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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN

Center for Religious & Spiritual Life

Helen Hills Hills Chapel

Reflect | Resist | Rejuvenate

The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life is an interreligious, nondenominational body that promotes spiritual flourishing for all students, religious and nonreligious alike. Our areas of focus are ethical reflection, social and racial justice and civic engagement, mindfulness and contemplative practice, and community building based in dialogue and respect. We provide resources grounded in different faith and wisdom traditions, and strive to raise religious literacy and promote interfaith engagement toward a more inclusive, just and engaged citizenry. In the midst of a vibrant academic community, we encourage explorations of mystery, faith, ritual and that which we experience as holy.

We invite you to reflect, resist, rejuvenate with us, and remember—whoever you are, wherever you have been and wherever you are going, you are welcome here.

Our Mission

The Smith Center for Religious & Spiritual Life offers guidance and pastoral care through a lens of mutuality and exploration, and we collaborate to respond with grace and courage to the events that threaten to disrupt our lives. We are invested in what Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and others before him called the “beloved community,” a dynamic vision in which the worth, dignity and promise of each human is honored and in which we strive to live as stewards of the earth and its creatures.

Connect With Us!

Featured Events

Featured Event

Generating Justice and Joy

  • Boathouse Lawn 5:30pm and 6:30pm
  • A welcoming community memorial ritual wherein participants will have the opportunity to share and remember loved ones. This event is for any and all of us who have experienced a loss in the last year, or anytime, from Covid or otherwise; and to mark "dreams deferred" from this time of disruption. We will build community and generate hope together. We will also recognize that the year has been characterized by an increased awareness of police brutality against BIPOC citizens. We will mourn the loss of Daunte Wright, the most recent victim of widely publicized police violence, especially in the context of the feelings elicited by the Chauvin trial. We will say his name. Paradise Pond was chosen on the Smith Campus because of the ways in which water represents and reflects spirituality for many people. As a special part of this ritual we will have the opportunity to put bulbs gleaned from the bulb show into the ground to symbolize new life.  Sign up here. Co-sponsored by Botanic Garden of Smith College, the Religion Department, the Design Thinking Initiative, and Student Affairs.


Ramadan Recitations

  • CRSL Facebook 10am Daily
  • The Quranic recitations and reflections give us an opportunity to examine more closely aspects of the Islamic faith during the month of Ramadan. Find the readings here.


Mindful Mondays

  • Noon, via Zoom
  • Mindful Mondays’s theme is “Finding Our Breath: Mindfulness Practice and Conversation with a Commitment to Compassion and Hope.” This is a weekly forum for light meditation instruction, sharing and building compassionate communities in times of uncertainty, isolation, and heightened revelation of the deep racial and social disparities that are part of the air we breathe in American society. In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King: “No one is free until we are all free.”

    Join by computer at Meeting ID: 975 4027 0782 Password: 226107  To join by computer and audio, or for questions, contact


Interfaith Spirituali-Tea

  • Via Zoom 4:45pm
  • CRSL invites people of all backgrounds to share dialogue, and community. This is a student-led program that creates a space for spiritual nourishment as well as honest discussion about spiritual and religious life at Smith and beyond. We aim to be a place where people can bring their whole selves and forge a community grounded in solidarity and social justice. For more information contact Liah at


Toward Racial Justice at Smith - A Living Document for Community Comment

Smith College has embarked on the first phase of an emerging strategic plan for racial justice. The proposed recommendations have been informed by student, staff and faculty contributions to Inclusion in Action work, consideration of student and alumnae/i demands, and discussions with the Inclusion Council and President’s Cabinet.

In this time of urgent racial crisis, we invite comment, critique and refinement of this emerging plan.


Center For Religious & Spiritual Life Blog

Recent Posts

Think of Criticalhope as One Word

Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser
April 16, 2021
Critical hope seems at first to be a contradiction in terms–a clash of two universes of discourse.  “Hope” has to do with the experience of faith which inspires vision, which engages us in action and (hopefully) to a sacred, healing … Continue reading →

The Planting of Critical Hope: The Practice of Grief and the Blooming of Justice

Matilda Cantwell
April 16, 2021
A hope worth having is forged upon the anvil of adversity…it is more than mere optimism. Hope is the stuff that gets us through and beyond when the worst that can happen happens. — Peter Gomes The Scandalous Gospel…: What’s So Good … Continue reading →

Racial Justice in Islam Series Connects Leaders to Students

Kim Alston
April 15, 2021
The Racial Justice in Islam: Opening Our Hearts series was created as a space for students to learn about Islam’s approach towards justice, its historical foundation, and modern-day implications. Through asynchronous dialogue with noted Islamic leaders students were encouraged to … Continue reading →

Mrs. New’s Tattoo

Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser
February 8, 2021
I remember the first time I really saw the numbers tattooed on Mrs. New’s arm. I had seen them before, but by 11 years old, I knew enough to really see them.  I remember a 2 and a long chain … Continue reading →

For more, visit our Wordpress blog.




Center for Religious & Spiritual Life

Helen Hills Hills Chapel
123-125 Elm Street
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Our Staff

Phone: 413-585-2750
Fax: 413-585-2794

We are open daily to the Smith community from 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. for prayer, reflection, conversation, meditation, study and worship.