Emory Appoints Rev. Gregory McGonigle as University Chaplain

The University named Rev. Gregory W. McGonigle the next chaplain and dean of spiritual and religious life, according to a July 2 Emory press release. McGonigle, who previously served as chaplain at Tufts University (Mass.), will assume the post in August 2019. 

A 14-member search advisory committee, chaired by Robert Franklin, the James T. and Berta R. Laney professor in Moral Leadership at the Candler School of Theology, conducted the search process for the position after former chaplain Rev. Bridgette Young Ross resigned from her position for medical reasons in Fall 2018. The committee was created in November 2018 and included administrators, faculty members and a student representative.

The search committee spoke with stakeholders at the University, such as faculty from the Candler School of Theology and student religious organizations, according to Franklin.

“Through these invaluable sessions the search advisory committee had the benefit of very concrete and specific questions to ask the candidates, and suggestions for how the next university chaplain should function in the university’s future,” Franklin wrote in a July 4 email to the Wheel.

As chaplain at Tufts University, McGonigle oversaw the Tufts Interfaith Center and worked to improve awareness of Tufts’ religious diversity, according to the Unitarian Universalist Association. At Emory, McGonigle will be “charged with encouraging the enrichment of the spiritual lives and ethical awareness of students, faculty and staff,” according to the press release.

McGonigle is a former president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and serves on the board of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs. Prior to serving as chaplain at Tufts, he served as the director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Oberlin College (Ohio) and as an associate campus minister at the University of California, Davis. McGonigle received his master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School (Mass.).

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