, and walk with you. 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

Please note:  If you have a disability and would like to attend any of our events in Eliot House, please contact Gaelin Higgins, 413-538-2054, or, one week in advance of the event to discuss your accommodation needs.

Students attending a Leadership Event regarding Furgerson Missouri