Chaplain and Dean of Community Life
General Seminary believes that learning to navigate the Christian life in the context of community is a top priority. To further that commitment, this seminary employs a full-time Chaplain and Dean of Community Life whose function is the pastoral care of students, faculty and members of the staff. Neither professor nor administrator, the Chaplain occupies a unique role in promoting programs of health and wholeness for all who frequent the Close, and in keeping an open door to all who seek his assistance.
A glimpse of the Chaplain’s responsibilities reveals an annual retreat for students in all courses of study; frequent group and individual meetings with the Chaplain; pastoral and sacramental care for any and all who seek it: and on-going referrals to spiritual directors, psychotherapists, and other professionals when situations call for such. Supporting family wellness, the Chaplain also organizes retreats every year for the spouses and partners of General students.
Another of the Chaplain's responsibilities is the facilitation of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) which students undertake at the end of their junior year. CPE sites around the country are made available for students to explore; workshops are held to prepare students for this important experience; and CPE supervisors from the area come to the seminary to introduce the program to those who are so enrolled.
As students enter their senior year and begin to seek placement in ministry following graduation, the Chaplain assists them in his role as Director of Deployment Ministry. For those seeking ordination within the Episcopal Church, the Chaplain and members of the faculty provide preparatory sessions to familiarize students with the mechanics and contents of the General Ordination Examinations.
As with any form of ministry within Christ’s Body, the role and function of a resident Chaplain is a living process. New occasions are always teaching new duties, and the opportunities to provide assistance under the tutelage of the Good Shepherd are constantly being shaped.