MIT Chaplain to the Institute and Associate Dean, Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life

  • 07 Feb 2020 3:58 PM
    Message # 8733358

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Chaplain to the Institute and Associate Dean, Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an independent, coeducational, and privately endowed institution, was founded in 1861 and is today one of the world’s top universities. Teaching and research—with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle—continue to be its primary purpose. Its five schools and one college encompass numerous academic departments, divisions, and degree-granting programs, as well as interdisciplinary centers, laboratories, and programs whose work cuts across traditional departmental boundaries. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, across the Charles River from downtown Boston, MIT is home to 4,530 undergraduate and 6,990 graduate students. Based on MIT’s 2019 survey of enrolled students, 47 percent of undergraduate respondents and 42 percent of graduate respondents reported identifying with a religious, spiritual, or philosophical tradition. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community.

    The Chaplain to the Institute and Associate Dean, Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life (ORSEL) serves the broad MIT community of faculty, students, and staff in order to create, promote, and support an open and inclusive environment that honors the diversity of the campus community’s spiritual and religious traditions, and perspectives on ethics. The Chaplain to the Institute and Associate Dean oversees the Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life and over 30 affiliated chaplains, representing many of the world’s religions, spiritualties, and secular practices. A key component of the Chaplain to the Institute and Associate Dean’s responsibilities will involve collaboration with a group of  chaplain Conveners—designated faith community resource leaders, the full spectrum of associated chaplains, and the ORSEL Student Advisory Board to develop and implement innovative programs serving the needs of the MIT student body. Annually, ORSEL supported groups and organizations host approximately 1,500 events ranging from classes, worship, service opportunities, and other programs that invite students to explore and/or deepen a sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging in their lives. The Chaplain to the Institute and Associate Dean also partners with numerous support services on campus to ensure the spiritual, emotional, and ethical well-being of the MIT community is met. Additional responsibilities include: creation and promotion of  opportunities for campus conversations on the intersection of faith and science; active building of community and advocating on behalf of students, ensuring all efforts are conducted without bias in order to be involved in and supportive of issues of campus social justice; providing individual spiritual counseling and direction as needed for students, faculty and staff; presiding at Institute events as appropriate and necessary—memorials, graduation, and invocations at other special events; and partnering with faculty, staff, and MIT administrators in response to campus trauma, unrest, ethical dilemma, or public civil disobedience. The Chaplain to the Institute and Associate Dean of ORSEL maintains a well-respected, visible presence in the life of the Institute and reports to the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Community Involvement, as well as serves in an advisory capacity to the Vice President and Dean for Student Life on matters of policy and pastoral, religious, spiritual, ethical, and social justice issues impacting the full spectrum of the campus community.

    A master’s degree in divinity, religious studies, ethics, or related field, and minimum of seven years of experience working in spiritual and religious life (or related capacity) are required. Ordination in a faith tradition is preferred. Additional qualifications that will be important in the selection of the Chaplain to the Institute and Associate Dean include: excellent interpersonal and communication skills (oral and written); demonstrated effective public speaking ability; positive track record of managing with influence throughout a large organization/institution/congregation; unwavering commitment to diversity and social justice; experience collaborating with diverse groups of religious, spiritual, and secular leaders and concomitant understanding of the intersection between religion, spirituality, and secular traditions and practices; experience conducting interfaith services and providing spiritual counseling and direction; understanding of the impact of one’s role as a leader within the larger MIT community; and experience in a college student services office and/or university setting.

    Review of applications will begin March 9, 2020, and will continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Valerie B. Szymkowicz at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

    Visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology website at

    MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.

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