UMass Amherst Religious and Spiritual Life

Religious and Spiritual Life at UMass Amherst
Photo of Chapel on UMass Amherst campus

Educational and Interfaith Programs

This page contains information about some of our interfaith programs, such as the Interfaith Community Service Initiative (see below for more information).

Click on the following links for information about our other ongoing programs:

Annual Freedom Seder—an uplifting multicultural and interfaith celebration of unity and liberation which we have held every year since 1999!!

Meditation Groups— These nondenominational, student-led meditation groups are open to all students, faculty and staff, regardless of experience or beliefs, on a drop-in basis.

"Festival of Light" Holiday Posters—a colorful poster series that brings greater awareness of the beautiful diversity of religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions in our community.

Interfaith Social Activities
In collaboration with various student groups, we organize interfaith social and recreational activities such as our twice-a-year interfaith ice-skating night at the Mullins Center... an opportunity to chill out and play with students from diverse religious backgrounds!

Interfaith Community Service Project

As part of a national initiative sponsored by the White House (“The President’s Interfaith Community Service Campus Challenge”), the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life has collaborated with Habitat for Humanity and an array of religious groups to create opportunities for students to engage in meaningful community service with people from diverse religious backgrounds and beliefs. This project promotes interfaith understanding and cooperation on campus and provides opportunities for meaningful community service, while helping low-income families in the Amherst area.

After a year's hiatus, we will once again offer monthly interfaith "builds" during the 2014-2015 academic year. These builds include several hours of volunteer work at a local Habitat site, combined with some structured interfaith dialogue. If you're interested in participating, let us know!

Want to get involved?
We will have six interfaith "builds" this year (Fall 2014 dates are 9/21, 10/19, and 11/16). If you would like to participate, please download the Registration Form and email it to us (there are directions on the form). For more information, email Larry Goldbaum in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, or call 413.545.9642.

Registration Form for Interfaith Community Service Projects

UMass Interfaith Alliance
If you're interested in connecting (in fun ways) with students from diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds, check out the UMass Interfaith Alliance on Facebook. The Interfaith Alliance was created by students who had participated in our interfaith Habitat builds and wanted more opportunities to socialize with a religiously diverse group of students. Join them!!

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life will also host some interfaith social events (such as our "Interfaith Ice-Skating" nights)... opportunities to hang out with students from your own and other religious/spiritual groups and just have fun!

We remembered the 10th anniversary of 9/11...
and vow to build a better future together

Photo of Interfaith Commemoration of 9/11 at UMass Amherst (on 9/9/11)

Interfaith Commemoration of 9/11
Friday, September 9, 2011 at 12:00pm
Student Union Building, UMass Amherst

This unified commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 provided an opportunity for students and religious leaders from many traditions to come together as one community, to share our commitment to building a common future characterized by mutual understanding, compassion, and respect. Representatives of the Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Baha'i, and Buddhist traditions offered words of healing and hope. Sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Religious Affairs Committee, and the Muslim Students Association.

Ringing of the Chapel Bells
Sunday, September 11, 2011
UMass Amherst

The bells of the Old Chapel tolled at 8:46am, 9:03am, 9:45am, and 10:10am to commemorate the times at which hijacked airplanes were flown into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center and the west wing of the Pentagon, and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville, PA, after passengers tried to regain control of the aircraft, on September 11, 2001.

9/11 National Moment of Remembrance
Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 1:00pm
The U.S. Congress and the President have designated September 11th as a national day of remembrance of all those whose lives were changed by the events of 9/11/01. This year, the Town of Amherst called upon all residents of Amherst to observe a moment of silence at 1:00pm (Eastern time) on Sunday 9/11/11.
Read the full Resolution from the Town of Amherst