Spiritual Life

Mount Holyoke is one of the few liberal arts colleges in the country to serve nine distinct faith groups, including Baha’i, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan/Wiccan, Protestant, and Unitarian Universalist. Four chaplains—Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, and Muslim—and a number of faculty and staff advisors respond to the pastoral and liturgical needs of the College’s diverse communities. Though the College has no formal religious affiliation, the breadth of religious life on campus is as varied and rich as the backgrounds of its students, faculty, and staff.

Eliot House serves as the campus center for religious life and community service. The chaplains and the dean of religious and spiritual life have their offices here. Eliot House is also home to Wa-Shin-An, the Japanese meditation garden and teahouse, the Muslim prayer room, and the Hindu prayer room.

Mount Holyoke also offers a kosher/halal kitchen and dining room, located in Wilder Hall, for Jewish and Muslim students who observe those dietary laws. It is one of the few college dining halls in the country to serve both kosher and halal meals. All students are welcome.

Services are held for each of the religious traditions.

  • Catholic and Protestant services take place weekly in Abbey Chapel and the Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary.
  • Hindu Puja and dinner is offered each Thursday evening.
  • Community Shabbat services and dinner are held on the first Friday of each month.
  • Jumma lunch and prayer is offered each Friday.
  • Weekly gatherings for discussion, workshops, or prayer also occur within the Unitarian Universalist, Baha’i, and Pagan/Wiccan communities.
  • There is a weekly Japanese tea ceremony and Zazen meditation.
  • Large interfaith services open to the entire community are sponsored each semester by our Multifaith Council.