Teaching Strategies

Religious Accommodation

Sample #1

As an instructor at Boston College, I welcome students of diverse religious backgrounds into my classroom as part of my larger commitment to educating whole persons. I also know that when students are able to bring all of themselves into the classroom, everyone benefits from the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds present, resulting in more robust scholarly engagement. Additionally, under Massachusetts law, students have the legally right to religious accommodation. Please let me know if a requirement for this course conflicts with your religious observance so that we can figure out a way for you to observe your religious practice and complete the requirements for this course. If at all possible, please contact me about any potential conflicts within the first two weeks of the course. 

Sample #2

The observance of religious holidays and cultural practices are an important reflection of our diversity. As your instructor, I am committed to providing equivalent educational opportunities to students of all belief systems. At the beginning of the semester, you should review the course requirements to identify foreseeable conflicts with assignments, exams, or other required attendance. If at all possible, please contact me within the first two weeks of the first class meeting to allow time for us to discuss and make fair and reasonable adjustments to the schedule and/or tasks. (adapted from University of Pittsburgh)

Sample #3

I recognize that when students are observing significant religious holidays, some may be unable to attend classes or labs, study, take tests, or work on other assignments. If you provide adequate notice (at least one week and longer if at all possible), you can make up course requirements as long as it doesn’t impose undue burden on me or the larger institution. You will not be subject to any grade penalties for missing an examination, study, or course requirement on the day of religious observance, and you will not be marked absent if you are observing a significant religious holiday. (adapted from University of Maine)  

Sample #4

Both Massachusetts law  and my core values of diversity and inclusion require that I make reasonable accommodations to to help students avoid negative academic consequences when their religious obligations conflict with academic requirements. I commit to making every reasonable effort to allow students to observe their religious holidays without jeopardizing your success in this course, and I will not ask you to choose between religious observance and academic work, though you will have to make up any work missed during your absence. Please let me know as early as possible if you notice any conflicts between requirements for this course and your religious observances, so that we can agree to a solution. (adapted from Rice University)

Sample #5

Massachusetts law provides reasonable accommodation for students to be absent for reasons of faith or conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.  In this course, students seeking such accommodation must provide written notice to their faculty within the first two weeks of the course, citing the specific dates for which they will be absent. “Reasonable accommodation” means that faculty will coordinate with the student on scheduling examinations or other activities necessary for completion of the course or program and includes rescheduling examinations or activities or offering different times for examinations or activities. (adapted from Western Washington University

Sample #6

Students are permitted to miss class in observance of religious holidays and other activities observed by a religious group of which the student is a member without academic penalty if they give reasonable notice, at least two weeks in advance of the conflict. Students who miss class in observance of a religious holiday or event are required to make up the coursework missed as a result from the absence. The nature of the make-up assignments and the deadline for completion of such assignments are at the discretion of the instructor. (adapted from Georgia College)

Sample #7

University policy grants students excused absences from class or other organized activities or observance of religious holy days, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship. You must notify me by the end of the first week of classes if you have any conflicts that may require an absence. It is your responsibility to make arrangements with me in advance to make up any missed work or in-class material.(University of Denver)