Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Staff

Who is the Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life?

The Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life is responsible for coordinating religious and spiritual life at Wellesley College.

In this work, the Dean does not represent any one religious tradition, but rather:

  • oversees religious and spiritual life on campus, including religious-specific programs, interreligious understanding, dialogue and conflict transformation with pastoral care
  • coordinates educational programs on moral, ethical, religious and spiritual issues
  • leads multi-faith community worship opportunities throughout the year

The Dean also acts as a liaison to religious groups on campus, in the town of Wellesley and in the Greater Boston area, and is involved nationally in issues of religious diversity, dialogue and collaboration.

What is the Religious and Spiritual Life Team?

The Religious and Spiritual Life Team is comprised of college chaplains and affiliates representing Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Unitarian Universalist traditions. Together with the Dean and administrative staff, this team fosters religious, spiritual, and ethical life at Wellesley. Through their collective work, the team models a new way of working towards common goals while respecting and celebrating differences and diversity.

The Religious and Spiritual Life Team offers a calm, compassionate presence on campus focused on relationship-building, listening, and creating spaces for students to be and to become their full, authentic selves for the benefit of each person, our community, and our world. The team does this by offering opportunities for contemplative practice, meaning-making, spiritual seeking, and wellness rooted in religious and non-religious wisdom traditions and multifaith collaboration. 

College chaplains and affiliates serve students of all faith traditions and philosophical worldviews. Students need not identify with any tradition to seek out the support of college chaplains and affiliates. 

All members of the Religious and Spiritual Life Team are confidential resources, meaning they do not share identifiable information without permission, unless sharing is required to address an imminent safety risk or if you are a minor. College chaplains and affiliates can support students through both acute crises and emerging life transitions. To make an appointment with a college chaplain, simply send them an email or contact the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. 

Why Talk To a Chaplain?

The college chaplains and dean of ORSL are confidential resources trained to listen and support you - on virtually any topic! While they serve and lead religious communities on campus, chaplains support the whole college community - whether religious, spiritual, secular, or none of the above.

At Wellesley College, all chaplains are available for all students (as well as faculty and staff). Chaplains offer a nonjudgmental, respectful ear for anything you’re going through. 

To make an appointment with a college chaplain, simply send them an email or call the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Loneliness & Homesickness
Finding community and making friends can be a challenge. Chaplains are here - not only to listen to how this adjustment has been for you - but also to help you think through strategies for finding community here on campus.

Relationship Issues
Fighting with family about your major, difficulties communicating with a roommate, bullying on social media, trouble in a friend group, navigating a sticky dating situation - these are all the sorts of conversations that chaplains regularly have with students looking for sounding boards when dealing with these interpersonal dynamics.

Questions of becoming sexually active, exploring sexual and gender identities, and coping with sexual assault may be discussed with a college chaplain in a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental setting.

Meaning & Purpose
Chaplains are here to help you make meaning - figuring out what excites you, considering your purpose, asking big questions, thinking about how you want to shape your life and serve the world. Your chaplain’s office is not only a good place for a cup of tea, it’s a great space to think out loud, in a confidential space.

Celebrating the Whole You
A chaplain is thrilled to hear about what’s going right in your world, and to cheer you on.  We’re a non-judgemental presence when you’re trying to figure things out and it’s OK to humble-brag about yourself, too!

Questions about Spirituality and Religion
Exploring the spiritual dimensions of our humanity can be a wonderful resource on the journey of life. It’s also totally normal to doubt or wonder if some of what you were taught might be toxic or unhealthy. Cults and unhealthy religious groups love to target college students, so please come talk to us about anything you’re curious or concerned about.

Grief & Dying
The death of a loved one, prolonged illness, accidents and other unexpected life events can be very painful experiences. Fear of our own mortality and questions about an afterlife are normal after such difficult experiences. Chaplains are a helpful resource to process all of your feelings and help you find ways to begin to heal from your loss.

Many college students struggle with feelings of pressure, shame, or authenticity surrounding their childhood community, family, or religious practice. Chaplains may be a resource for helping you think about how to integrate (or not) your family’s beliefs as you develop your own personal and/or religious identity.


Contact: The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life | Billings 2nd floor | | 781.283.2865

John Bailes
College Chaplain and Buddhist Life Coordinator
Dena Bodian
College Chaplain and Campus Rabbi
Jacquelina (Jackie) Marquez
Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life
Amira Quraishi
College Chaplain and Muslim Life Coordinator
Sarah Robbins-Cole
College Chaplain and Christian Life Coordinator
Sara Lucas
Multifaith Education Affiliate
Natalie Malter
Unitarian Universalist Affiliate Chaplain
Tonia Petty
Harambee House Affiliate Chaplain
Rumni Saha
Hindu Affiliate Chaplain