Director of Religious and Spiritual life

Job description

Amherst College invites applications for the Director of Religious and Spiritual life position. The Director of Religious and Spiritual life is a full-time, 52 week per year position, job group and level SM-3. The Director of Religious & Spiritual Life (RSL) provides leadership to the Amherst College community in regards to religious and spiritual pastoral care, programming and management of the RSL staff and facilities to support an inclusive community where Amherst students can find a religious, spiritual or secular "home" while also building connections across different faiths and engaging in dialogue about beliefs and values broadly. To achieve these goals, the Director works collaboratively with RSL and other campus office and colleagues in making reasonable efforts to accommodate the religious, spiritual and secular needs of students, leads and facilitates dialogue across various traditions and coordinates major religious events on campus. The Director also serves as the advisor to student groups including the Multifaith Council as well as other groups related to their own faith tradition. The need to meaningfully communicate across differences is a vital component of an Amherst education. As such, the director plays a vital role in bringing different groups and individuals together to address issues of social justice, equity and inclusion. A special emphasis of the director will be to enable various RSL groups to come to a deeper appreciation and understanding of other traditions and to find significant ways to cooperatively address issues of social justice, equity and inclusion. Developing an inclusive and welcoming campus atmosphere necessitates a recognition of the place of one's beliefs and values. The director should spearhead those efforts at the Cadigan Center and throughout the Amherst College community.

The Director will partner with other departments in the Office of Student Affairs so that their skills and knowledge can best support Amherst College students, this may include supporting students in concert with the Counseling Center, Case Management or partnering with Student Activities, Health Education or any of the other departments in the division. They will also work collaboratively to support division-wide and inter-divisional initiatives as appropriate.

The Director also takes appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participates in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Key Responsibilities

Programming and Advising

  • Provides oversight for religious programming on campus
  • Helps to lead and facilitate inter-religious dialogue and learning on campus
  • Responsible for coordinating major religious events on campus (e.g. Baccalaureate, memorial services, Vespers, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Multifaith services)
  • Advisor to the Multifaith Council and other student groups related to his or her own faith tradition
  • Works collaboratively with RSL and other campus colleagues to foster an inclusive community

Staff Supervisor and Support
  • Supervises a diverse part-time staff working from 1/10th to 1/5th time as well as an administrative assistant
  • Partners with staff and the associated groups working towards departmental goals in support of the RSL mission
  • Ensure connectivity between staff members and student groups who may not have much contact with each other due to staff members' part time status

Pastoral Care and Guidance
  • Provide attentive, thoughtful and respectful pastoral care and guidance to all members of the campus community as requested and appropriate
  • Provide for pre-marital counseling and weddings for the campus community and alumni/ae as requested
  • Assist with crisis management in helping the campus to respond to instances of death, bias incidents, and safety of targeted groups

Budget and Facilities
  • Manage the the Cadigan Center for Religious & Spiritual Life
  • Manage the RSL budget in support of the RSL mission, goals and in response to ongoing assessment providing diverse faith based experiences for students within their own faith tradition and across faith traditions for a diverse student body

Collaborative Meetings and Projects
  • Attends all regular staff meetings of The Office of Student Affairs
  • Coordinates the Schwemm Committee on ethics
  • Serves on the Five College Religious Life Council
  • Serve on other College committees as appropriate


  • Master of Divinity or comparable degree with at least one CPE unit or comparable experience
  • 5-7 years of ministry experience
  • Experience working and learning within diverse teams, and a commitment to effectively serving a diverse student population

  • Ph.D. or D.Min.
  • A working knowledge of liberal arts colleges and student affairs

Amherst College is an equal opportunity employer and encourages women, persons of color, and persons with disabilities to apply. The College is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff.
Amherst College, one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation, is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a town of approximately 35,000 residents in the western part of the state. The college's community is composed of about1,800 students from 48 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 54 countries around the world, and about 1,000 staff and faculty. The college's scenic 1,000-acre campus includes a 500-acre wildlife sanctuary and the Book & Plow Farm ; three museums: Emily Dickinson Museum , Beneski Museum of Natural History and Mead Art Museum ; and multiple educational and cultural venues and resources through the Five College Consortium. The town of Amherst offers an amazing variety of coffee shops, restaurants and entertainment, and a very active outdoor life. Our vibrant campus, diverse community and beautiful surrounding, makes Amherst College and the Town of Amherst the perfect place to work, learn and live!





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Job No:
Posted: 6/8/2018
Application Due: 8/7/2018
Work Type: