Spiritual Community and Support

At the Spiritual Care and Learning Centre (SCLC), we can connect you with spiritual guidance from qualified spiritual leaders and help you get involved with various religious, secular and spiritual (RSS) communities. We work collaboratively with specific RSS communities to promote shared learning and mutual support for everyone at McMaster and in the larger community.

Campus and community support

We can connect you with accommodations and support based on your religious, spiritual and cultural needs and traditions.

All Spiritual Care and Learning Centre leaders share the values of human dignity, diversity and respect. If you’re in need of guidance, support or community related to spiritual care, the SCLC leaders are here to help!

  • Andy Crowell, Director, Spiritual Care and Learning Centre; Ecumenical Chaplain, McMaster University (crowella@mcmaster.ca)
  • Dr. Raj Balkaran, Indian Spirituality Chaplain; Director, School of Indian Wisdom; Instructor, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (raj@rajbalkaran.com)
  • Jeff Druery, Coordinator, Spiritual Director, Open Circle (jdruery@mcmaster.ca)
  • Marybeth Leis Druery, Coordinator, Spiritual Director, Open Circle (leismb@mcmaster.ca)
  • Dr. Michael Fallon, Director and Chaplain, Christian Reformed Campus Ministry, McMaster University (fallonm@mcmaster.ca)
  • Imam Hosam Helal, Program Coordinator, Islamic Society of North America; Religious Affairs Director, Islamic Society of St. Catherines; Associate Chaplain, Brock University; (hosam@isnacanada.com)
  • Father Bradley Marcus, Roman Catholic Chaplain, McMaster University; Priest, Canadian Martyrs Church (bmarkus@hamiltondiocese.com)
  • Andrew Nussey, Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor; Bishop, Pro-Cathedral of St. Luke (andrew@realanglican.ca)
  • Paul O’Hagan, Roman Catholic Campus Coordinator, McMaster University (pohagan@hamiltondiocese.com)
  • Rabbi Chanoch Rosenfeld, Director, Pastor of Beit Menachem Jewish Student Centre, Hamilton (rabbi@chabadhamilton.com)
  • Rabbi Ben Shefter, Senior Jewish Educator, McMaster Hillel (rabbiben@hillelontario.org)
  • Rory Tasker, Ordained Buddhist Monk, Interpreter/Translator for Teachers of the Sera Monastery (taskerr@mcmaster.ca)

Getting involved

If you want to join the SCLC as a spiritual care leader at McMaster, contact Andy Crowell (crowella@mcmaster.ca).

Spiritual and prayer spaces

We recognize and value the importance of your religious, secular and spiritual practices on campus. There are multiple spaces at McMaster where you can build community and get support.

  • Spiritual Care and Learning Centre (MUSC 212)
  • Chaplaincy Centre (MUSC 231)
  • Indigenous Student Services (LR Wilson Hall 1811)
  • Muslim Student Association (T-13)
  • Open Circle (TSH B110)
  • Hillel (TSH B112)

Additionally, there are multiple prayer spaces on campus.

Ron Joyce Centre (Burlington)

If you’re at the Ron Joyce Centre campus, visit Paul and Sally Bates Interfaith Centre: Ron Joyce Centre, Room 265,
4350 South Service Rd, Burlington. Find information transportation and shuttle bus service.

McMaster Students Union (MSU) clubs with religious or spiritual status

There’s a variety of MSU clubs with religious and spiritual status at McMaster. The SCLC can help you connect with groups you’re interested in. You can also visit the MSU website for more information.

The Interfaith Issues Working Group worked with an ad hoc committee comprised of staff, faculty and students to develop a Policy on Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO). Complete the RISO form to request formal academic accommodations for tests, labs, assignments, participation and seminars.

Note: For all other accommodation requests, you must consult with your Faculty Office and/or Student Accessibility Services (SAS).

Adjusting to university life can be difficult without support from your religious, secular or spiritual communities. And finding somewhere close to campus to gather with others isn’t always easy! But we can help.

Here’s a list of places of worship near McMaster’s main campus. This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list — and it doesn’t represent all traditions and spiritual practices —  but it’s a good place to start.

Resource groups

The SCLC is a new initiative, so we’re still establishing our resources to ensure you have access to accredited spiritual care leaders and services that reflect the diversity of all McMaster students and alumni.

This Spiritual Care and Learning Centre is a result of the efforts of the Interfaith Issues Working Group, part of the McMaster President’s Advisory Committee for Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC). PACBIC is an equity-seeking community at McMaster made up of various working groups to advocate for diversity and inclusion.

The Interfaith Working Group identifies and recommends initiatives and actions related to emerging interfaith issues on campus. It engages with campus partners to raise issues of mutual concern, demonstrate solidarity and identify ways to provide diverse food choices available at a reasonable cost to meet religious/spiritual and Indigenous dietary needs for McMaster staff, students and faculty members. To join the working group, contact Andy Crowell (crowella@mcmaster.ca) or Khadijeh Rakie (rakiek@mcmaster.ca).

The Student Interfaith Council is part of McMaster Students Union (MSU) Diversity Services. This council includes diverse religious and spiritual representation and organizes social, learning and advocacy events to educate the McMaster community and demonstrate solidarity. To join the Student Interfaith Council, contact diversity@msu.mcmaster.ca.