Covenant of Mutual Respect and Understanding

The Jessie Ball duPont Office of the Chaplaincy and its partner Campus Ministries are central to the life and purpose of the University of Richmond, encouraging individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop their intellectual, spiritual, social, and physical potentials and to explore creatively the frontiers of faith and reason. Together, the Office of the Chaplaincy and its partner Campus Ministries provide comprehensive programming in order to widen vision, explore and deepen faith, strengthen character, stimulate creativity, enhance capacity for leadership and service, and equip students to act responsibly and work productively in a complex society.

The University of Richmond maintains its commitment to moral and spiritual values in an atmosphere free of sectarian bias, inviting and serving individuals of all faiths and persuasions. Celebrating this heritage, the University affirms the historical value placed on religious liberty and the sacred right of individuals to make decisions for themselves on matters of faith and practice.

The Office of the Chaplaincy and its partner Campus Ministries pledge to provide spiritual nurturing and ethical formation, and serve as a place for community, retreat, reflection, and worship, and a place where fundamental personal and social questions can be addressed from diverse faith perspectives.

The Office of the Chaplaincy encourages contemplation of God, neighbor, and self. For centuries, contemplation has sustained faith and reason as frontiers in the journey inward and outward. Engagement in community and the importance of service to others are fundamental values instilled along the way. In this pilgrimage, contemplation remains a discipline important for our times.

By my voluntary involvement in the Office of the Chaplaincy, I affirm in a shared covenant before God and these witnesses that:

  • I will encourage and extend at the University of Richmond a sense of mutual respect and understanding between different representatives, organizations, traditions, and practices. In addition, I will foster this sence of mutual respect and understanding in my interactions with students, staff, and faculty.
  • I will endeavor to respect and understand differences in religious belief, historic tradition, and faith practice.
  • I will support with prayer my Richmond colleagues.
  • I will affirm the commitments to ministry of my Richmond colleagues and their loyalty to the diverse communities of faith from which we all gather and to which we remain separately committed.
  • I will practice confidentiality in all that I hear and learn from my Richmond colleagues.
  • I will relate with integrity to my Richmond colleagues personally and professionally and expect such support from them.
  • I will clearly and explicitly state the identity of the group or groups I represent in any literature, display, or publicity regarding religious programming throughout the University.
  • I will extend to my Richmond colleagues the freedom to be and to do in accordance with their understanding of God so long as it does not violate the rights of those in the University community. I will respect the right of any individual to decline an invitation to join the activities with which I am involved.
  • I will recognize the human worth of my colleagues and myself and acknowledge that they receive God's love and deserve my own. I will, therefore, hear them out, weighing the wisdom of their words and considering carefully the concerns that prompt them to speak.
  • I will respect the rich cultural and political diversity of my colleagues. I will work diligently to challenge stereotypes unfairly placed upon my colleagues and their respective traditions and ministries.
  • I will respect the relationships that are established in our joint ministries, one with another. I will encourage in these relations the joy of play and laughter, the practice of fair dialogue and active listening, and the spirit of hospitality.
  • I will assist the University Chaplaincy in its effort to foster meaningful relations with all students, creating teachable moments in faith awareness and interfaith relations.