Statement of Mission

The Harvard Chaplains are a professional community of more than forty chaplains, representing many of the world’s religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions, who share a collective commitment to serving the spiritual needs of the students, faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and staff of Harvard University.  

We seek to:

  • create and support a rich diversity of caring communities in which students, faculty, and staff can explore and nurture their deepest convictions, and engage in honest and respectful conversation around questions of ultimate meaning, purpose, and value;
  • cultivate and embody our respective traditions within the larger Harvard community through practices, celebrations, observances, and opportunities for reflection;
  • foster an intellectual life at the University that includes articulate, thoughtful, and diverse religious and moral voices, and that encourages religious literacy and interfaith understanding;
  • model for the wider community how people who may come from profoundly different religious and philosophical perspectives can live cooperatively in community and appreciate and learn from each other’s differences;
  • serve as attentive companions to students, faculty postdoctoral researchers, and staff as they seek to discover their truest identities as persons, and discern how their gifts and talents may best serve the needs of the world;
  • collaborate with other professionals within the University to encourage healthy practices, relationships, and ways of living that promote the overall intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the community and its members; 
  • raise up and encourage prophetic voices within the community who seek to promote the common good from a place of responsible religious or philosophical conviction;
  • provide pastoral support and guidance to members of the University, both in times of crisis and of celebration; 
  • offer programs and events across the University that promote religious, spiritual, and moral life; and
  • hold each other accountable in mutually supportive ways to the very highest standards of University chaplaincy.