Director of Religious and Spiritual Life

Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

Accredited by NEASC

Position Requirements

Phillips Exeter Academy is seeking a committed and experienced educator to serve as the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life for our residential school. Phillips Exeter is a secular institution with a strong commitment to meeting the religious and spiritual needs of its diverse student body. The director will serve as a leader for students and programming that supports those needs and promotes interfaith understanding and dialogue. The center of the religious and spiritual life of the campus community is the historic Phillips Church, located close to the center of our campus. More information about the range of offerings and the support afforded to students can be found by clicking here link. The director would also be expected to live on campus, participate in the residential life of the school, and teach through an affiliation with an academic department.

Link to job posting:

Position Purpose

Chaplaincy responsibilities include planning for and nurturing the religious and spiritual growth of the student body and promoting interfaith dialogue and education. Participation in the academic and residential life of the school includes affiliation with an academic department and dormitory, classroom teaching as appropriate, and community leadership and education.

Key Accountabilities Programmatic

  • Oversee religious fellowship groups, advisers, proctors and interfaith student leadership.
  • Coordinate, plan and/or lead regular and special services to celebrate religious holidays or events for the campus community for students with diverse faith backgrounds and needs.
  • Lead and coordinate weekly secular community events, such as Evening Prayer and Meditation, as well as other special events held in Phillips Church.
  • Coordinate (and provide where appropriate) spiritual, religious, and/or pastoral counseling.
  • Cultivate and coordinate relationships with outside organizations and communities, acting as a liaison with other churches and religious organizations that support PEA students.
  • Coordinate, plan and/or lead periodic religious services, such as weddings and memorial services, in Phillips Church with appropriate religious leaders and colleagues and departments on campus.
  • Work with the Office of Institutional Advancement to coordinate and/or lead interfaith worship services for alumni reunion classes and participate in alumni events
  • Support the community, administration, and/or incident response team as necessary in emergent situations on or off campus as needed.
  • Be an active presence in the daily life of the Academy and participate in the residential program.
  • Maintain affiliation with an academic department with opportunities to teach in the Harkness classroom (load to be determined).
  • Demonstrate respect for diversity of identities and experiences, an orientation toward equity and inclusion, and cultural competency in all aspects of Academy life.
  • Serve on faculty committees as required.


  • Administer the religious and spiritual life programs.
  • Collaborate with adults across campus to support students and programing, including individual advisers, deans, teachers, administrators, and operational staff.
  • Supervise the department’s administrative staff.
  • Supervise, lead and provide support to advisers of faith-based student organizations. 
  • Develop and manage the religious service's budget

Degree of Independent Action Performed

Incumbent is expected to work with a high level of independence and autonomy, and exercise a high degree of initiative, influence, and judgment in decisions impacting staff, students, and department operations. Expected to solve problems or address issues that require immediate attention.

Direct/Indirect Reports DIRECT:

  • Religious Services Staff Assistant
  • Organist
  • Phillips Church Kitchen Coordinator
  •  Faith-based Student Advisors

Internal & External Contacts Frequent collaboration with students, Dean of Students office, PEA administrative and academic offices, faculty, coaches, alumnx and staff. External contacts may include parents, outside organizations, visitors and local community neighbors.

Position Requirements Education and Experience

  • Relevant experience commensurate with the seniority of the position (minimum of 5 years)
  • Masters degree or equivalent in a relevant field (e.g. Divinity, Hebrew Letters, etc.)
  • Chaplaincy training and experience preferred
  • Teaching experience preferred.
  • Residential school experience preferred.

Skills & Knowledge

  • Demonstrated pastoral and formal church or other religious organization program skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to develop and maintain collegial relationships.
  • Excellent communication (written and verbal) skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with students by building trust and credibility.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills as well as a strong customer focus.
  • Ensures compliance and adherence to Academy policies and procedures as well as legal requirements
  • Ability to work independently and handle multiple priorities and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Proficient in MS Office.
  • Willingness and ability to learn additional applications as needed.
  • High degree of organizational skills with the ability to be flexible and multi-task with accuracy.
  • Ability to follow verbal and written directions, maintain a professional demeanor and composure at all times, including stressful situations

Additional Requirements

  1. Successfully complete a criminal background check (reviewed every 3 years).
  2. Clean Driving record (reviewed annually).
  3. Required to live on campus.


  • Director
  • Religion
  • spiritual life