As one of ODIME’s many identity centers the Collegiate Religious Center (CRC) is a haven where our team of Campus Chaplains serve as spiritual advisors for students. Campus Chaplains support the needs of our students irrespective of their primary religious traditions. As spiritual advisors to all students and the WPI community, Campus Chaplains counteract the inequality of varied expression(s) of religion, spirituality, and any form of meaning-making practice and support student meaning-making expression to tend with systems of oppression as well as any other stressors.
Hours of Operation:
- Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM EST
- Saturday and Sunday 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST
The Collegiate Religious Center offers:
- A conference room/tech suite (Multifaith Meeting Space)
- A comfortable common room with a TV, sofas, chairs, and conference table
- A vegan kitchen well-stocked with appliances and utensils
- A Multifaith Mindfulness Space with a table and chairs
- An Islamic Prayer Room with a connecting restroom with a shower and a shoe rack
- Gender inclusive bathroom
- Large backyard and patio
Religious Organizations on Campus
- Alpha Omega (Instagram)
- Catholic Newman Club (Instagram)
- Christian Bible Fellowship (Instagram)
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Instagram)
- Heavenly Love Chinese Christian Fellowship
- Hillel (Instagram)
- Hindu YUVA (Instagram)
- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (Instagram)
- Meditation Club
- Muslim Students Association (Instagram)
- Pagan Circle (Instagram)
- Unitarian Universalist Campus Fellowship (Instagram)
History of the Collegiate Religious Center
The Collegiate Religious Center (CRC) had existed around WPI’s campus for decades, but in 2006, it held the first office for a student organization of faith: Hillel. Later, this became the Prayer Room for the Muslim Student Association.
In 2008, WPI collected the CRC and four different student organizations of faith and Reverend Cheryl Leshay helped to clean, remove wallpaper, and paint the first floor. In 2009, the International House began to oversee the running of the CRC and this is when full renovations took place on both the first and second floor of the building.
During this time, each Chaplain (there were three) had an office space on the second floor, each student organization of faith had dedicated closet space, and the main lounge was reserved each day of the week by each student organization. This is also when began their interfaith dialogues with the campus community, which were primarily held in the campus center.
Throughout the next three years, there were transition among Chaplains joining the institution and the CRC, and, in 2010, Pagan Circle began as a student organization of faith. In 2012, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education began to oversee the running of the CRC, which is also when interfaith dialogues started to be held in this building.
In 2018, the Catholic Chaplain office became the Newman Chapel. In 2020, Father Alfredo Porras joined the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education staff alongside Reverend Cheryl Leshay. Additional spaces were also added to the CRC, including the Multifaith Meeting Room and the Multifaith Worship Space.
Currently, the Newman Chapel has transitioned to the Multifaith Worship Space and is open to all on campus, along with the rest of the spaces in the CRC. The previous Prayer Room for the Muslim Student Association has been named an Islamic Prayer Space to promote designated Prayer and Reflection spaces on campus.
WPI's Policy on Religious Observances
A student who is unable to attend classes or participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day because of their religious beliefs shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which they may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school.
WPI statement on religious diversity, mutual respect, and non-proselytization
WPI does not tolerate any unlawful discrimination or harassment that consists of treating a person differently in any WPI program or activity based on their race, sex, age, color, national origin, religion, genetic identity, disability, gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or any other protected status.
Furthermore, WPI is dedicated to creating an atmosphere that encourages diversity in all aspects of campus life—from academics and residence hall living to social interactions among students, faculty, and staff. In accordance with these policies, it is appropriate to further clarify that WPI, its religious groups, and its Collegiate Religious Center and Chaplains are committed to mutual respect and non-proselytization. WPI will not tolerate any form of religious harassment or coercive behavior that affects one’s personal freedom to choose one’s own religious practice.