Religious Life Classifications
Amherst College values the individual religious beliefs and commitments of members of the campus community. The College has entrusted the religious advisors with the oversight of religious life on campus. Our commitment is to assure that students have reasonable access to religious services and practices of their own choosing. We believe that religious life involves respect for various beliefs and traditions as well as considerate interaction with and learning from one another.
Religious life staff fall under three categories as described below.
The religious advisors consist of the five positions that are hired and paid by the College: the Coordinator for Religious Life along with the Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, and Roman Catholic Religious Advisors. Each of these are entitled to full staff privileges at the College, office space at the Cadigan Center for Religious Life, and a budget from the College for programming. Religious advisors are expected to attend all scheduled meetings for religious life staff.
Adjunct Religious Advisors
The adjunct religious advisors are not paid by the College, but have a commitment to working with the religious advisors to enhance the religious life of the College. They are a significant part of the religious life staff. Adjunct religious advisors meet one or more of three criteria: 1) they serve a particular population on the campus that is not fully served by the religious advisors and for whom adequate services are not readily accessible in the surrounding community; 2) their primary ministry focus is the College; or 3) the institution they represent has a significant historical connection with the College. Adjunct advisors may use campus facilities, receive a parking permit, an e-mail account, and are listed in the campus directory, student handbook and on the web site. Other privileges may be provided in special circumstances and these should be arranged with the Coordinator. Where more than one person represents an organization, only one of these shall be an adjunct religious advisor and any others will be religious affiliates. The adjunct, in that situation, will be the primary contact person for the College. Adjuncts are expected to attend the regularly scheduled religious advisor meetings and are invited to special meetings with administration, faculty and staff.
Local clergy and campus ministry workers are welcome on the campus at the invitation of members of the Amherst community. Religious affiliates receive an identification card that recognizes their official status on campus. The card is good for the academic year of issue. Affiliates are expected to attend at least one of the religious advisor meetings each year and to meet annually with the Coordinator. The Cadigan Center for Religious Life may be reserved for events with college students and staff. Ongoing use of campus facilities will be in accordance with the College's customary guidelines.
All representatives of various religious groups must meet with the Coordinator for Religious Life to discuss the Guidelines for Religious Groups and to complete the Information Sheet . A letter of endorsement from a national organization and a local/regional contact person is required at the initial application for adjunct religious advisor or religious affiliate status. Religious advisors approve all adjunct religious advisor and religious affiliate appointments. Appointments are for one year and are renewable after an annual review with the Coordinator for Religious Life. After one year and 500 hours of service, adjunct advisors and religious affiliates will be eligible for discounted meals and use of athletic facilities.