The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life seeks to cultivate a robust interfaith community alongside the vibrant academic life of Trinity College. We curate and share resources and policies that help us do this vital work.
Observance of Religious Holidays
The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life would like to support each of you as we approach the 2022-2023 Academic Year by sharing our Calendar of Religious Holidays. This resource, created with the support of Harvard Divinity School’s Office of the Chaplain and Religious and Spiritual Life, is intended to help you create your calendars and events with a mind towards the religious and cultural diversity of our community.
The Calendar of Religious Holidays is not an exhaustive list. The holidays included are those that may have some impact on observant students and could present a conflict with academic demands while school is in session. Requests for allowances based on sincerely held religious practices must be assessed by faculty and staff on an individual basis. It may however be prudent to avoid scheduling programs, events, or deadlines on some of these days, as some members of our community could be fasting, limiting work, or observing holidays in other ways.
You will find a collection of resources below, including a Religious Allowances Form. The purpose of the form is to facilitate a conversation between students and faculty. This form does not need to be submitted to the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life.
The facilities overseen by OSRL include:
- Trinity College Chapel
- Zachs Hillel House
- Charleston House for Interfaith Cooperation
- Muslim Prayer Room
Each of these spaces can be used by students, faculty, and staff of Trinity College by working with the Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership Office (for students) or the Calendar Office (for faculty and staff). In most cases, the use of these spaces is grated at the sole discretion of the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life.
To serve our mission and that of the College, we allow students access to these rooms via their Trinity College IDs. Such access is a privilege and a responsibility. By requesting access, students agree to help our office maintain and preserve these spaces for use by the whole community.
Students requesting card access to these spaces should contact the College Chaplain (Trinity College Chapel, Charleston House for Interfaith Cooperation, or the Muslim Prayer Room) or the Director of Hillel (Zachs Hillel House). To be granted access, students are required to sign and submit the Facility Card Access Agreement.
Recognition of Affiliate Chaplaincies
Trinity College seeks to promote the presence of a vigorous and diverse religious community on campus, to foster interfaith dialogue, understanding and cooperation within that community, and to encourage its active participation in the public discourse of the College.
Recognized campus chaplains (chaplain-affiliates) work closely with the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life to serve the pastoral needs of students, faculty, and staff on-campus, to strengthen the faith communities they represent, and to model mutual respect, love of learning and care for the common good. In return, the College offers chaplain affiliates an acknowledged place within the College community, while honoring their relative autonomy as agents of the religious organizations they represent.
This arrangement presupposes the College’s ability to ensure that qualifications and actions of its chaplain affiliates reflect the highest professional standards for religious leaders in their own communities, that the religious organizations to which they report are in a position to provide adequate accreditations and supervision, and that the College’s own standards are met.
Any applications for recognition originate from a religious council, church, or other religious body. The College does not consider applications from individuals. The sending agency submits its application in writing to the Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life, along with the following:
- a resume of the individual it is nominating,
- a written summary of funding to compensate the nominee and to fund the program,
- a certification that the agency has conducted a background check, including character references, and uncovered no information of concern,
- a certificate of insurance from the sending agency evidencing proof of general liability insurance of at least $1,000,000.00 per occurrence, and
- evidence of health insurance.
Recognition is conferred by the Dean, in consultation with the Spiritual and Religious Life Team and the Dean of Student and Community Life.
To be recognized as a chaplain-affiliate, one should normally be:
- Nominated and endorsed by a national or regional religious organization prepared to supervise and assume ultimate responsibility for their activity,
- Ordained and in good standing with an ordaining body and/or professionally trained for religious work
- Experienced in campus ministry or related areas (e.g., youth work, congregational ministry, teaching, etc.)
- Committed to ecumenical and interfaith cooperation.
- Equipped and eager to participate in the intellectual life of an academic community
- Prepared to spend a significant portion of their work week on Trinity’s campus in direct service to Trinity students, staff, and faculty.
Avoiding Mind-Control Groups and Groups with Cult-Like Practices