Job Board

Chaplain to the College

Job type: Full-time

Category: Other

Location: Williamstown, MA Post Date: October 12, 2017


Chaplain to the College

Chaplains' Office

The Chaplain to the College (the Chaplain) is the chief steward ofthe religious and spiritual lives of Williams College, and aprimary guide to religious practice and spiritual exploration forstudents, faculty and staff. Reporting directly to the VicePresident for Campus Life, the Chaplain will be an ordained, orotherwise credentialed, religious professional in one of theProtestant Christian traditions. As the director of the work of theChaplains' Office, the Chaplain will also be a fully collaborativemember of a dynamic team of chaplains (Catholic, Jewish andMuslim), sharing the work of the office in three particulardimensions: pastoral, programmatic, and institutional.

Pastorally, the Chaplain will provide pastoral care broadly andgenerously to the entire College community, offering counsel,support, and encouragement to individuals as well as comfort andwisdom to the institution as a whole. In the culture of a collegewhich places high priority on the support of individual students,the Chaplain will be widely recognized on campus as a compassionateand highly accessible support for students as they weather the joysand the developmental, intellectual and spiritual challenges ofyoung adulthood.

Programmatically, as the Protestant member of the team ofchaplains, the Chaplain to the College will provide primaryoutreach to, and support for, students and groups who identify withany of the traditions or communities (denominational ornon-denominational) associated with Protestant Christianity byleading or coordinating spiritual, liturgical and educationalprogramming; providing pastoral care; building relationshipsbetween the various Protestant communities on and around thecampus; and, with student leaders, cultivating an ecumenical senseof community in keeping with a culture of pluralism. In addition totheir tradition-specific work, all of the chaplains are alsoactively involved in inter-religious and multi-faith activities, inthe planning and leadership of dialogue and reflection amonggroups, and in collaborative ventures of humanitarian service andconscientious activism. And the Chaplain is a critically importantcore participant in those areas of campus life that focus on socialjustice, equity, and inclusion.

Institutionally, the Chaplain to the College will be visiblyengaged in the whole life of the College, including its campus-widecelebrations, its gatherings in times of crisis, its issues andworking groups, and the deliberations and discernments that shapethe ongoing life of a highly diverse, intellectually vibrant and,occasionally, deeply challenging community. As an important memberof the senior team of the VP for Campus Life, the Chaplain will behighly collaborative across the College, nurturing specialrelationships with the Center for Learning in Action, IntegrativeWellbeing Services, the Office of the Dean of College, and theDavis Center. The Williams student body is remarkably diverseacross multiple dimensions, including more than 30 religioustraditions in most years.

Two aspects of the broad diversity of the Williams community havespecial bearing on the complexity of the Chaplain's work: thesecular/pluralistic nature of the institution, and theintersectionality of students' religious identities with otherevolving aspects of their whole selves. The Chaplain to the Collegeis frequently called on to help build bridges between groups and tohelp to open spaces for new ways of thinking about and living thespiritual journey of young adulthood, within and beyond existingframeworks. And all of Williams' chaplains carry responsibility forbeing catalysts for social justice and supportive stewards of therich potential for the spiritual and developmental wellbeing of allstudents.

The next Chaplain to the College will be compassionate andenergetic, and a strong advocate and resource for inter-faithinitiatives, particularly in support of those that arestudent-generated. The Chaplain will have a nuanced understandingof relevant textures of spiritual life on campus as essential toindividual student identities and, to that end, will havesubstantial experience with diverse populations – withinvarious Christian traditions, among the world religions, and withstudents who do not identify themselves religiously. The nextChaplain will be particularly attuned to the experiences ofmarginalized students within specific faith traditions, and willinsure that the Chaplains' Office supports and enhances the campusexperience of all those with whom they work.

A strong candidate for the position will have at least 5-8 years ofexperience in ministry or as a religious professional – witha strong preference for campus experience – includingsenior-level roles with demonstrable administrative, programmaticand staff management expertise. A Master of Divinity degree (orequivalent) is preferred, with at least one unit of ClinicalPastoral Education. The Chaplain to the College supervises theadministrative assistant, manages the office and its departmentalbudget, and has stewardship of Thompson Memorial Chapel and theJewish Religious Center and their associated capital budgets. Thework of chaplaincy on this campus frequently involves work outsideof standard weekday office hours – at night and on weekends.The culture of the Chaplains' Office strongly supports chaplains innegotiating their work hours so as to accommodate personalboundaries – but the work of the office cannot be confined toa standard 9-5 weekday work schedule.

We are committed to building a diverse, inclusive, and equitablecommunity and strongly encourage candidates from under-representedgroups to apply.

Review of resumes will begin immediately and will continue untilthe position is filled. Job Group 1-C.

Employment at Williams is contingent on the verification ofbackground information submitted by the applicant, including thecompletion of a criminal record check, and education whenapplicable.

To apply for this position, please visit If youhave any questions, please feel free to contact us via phone at(413) 597-4247 or email at

Williams College is a liberal arts institution located in westernMassachusetts, with access to the culturally rich cities of Albany,Boston, and New York City. The college has built its reputation onoutstanding teaching and scholarship and on the academic excellenceof its students. Williams is committed to building and supporting adiverse population of approximately 2,000 students, and tofostering an inclusive faculty, staff and curriculum. Please visitthe Williams College website (

Beyond meeting fully its legal obligations fornon-discrimination, Williams College is committed to building adiverse and inclusive community where members from all backgroundscan live, learn and thrive.

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