The MOSAIC Interfaith House is a residential space for students who are interested in deepening their knowledge and experience of various religions, spiritualities and secular traditions.
The house was renovated in 2016 and 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.
Read an article about the MOSAIC Interfaith House in the Middlebury College Newsroom.
Application deadline for the 2021-22 academic year is Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
The residents of the house 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, 14 students from across many religions will live and work together to provide the College and the wider Middlebury community with educational, philanthropic, and social programming.
Update -- September 2020
This year, the house has been taken offline because of the college’s need for quarantine space. Many of the students who were committed to living there, however, continue to gather and learn from one another’s various world views. Ben Beese ‘21.5 is one of these students, and shared his thoughts with us here.
The Interfaith Community is filling a really important role in my life. For me, faith and spirituality are founded on asking questions and exploring possibilities. What do I believe? What do I believe in? How do I see the world? How do I make meaning of life? These questions become much more interesting and powerful in community. Everyone’s different perspectives lead to new and interesting thoughts, sparking different questions in turn. Our Interfaith Community is a nurturing area, that feels simultaneously challenging and comforting. It feels really nice to be able to discuss deep questions without judgement or competition. It’s a space to learn without ever feeling the pressure to prove oneself or to be “right.” And everyone is great fun to be with. Our Interfaith Community is one of the things I most look forward to in my week.
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-religious/spiritual) in the house.
The MOSAIC Interfaith House is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of all religious, spiritual, and secular expressions. 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. Priority will be given to those who can commit to a full year of residency.
- Weekly meetings (e.g. teas) to check in regarding community norms and planning. Please note: If you cannot prioritize and attend weekly house meetings, you should not apply to live in the house.
- 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
- 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.
- Engage in interfaith education through campus events, lectures, and service in order to raise the importance of religious and no-faith identities, interfaith cooperation and intentional living/learning communities.
- 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.