Wellesley College is an exceptionally diverse place. The presence of College Chaplains, rooted in a variety of religious traditions, supports this diverse population of students in navigating the joys and challenges of being part of an inclusive campus community. This position is one of four ORSL College Chaplains. The College Chaplain and Christian Life Coordinator serves the spiritual and pastoral needs of all Wellesley students, while serving the Christian identified students in particular. The College Chaplain supports the ORSL mission by bringing breadth and depth to the search for meaning, belonging and purpose for all students, and also strengthens and sustains the campus Christian community through services, retreats, religious education, pastoral care and counseling, and the promotion of interfaith understanding.
The College Chaplain and Christian Life Coordinator provides ecumenical support, mentorship and advising across Christian traditions, denominations, expressions, and doctrines. The College Chaplain leads Protestant worship and coordinates weekly Roman Catholic Mass in collaboration with the Archdiocese and other Catholic resources in the Boston area. They provide outreach and support for the more than twenty five Christian denominations and nine registered Christian student groups represented in our student body. This work is accomplished in collaboration with members of the ORSL team, through partnership with Student Life Division staff, faculty, students, and the broader Wellesley community. This position will oversee, and lead all memorial and wedding requests that ORSL receives throughout the year. This includes serving as the primary point of connection for alumnae, families, and other external constituents.
The College Chaplain will play a key role in promoting and participating in the multifaith model of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Working closely with chaplains and advisors from a variety of traditions, they will provide strategic vision and leadership to spiritual programming for students of diverse religious traditions and non-religious spiritual expressions. This position will help plan and lead multifaith college traditions such as Flower Sunday and Baccalaureate. The College Chaplain will attend and participate in the coordination of Orientation events, Soulful Sunday, Friends and Family Weekend, Christmas Vespers, Reunion, Holy Week and others as needed.
This is an academic year position working full time, 10-months of the year.
Primary Position Responsibilities
Pastoral Care/Counseling and Crisis Response: Provide religious and personal guidance to students, and serve as a regular pastoral presence for the Wellesley community. Serve as a responder to crisis situations on campus and as Chaplain-On Call at least two weeks per semester.
Religious Services: Oversee and promote participation in weekly Protestant worship and Catholic mass, cultivate student leadership of services, provide reflection and educational content, coordinate and lead major festival celebrations, and host retreats.
Programming: In addition to Christian Life programming, sponsor programs that include interfaith and intercultural engagement with clear learning objectives and goals that support the overall mission of the Division of Student Life, as well as the College Strategic Plan. Assess programs in order to measure impact on the Wellesley student experience. Thoughtfully complete mid and end of year written assessments in a timely manner.
Retreats: In partnership with the dean of ORSL, take a leadership role in coordinating, leading, and attending the WCConnect retreats twice a year. This work includes collaborating with key campus partners in the recruiting of students and developing retreat content.
Interfaith: Collaborate with other chaplains and campus staff on interfaith programs and services, serve as the Christian representative in interfaith dialogue, be present to other religious campus communities, offer prayers/words of wisdom at college events, advocate for the interests of multifaith groups as needed. All interfaith programs should have clear objectives to strengthen students' religious and spiritual identities in a global, pluralistic world.
Religious Literacy: Promote appreciation and understanding of Christianity across the college community by hosting talks, guest lectures, and discussions. Work with Student Life partners to promote religious literacy and appreciation of religious diversity. Facilitate at least one program per semester in which students have the opportunity to collaborate with another college chaplain, student religious organization or college department.
Community-Building: Contribute to a vibrant and inclusive campus community, host outreach and community-building programs, advise Christian student groups in their programming, student leadership development, provide mentoring, attend meetings and events as needed.
Administration: Oversee communications and represent the ORSL department on college committees as assigned. Manage the Christian Life Community budget and other administrative responsibilities expected of all ORSL team members. Attend and participate in regular department and division meetings. Oversee Christian student orgs in collaboration with OSI.
Community Relations: Build connections with local Christian resources, and advise college leadership in matters concerning the Christian community.
Ability to relate to and mentor students
Ability to program effectively and reliably
Ability to collaborate within the ORSL department and across campus
Ability to prioritize and multitask while providing a high level of service
Ability to work on location on campus
Ability to work weekends and evenings
The College Chaplain assists the Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life in the supervision of other religious student group advisors. Supervise the Newman student org, among other e-boards, and oversee their SOFC funds. Hire, train and supervise student workers.
Master of Divinity, Masters of Theological Studies, or other relevant master's degree or equivalent qualification in religious and spiritual life. Ordination in a recognized Christian denomination is preferred.
A minimum of two to five years' of related experience including, but not limited to, work in higher education in positions related to religious and spiritual life and student affairs. Experience with college age programming, especially at a women's institution. Experience in counseling and advising.
The College Chaplain and Christian Life Coordinator will have the ability to translate the Christian tradition, scripture, and theology into a contemporary context that is both authentic and accessible in order to nourish students with a wide range of observances, practices, and identities. Successful candidates will have an understanding of the complexity of bringing together a diverse community of Christian students, experience in and enthusiasm for interfaith dialogue and cooperation.
Skills and Abilities Required
This position requires training and education in pastoral care and counseling; exposure and understanding of the diversity of beliefs and practices within Christianity as well as cultural competency to work in a diverse community; experience of and commitment to working in a multifaith context with young adults in teaching, mentorship, and leadership roles; exceptional communication skills, including the ability to establish and maintain relationships; and a successful record of planning and implementing programs. A strong ability to respond to crisis and emergency situations in a calm, caring, and appropriate manner.
Candidates must have excellent interpersonal skills.
College Chaplains serve students of all faith traditions and philosophical worldviews. Students need not identify with any tradition to seek out their support. All members of the Religious and Spiritual Life Team are confidential resources, meaning they do not share identifiable information without permission, unless sharing is required to address an imminent safety risk, or if the student is a minor. College Chaplains support students through both acute crises and emerging life transitions.
All employees hired after August 2, 2021 are required to upload proof of vaccination and booster against COVID‐19, subject to approved medical or religious exemptions or disability accommodations.
Wellesley is known for the excellence of its education, the beauty of its setting, its gifted faculty, and the uniqueness of its campus culture. But most of all, Wellesley is known for the thousands of accomplished, thoughtful women it has sent out into the world for over 100 years women who are committed to making a difference. Every year, some 2,400 of the world's top undergraduate women are challenged to exceed their own highest personal and intellectual expectations. The mastery Wellesley graduates demonstrate across the professional and vocational spectrum, and the influence they wield, whether in their own communities or on the world stage is testament to a singularly empowering undergraduate experience. Wellesley's lively academic community places a high value on rigorous, probing inquiry, and creative, cross-discipline thinking. Its collaborative approach to scholarship encourages students to question, debate, and refine their points of view, not only with each other, but with our world-class faculty, often by working directly with them on groundbreaking projects. A Wellesley education fosters the highest standard of readiness for the real world in its graduates, in terms... of ability to think, act, and contribute meaningfully and effectively in their chosen areas of interest.