Spiritual Life at Deerfield Academy is a shared endeavor by many. Spirituality is defined as the holistic and systematic development of a contemplative and attentive life, steeped in appropriate disciplines and self-implicating discernment.  

Deerfield Academy embraces the right of every child, of every young adult, of every person, to pursue a life of meaning in the context of a community of learners. Nationally, the Collaborative for Spirituality in Education (CSE), housed at Teachers College, Columbia University, has recognized Deerfield Academy as one of the 21 highly successful schools of having a culture that is spiritually supportive for the moral and spiritual formation of our students. In partnership with the CSE, we promote dispositions of awareness, belonging, and connectedness in the self and toward the other.  
We place great importance on the the spiritual lives of Deerfield Academy students and we give room for their spirituality to grow.
Students and adults in the Deerfield Academy community contribute their time and wisdom to support a litany of curiosities and faith pursuits. The Dean of Spiritual and Ethical Life serves Deerfield Academy to support the holistic spiritual formation of students.
Our tapestry is rich in color, with a variety of contributing weavers, on one loom, which is represented in the mission we carry forward and deliver to Deerfield Academy students and to families: Connectedness. Reflection. Balance. Creative Minds. Strong Moral Character. Self-Understanding. The classic Greek Delphic maxim: Gnothi Seauton: “Know Thyself.” We stand beside our students in their pursuit of a life of meaning.
Please contact the Dean of Spiritual and Ethical Life at your convenience and for any reason.
Jan R. Flaska, M.Ed, M.Div. D.Min
Dean of Spiritual and Ethical Life

Writings and Speeches

by the Dean of Spiritual and Ethical Life

Local Community Members

  • Kanji Ruhl (SKR) – Buddhist
  • Benjamin Weiner (JCA – About) – Jewish
  • Omar Abdelaal (HM) – Muslim

The Deerfield Academy Student Spiritual Council

  • Abdullah Ali ’25
  • Lottie Levine ’25
  • Tyler Christopher Long ’26
  • Alana McDonough ’27
  • Tene Ouedraogo ’25
  • David Peirce ’25


  • Asian Student Alliance
  • Christian Fellowship
  • Deerfield Youth Fellowship
  • Jewish Student Alliance
  • Muslim Student Alliance

Sacred Spiritual Texts Available to Students

Calendar of Events

  • Sundays, 9:00 am — Hess 213
    Deerfield Academy Youth Fellowship
  • Sundays, 9:30 am — MSB
    First Baptist Church of Amherst
  • Sundays, 6:30 pm — Dining Hall
    Singing of the Deerfield Evensong
  • Wednesdays, 6:30 pm — Hess 123
    Muslim Student Alliance
  • Wednesdays, 6:45 pm — Library
    Christian Fellowship

Religious Observances Calendar

Deerfield Academy 2023 – 24 Spring Term:
Cultural/Religious Observances

As curricular, cocurricular, and other related plans are scheduled for the Deerfield Academy community, including student assessments, please be attentive to the observances listed below. This list is not exhaustive. Please allow it to serve as a reminder of the many geographic and spiritual locations from where our community members originate.

Please contact Jan Flaska (jflaska@deerfield.edu) with any questions. Source: Williams College 2023 – 2024 Multi-faith Religious Calendar

  • Mar. 9 – Apr. 9 — Ramadan begins (Islam)
  • Mar. 23 – Mar. 24 — Purim (Judaism)
  • Mar. 25  — Holi – Festival of Colors (Hinduism)
  • Mar. 24 — Palm Sunday (Christianity – RC, P)
  • Mar. 29 — Good Friday (Christianity – RC, P)
  • Mar. 31 — Easter (Christianity – RC, P)
  • Apr. 9 — Navarātrī (Hinduism)
  • Apr. 9 – Apr. 10 (likely) — Eid al-Fitr (Islam)
  • Apr. 22 – Apr. 30 — Pesach/Passover (Judaism)
  • Apr. 28 — Palm Sunday (Christianity – O)
  • May 3 — Holy Friday (Christianity – O)
  • May 5 — Easter/Pascha (Christianity – O)
  • May 5 – May 6 — Yom HaSho’ah (Judaism)

Our Partners

Local Communities

  • Hampshire Mosque – Hadley (HM)
  • First Baptist Church – Amherst (FBCA)
  • Holy Family Parish – South Deerfield (HF)
  • Jewish Community of Amherst (JCA)
  • Temple Israel – Greenfield (TI-G)

National Organizations

  • Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE)
  • Collaborative for Spirituality in Education (CSE)
  • Memorial Scrolls Trust (MST) is the foundation that chose the Academy to be stewards of the Torah in the Archives