Woodstock School is seeking to appoint a Chaplain to start in July 2020.
Woodstock School is India’s leading international residential school. For 165 years Woodstock has stood as a reference point for excellence in education in Asia.
Situated in the Indian Himalayas, Woodstock’s stunning campus covers more than 250 acres of protected forest, providing an inspirational educational environment and unrivalled access to one of the world’s great mountain wildernesses.
With more than 50 nationalities represented among its student body and faculty, Woodstock is a truly international community which embraces its diversity and multi-culturalism.
Woodstock is a K-12 school, with predominantly staff children as day scholars aged 3 through grade 5. The residential education programme begins in Grade 6. Woodstock is an IB World School offering an inquiry-based approach in the Early Years, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Grades 6-10, and the Diploma Programme (DP) in Grades 11-12. Students graduate with an American High School Diploma certified by the Middle States Association (MSA). Woodstock is accredited by the Middle States Association (MSA) and the Council of International Schools (CIS).
From the date of its inception in 1854, Woodstock has been a school with a strong Christian basis. Over the years, it has been a place where staff and students from a wide variety of Christian and other traditions have lived and learned together. Woodstock has always tried to keep two priorities in judicious but creative tension: 1) A firm belief in the essentials of the historic Christian faith as proclaimed in the Bible and worked out by mainstream Christian thinkers and writers down the centuries. 2) An open and welcoming attitude to people of all faiths or none who wish to be part of a learning community on the understanding that it has a Christian foundation. The school strives to adopt a positive stance wherever possible, holding forth the person of Christ and what he offers rather than the restrictive practices of any particular religious group. The Chaplain plays a pivotal role in helping to make sure that this happens. The school has no chapel building as such: Christian activities (whether whole-school services or celebrations, small Bible study groups or other gatherings for fellowship) may take place in Parker Hall, in the Win Mumby Gymnasium, in the residences or in staff homes.
Woodstock School strives for excellence in teaching and learning, offering an exceptional education in a diverse international community. Remembering the compassionate path of Christ, his servant leadership, his desire to bring wholeness, and God’s command to steward his creation well, the school’s guiding principles are as follows:
We pursue wholeness: At Woodstock we believe that a meaningful education provides not only academic skills and attributes, but must also provide emotional, spiritual and physical wholeness – in our relationship with God, within ourselves, in our interpersonal relationships, and within the local and global systems we inhabit. Our focus is, therefore, on making wholeness central to the school experience.
We seek well-being: To see Woodstock as a community rather than an institution is to recognise the centrality of the human dimension in all that we do. We seek to be a safe place in which everyone acts with regard for the intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of others, respectful of their faith, belief and conviction.
We elicit greatness: Behind this phrase is an approach to life and learning which recognizes the power of guided discovery, of careful facilitation and of experiential learning. It recognises that one of the greatest gifts we can give to others is the opportunity to discover things for themselves rather than for us to provide all the answers.
We value compassion: With those who fail, our focus, wherever possible, is on restoration, forgiveness and learning. When it comes to our philosophy of care, following rules and implementing policy are not ends in themselves. Our goal is to maintain relationships, to safeguard trust, to encourage honesty and integrity, and to advocate for compassion and hope.
We tread lightly on the earth: In our allocation of resources, we conserve and regenerate the natural environment we inhabit; at the very least, causing no harm – in essence, we tread lightly on the earth. This principle compels us to model, with integrity, a credible and carefully considered approach to the natural environment in the allocation of resources.
JOB DESCRIPTION - CHAPLAIN
Responsible to: The Principal and the Board
What sort of person are we looking for?
We wish to appoint a man or woman who:
Has a strong personal faith in Christ;
Has a desire to help others grow in faith;
Has a love for India and its various religious traditions, and an appreciation of the role of the Christian church in the India of today;
Has a love for people, and a desire to develop friendships and deep relationships;
Has a mature understanding of the Bible and the role of prayer in individual and corporate Christian growth;
Has experience of working in schools (preferably Christian and international schools) together with an eagerness and aptitude to teach well;
Has an appreciation of the value of being connected to a local congregation of Christians, not pushing the claims of any one denomination but at the same time able to cooperate with those from a variety of church backgrounds.
Main Aims of the Post
To develop ways of recognising, nurturing, living out and learning from the school’s Christian roots, as outlined in papers such as the Religious Life Policy, “2020 Vision” and “Is Woodstock Education Christian?”
To be the custodian of the school’s Religious Life Policy; to explain, interpret and promote understanding of the school’s stance on religious life among all constituents, and to ensure that the demands and vision of the policy are carried through into the school’s daily life and practice.
To inspire and support the school in promoting what is distinctive about the spiritual dimension.
