Interim Dean of Religious & Spiritual Life
Jennifer Sanborn joined the Eliot House community in March 2013 as interim dean of religious and spiritual life, following service to the College as chief of staff to President Lynn Pasquerella. She particularly values the time she spends with students in this new role, and believes religious and spiritual life are essential elements of a Mount Holyoke education.
Jennifer came to Mount Holyoke from the University of Hartford where she worked from 2006-2011 as the founding director of The Women’s Education and Leadership Fund, a legacy of Hartford College for Women (founded as Mount Holyoke in Hartford in 1933). From 1996-2006, Jennifer held leadership roles in student life, service-learning, and the intercultural center at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. Jennifer received her B.A. from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, her M.S. from Syracuse University, and her M.A. from Hartford Seminary in Hartford, CT, an institution renowned for its multifaith student body.
In addition to her work at Mount Holyoke, Jennifer is the part-time pastor of Enfield American Baptist Church in Enfield, CT. She has served as vice president and president of American Baptist Churches of CT, and comes from a strong family history in the American Baptist Churches USA; her father and both her grandfathers were ordained American Baptist ministers. She is trained in appreciative inquiry as a philosophy for positive change and serves as a coach to individuals and organizations seeking to undertake change from the perspective of what works.
Jennifer loves spending time with her spouse, Matthew Burch, and two children, being near to water, creating and listening to music, and being a witness to God’s love for all of creation.