Hamilton College Chaplaincy exists to encourage — for our campus community — religious, spiritual, cultural and moral worldview identity and diversity, both through building welcoming, inclusive community, and also engaging individual development through teaching, counseling and social justice experiences.
Values & Guiding Principles
Religion leads us toward equality and reconciliation. Connecting with integrity to our spiritual traditions offers opportunities to understand them in new ways for new circumstances.
Building a community of belonging does not collapse the differences that exist between us, but offers profound learning opportunities leading to shared commitments to justice, equality, reconciliation, and peace.
Mindfulness is the effort to reclaim centeredness, restoring balance and perspective to what is important for one’s personhood, and to what extent those values are shared by, or in tension with, one’s surrounding culture.
Human spirituality connects the individual to the broader community where active involvement seeks to make equality a lived reality.
We seek to become an increasingly diverse and accessible office, in terms of our professional personnel, programming and spaces, both with regard to the religious/ spiritual/ mindfulness traditions represented, as well as secular locations of meaning, intersecting with other identities of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and abilities.
Current efforts supported by the chaplaincy include:
- Worship and prayer services
- Spiritual music
- Individual & group study/ classes
- Observance of holy days
- Experiences of meditation and mindfulness
- Interreligious dialogue and opportunities to learn about unfamiliar spiritual practices and ideas
- Discussions on the life of spirituality and moral concern
- Experiential learning with local community partners
- Internships in spiritual vocation & information on graduate theological education
The chaplaincy also serves as a liaison to communities of faith in the surrounding area, and a resource for students whose spiritual needs extend beyond our campus. Chaplains are available for counseling with all members of the Hamilton community, in areas of bereavement, spiritual exploration, and other matters of personal growth. The chaplaincy also supports community outreach and the work of the COOP, Community Outreach & Opportunity Project at Hamilton College.
Founder of Hamilton, Rev. Samuel Kirkland, had a vision for an institution centered on an educational outreach to the Oneida Indians, an expression of his enduring connection to this community. Kirkland’s vision included an ethical and spiritual dimension of appreciating diversity, and of educating the whole person, summing up his educational philosophy in this way: “the culture of the heart is to be considered as an important object in every part of education.”