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, May 2013

Dear Incoming Students:

Welcome to Mount Holyoke! It is my privilege to send you greetings from all of us at Eliot House, the campus home of our Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Regardless of your personal beliefs or practice, we want you to know you have a place here, and we exist to support you as you grow and learn in this diverse and wonderful college!

One of the highlights of our week is interfaith lunch, when we gather in Eliot House on Wednesdays at noon for a vegan lunch (delicious for vegans and non-vegans alike!) and conversation about life’s ultimate questions and the practices that guide us in an ever-changing world. Even before my time as interim dean of religious and spiritual life, I visited Eliot House to experience the dynamic conversations at interfaith lunch; this was and is my favorite time of the week!

Eliot House is located between the Gettell Amphitheater and the Art Museum, and whether you join us for interfaith lunch or simply sit quietly for prayer and meditation on your own time, this is a space that is available to you. Abbey Chapel and the Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary are also spaces you will want to get to know when you arrive on campus.

Our chaplains and religious advisors work closely with our students to plan worship services, social events, community outreach, discussion groups, kosher and halal dinners, guest speakers, holiday programming, and a variety of multifaith learning opportunities. You can participate in Jumma Prayer, Community Shabbat, Roman Catholic Mass, Buddhist Mindfulness Mediation or any number of programs and spiritual practices to renew your spirit and reflect on your life—and if it is your desire to find a setting for worship in the community, we can assist you with this as well.

Please explore our website for more information. You will find a link to some of the religious groups that are active at Mount Holyoke College. Although the list does not cover every faith group at the College, it does give you a sense of the breadth and depth of religious pluralism on our campus. If you would like to receive email from a particular faith group regarding their events, fill out the Faith Group Contact Request Form. Be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at Religious and Spiritual Life at Mount Holyoke College.

Some students at Mount Holyoke identify strongly with a particular religion. Others would define themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” and still others would regard themselves as humanist, atheist, or agnostic. At Eliot House, 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.

We are here to listen, guide, counsel, and encourage you. And we look forward to welcoming you to Mount Holyoke College very soon!

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