New dean for chapel, director of supervised ministries, to join administration

Two critical administrative positions have been filled at Yale Divinity School, effective this fall. Maggi Dawn, an accomplished author, musician, and theologian currently at the University of Cambridge University, will join YDS and the Institute of Sacred Music as associate dean for Marquand Chapel and associate professor (adjunct) of theology and literature. Lucinda A. Huffaker, executive secretary of the Religious Education Association and former director of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, will be director of supervised ministries.

DawnAt the University of Cambridge, Dawn first had responsibilities as chaplain at Kings College, then at Robinson College. She was also a fellow at Robinson College and taught in the Faculty of Divinity.

“With the help of Colin Britt (acting director of chapel music) and Christa Swenson (liturgical coordinator), we anticipate a robust worship program under her leadership,” said Attridge in announcing the positions.

As chaplain at Robinson College, Dawn has officiated at all daily and occasional offices in the college chapel and at various annual college events.  In addition, among other duties, she has provided pastoral care to students and faculty and managed the college choir.  While at King’s College, she organized and executed the well-known Christmas programs “Carols from Kings” on BBC TV and the “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” on BBC Radio.

From 1984-93 she was a musician, singer/songwriter, and conductor/producer specializing in contemporary liturgical music and released five albums of her own songs.

Early in her career, from 1979-82, she served as a voluntary pastoral assistant at Dilaram House in London, a rehabilitation center for drug users and alcoholics.

Among her recent publications are Accidental Pilgrim: Modern journeys on ancient pathways (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2011) and The Writing on the Wall—High Art, Popular Culture and the Bible (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2011).  She blogs at

Dawn earned her B.A. and Ph.D. degrees, both in theology, as well as a certificate in theology for ministry, at Cambridge.

HuffakerLucinda A. Huffaker, who will oversee YDS student internships in her new position, served for more than a decade as associate director and then director of the Indiana-based Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion prior to joining the Religious Education Association.

“Her extensive experience as an administrator and teacher makes her an ideal director of our program in supervised ministry,” said Attridge.

At the Religious Education Association, Huffaker has administered and overseen daily operations of the organization, which is the academic guild for professors, practitioners, and researchers in religious education.  Concurrent with her work at REA, Huffaker has served as grant program and research manager at the University of Northern Colorado, where she has been in charge of implementing a $1.2 million NSF grant aimed at increasing the representation and advancement of women in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Huffaker was at the Wabash Center from 2002-07, where, among other things, she conceived, designed, implemented, and evaluated seven program areas for religion faculty in the U.S. and Canada, including conferences, consulting, grant programs, research studies, and scholarly publications.

She has taught pastoral theology at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver and religion, popular culture and feminist theology at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN.

Huffaker earned a B.S. in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, an M.A. in religion from Iliff, and a Ph.D. in religious and theological studies from Iliff.

Dawn fills the position previously held by Siobhán Garrigan and, Huffaker, the position held by Barbara Blodgett ’87 M.Div., ’00 Ph.D.  Adele Crawford ‘08 M.Div. and Susan Olson ‘93 M.Div have filled those positions on an interim basis, respectively.

Posted: 07/05/2011