Interfaith House

Mission and goals
The MOSAIC Interfaith House is a residential space for students who are interested in deepening their knowledge and experience of various religions, spiritualties and secular traditions. The house (completely renovated in the summer of 2016) has 14 single rooms, a  full kitchen, and common space for programming.  We focus actively on the belief that people with radically different assumptions about such things as meaning of life, death, and ritual practices can live and grow together under one roof.  Residents will have an expressed commitment to living in a space that encourages genuine sharing and learning from the experiences of religion and spirituality of other residents.

The residents of the house should represent a wide range of religious and philosophical traditions ranging from theistic (such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam, etc.) to non-theistic (Buddhist), atheistic, secular and/or humanistic. Residents will have affiliations with mainstream religious traditions, smaller or lesser known religious or spiritual communities, and will also be atheists, agnostics, humanist and others. The more diversity the better!

Tasked with promoting interfaith dialogue across campus, around 14 students from across many religions will live and work together to provide the Middlebury College and the Middlebury community with educational, philanthropic, and social programming.

To see more interior photos of Porter House, click here.

Eligibility
Selection is based primarily on the applicant’s expressed commitment to fully participate in an intentional residential environment, and with special attention given to the overall distribution of identities (religious/spiritual and non-) in the house.

The MOSAIC Interfaith House is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of all religious, spiritual, and secular expression. Residents plan programs each semester with fellow students and the broader community that address questions such as how we live our lives, and the role of ethics, values, and faith(s).

The guiding and primary criteria for resident selection will be unanimity about processes for decision-making within the house, and a full commitment to intentional living within difference, and not in spite of it.



Activity Requirements

  • Weekly meetings (e.g. teas) to check in regarding community norms and planning.
  • Regularly shared holiday observances and ritual practices, including the possibility of observances with non-college community members – trips to religious sacred spaces in Burlington and beyond, etc.
  • Occasional discussions on topics relevant to living together with difference and current events (campus, world).

Community norms and accountability
The MOSAIC Interfaith House allows for students to live out the fullness of their faiths or non-faith in a way that is perhaps not possible in traditional on-campus living.  Residents will work together to create a “Community Agreement” as an intentional set of communal standards, as well as determining the dietary restrictions on food in the Interfaith House kitchen. Since the Interfaith House is campus housing, residents also abide by all Residential Life and College policies.

Members of the community are expected to make a commitment to living together in an inter-faith community. Activities include regular community meals focusing on varied topics of interest and occasional events for the broader Middlebury community, as suggested and designed in partnership with the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious and Life.

Expectations for residency include:

  • A commitment to the creation of an affirming living space to explore and discuss pertinent topics of faith, religious diversity, and spiritual life.
  • Required attendance at regular community meetings throughout the term at a time to be mutually determined, preferably over meals. The meeting focus may range from hosting guest speakers to resident-led discussions to community-building activities.
  • A commitment to establishing community norms for sharing living space and accountability.
  • A commitment to honor the food preparation and dining practices of various religious communities, including, but not limited to, Halal and Kashrut dietary traditions.
  • Attending and organizing at least one faith-related campus event, lecture, or religious service per term; preparing a creative reflection project on the experience; and discussing it at one of the weekly community dinner meetings.
  • Organize at least one event during the year intended to educate the campus community about the significance of religious identity in the world and/or the importance of inter/no-faith cooperation.
  • Engage at least one community service partnership outside of the campus. For example, a community service and reflection event, or perhaps a panel on interfaith dialogue, experiences, etc. at the local high school.

Interested in applying to live in the MOSAIC Interfaith House?  

If you are interested in applying, please submit your answers to the following questions to Mark R. Orten, Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life, orten@middlbury.edu.  

•    What is the primary thing you hope to learn from living in an intentional community around diverse traditions and worldviews?

•    What perspective or worldview do you hope to bring to the residence that will most contribute to a learning environment?

•    Which of the written expectations will be most challenging for you?

Please limit your response to two pages total.  Application deadline is midnight, February 26.


Be sure to carefully consider your application; should an offer be extended and you accept, your commitment is final.  Be sure to only commit to one housing program, i.e. Residential Life, Social or Interest House, SuperBlock, etc., for any one term - Fall, Winter, or Spring.