To awaken a thirst for, and contribute towards the development of, a spiritual awareness within the school amongst employees, staff and students alike.
To provide support, friendship, advice and encouragement to the whole Woodstock community - those with faith and those without.
To work as an ecumenical ‘bridge-builder’ within this international and multi-cultural community.
Tasks and Activities
The Chaplain is expected to be part of a Christian worshipping community.
The Chaplain is expected to exercise a caring, supportive and affirmative role in relation to staff, pupils and parents. The Chaplain is a custodian of good relationships within the school. This will involve ‘being about the place’ and being available for anyone to drop in and talk when needed. For example, he/she will be a community builder, acting as a mediator and peace-maker in situations of tension or discord.
The Chaplain should develop a close understanding of the needs of the School community by liaising regularly with the Principal, the Director of Student Services, the Vice Principal and the Heads of School. This contact should be both formal and informal.
The Chaplain should meet regularly with the Health Centre staff to ensure that good communications exist between the care of ‘body’ and the care of ‘soul’ within the school. The Chaplain should make a point of visiting students in the Health Centre frequently.
The Chaplain should have regular contact with the CARE Coordinator to ensure that adequate support and assistance is available in any cases of school community need.
The Chaplain should be available to meet with students and staff one-to-one to discuss any matters of personal or confidential concern. Opportunities for such meetings should be widely and generally known within the school community.
The Chaplain should set the tone for the religious life of the school. To be a model of what Christianity that is inclusive actually looks like, positively and intellectually engaging both the religious and non-religious traditions that enrich the community, the Chaplain must be both open-minded and open-hearted to all. The Chaplain should find ways to support and encourage the spiritual and personal development of Christian and non?Christian students and explore ways to encourage those of no faith or minimal commitment to keep an open mind in matters of the spirit. This requires a systematic knowledge and understanding of at least the several major world religions represented at the School.
LEADERSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION
The Chaplain, being a Board Appointee, is directly accountable to the Board, with day-to-day administrative responsibility to, including supervision by, the Principal. The Chaplain will present a "Chaplaincy Report" to the Board when it meets in Mussoorie. The Report will describe the Chaplain’s activities, give an assessment the state of spiritual activity at the school, and raise issues of policy about which the Chaplain believes the Board should know. In extraordinary circumstances the Chaplain will have direct access to the Board, normally through its President. Circumstances are extraordinary if they may significantly affect the core values and principles of the School.
As ‘Spiritual Director’, the Chaplain has direct access and administrative responsibility to the Principal.
The Chaplain will be an active member of the Woodstock School leadership team and take part in various committees that discuss critical issues pertaining to the spiritual, personal or emotional well-being of students, staff and the community. The Chaplain’s role is of an advisory nature. The scope of the role would not include operational matters, including those that involve any disciplinary or transactional issues. It is important that the Chaplain is not seen as being part of the ‘responsibility hierarchy’ in the school.
The Chaplain is expected to oversee the organisation and coordination of Chapels and Assemblies. The Chaplain will call and convene Chaplaincy Council meetings to discuss the Chaplaincy program across all levels of the school, and to plan for retreats, Chapels and special events The Chaplain will also promote the use of homeroom, advisor group and residence devotions as a means of drawing the community together and promoting spiritual reflection. The Chaplain should liaise with local churches, including the Mussoorie Church Pastors’ Fellowship.
The Chaplain will exercise oversight over all Christian voluntary activities on campus, ensuring that there are sufficient opportunities for learning, growth and discipleship for those who desire them, and that adult leadership is appropriate to the school’s vision and policies, and to the developmental age of the students. The Chaplain will be involved in extracurricular duties such as being an Advisor, being a Homeroom teacher and being an Activity Week leader.
The Chaplain plays a lead role in the development of CARE activities, in particular promoting a close connection between devotional content, student giving and practical community service. He/she also contributes to the integration of the International Award for Young People (IAYP) service activities into the general life of the school.
The Chaplain contributes substantial orientation to all new staff on the content and meaning of the Religious life policy as it applies to the school community.
The Chaplain actively exercises a role of ombudsperson/ guardian of the values and concepts espoused in the Religious Life policy, and in ensuring that all aspects of school life reflect Woodstock’s constitutional mandate to provide a ‘Christian education’.
The Chaplain will teach a number of classes, as determined in discussion with the Principal. The Chaplain’s role in the classroom is, amongst other things, a way of being known, a way of knowing staff and students and being a resource available to other teachers in the teaching process.
The Hiring Process
o Interested applicants should send your resume, cover letter, and a maximum two-page educational philosophy to Woodstock’s Director of Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 25, 2020
. o Initial interviews will take place with the hiring committee by Skype in the second week of February 2020.