Careers at UMass Amherst

Director, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

Apply now Job no: 511696
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: AISP Administration
Union: PSU
Categories: Student Affairs & Services

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Under general direction from the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advocacy, Inclusion and Support Programs and the Director of Diversity Education and Training, this position provides overall leadership and oversight for programs and services provided by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL), Primary areas of focus include envisioning and actualizing inclusive environments celebrating the differences and the uniqueness of diverse religious and spiritual traditions; establishing positive and collaborative working relationships with related campus and community leaders and organizations; and, promoting associated services in support of university strategic goals. Within the context of promoting student success and positive student experiences, success in this role will be informed by the Director’s ability to effectively establish relationships with campus and local ministries, create student-focused opportunities, celebrate and conduct discourse on related topics, and educate the campus about religious and spiritual diversity.


Essential Functions

  • Lead the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) in visioning, planning, and executing short and long term strategic goals. Oversee ORSL daily operations; lead planning, and management for department budgets, including preparing and tracking related income and expenses; and, ensuring adherence to applicable compliance, risk management, and university policy/procedure requirements. Supervise and mentor a team of student staff members, actively engage with Advocacy, Inclusion and Support Programs (AISP) and campus departments/programs to establish and sustain strong collaborations in support of student religious and spiritual needs and interests.
  • Collaborate with Student Affairs and Campus Life (SACL) departments and other university partners to develop trainings and related curricula for residential life staff, students, SACL staff, and other campus populations. Primary areas of focus will include religious diversity/pluralism; religious oppression (particularly Islamophobia and antisemitism); interfaith; and, inclusive practices. Build and sustain collaborative partnerships with academic programs, faculty, student services units, and other stakeholders to create efficient and connected networks of student support.
  • Develop and implement programming and educational initiatives that are responsive to campus climate issues and related assessments; including related trainings; standalone programs; ongoing program series; climate impact and/or bias incident, response programs; social and digital media campaigns; and, recurring major events promoting multicultural competence, religious diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Collaborate with SACL, university and community partner to provide consultation, support, and training promoting positive campus climate and student retention, with particular emphases on religious and spiritual campus life. Mentor staff, students, and student organizations to foster mutual understanding and respect between diverse religious communities on campus. Collaborate with Student Engagement and Leadership areas to help advise the Religious and Spiritual Council. Serve on related committees and task forces, as assigned.
  • Fulfill related legal and policy compliance responsibilities; including, Title IX. Collaborate with Residential life, Dean of Students, and other campus partners to respond to impactful acts of bias; provide related advocacy, support, and resource referral with and for students.


Other Functions

  • Perform related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.
  • Understand responsibilities with respect to Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements.
  • Demonstrate capacity, skill and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.
  • Work collaboratively with other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Student Affairs and Campus Life


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s degree in Religious Studies, Comparative Religion, Sociology or related field
  • 3 years of experience advising and mentoring diverse college populations in matters related to religious and spiritual life, diversity and inclusion, social tolerance and related areas
  • Working knowledge of comparative religions and spiritual practices.
  • Experience addressing emotionally charged situations.
  • Demonstrated experience addressing incidents of bias and/or intolerance.
  • Highly developed skills for mentoring diverse college populations.
  • Proven ability to establish and support collaborative working relationships.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Required to work some nights and weekends.


Additional Details

  • Applies and conforms with internal financial policies to ensure transactions are processed properly.
  • Ensures accuracy of recorded data through the use of analytical reports and reconciliations.
  • Develops budget to include forecasting, monitors and reports variances, problems and recommends solutions.
  • Operates funds.


Work Schedule

M-F 8:30-5:00 with some nights and weekends


Salary Information

Level 27 

Exempt Salary Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume and contact information of three professional references. The job posting will remain open until the position has been filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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