New Yale Chaplain Appointed
Yale president Richard C. Levin has announced the appointment of Sharon Kugler, University Chaplain at Johns Hopkins University and director of JHU Campus Ministries since 1993, as the next University Chaplain when the Reverend Frederick Streets finishes fifteen years of distinguished service at Yale this summer.
In the announcement, President Levin said that “Ms. Kugler is widely recognized as one of the nation’s most creative university chaplains. At Johns Hopkins, she has cultivated a chaplaincy that defines itself by serving the needs of the diverse cultural and religious traditions there. The members of the Search Committee and I were impressed by her success in building programs that support numerous faiths, by her work to facilitate interfaith dialogue, and by her keen pastoral skills that were appreciated by students of every background. She has served as president of both the National Association of College and University Chaplains and the Association of College and University Religious Affairs, and she has earned wide respect for her innovative leadership in interfaith chaplaincy. In recognition of her important role in supporting religious life at Yale, I will be asking Ms. Kugler to join in the regular meetings of Deans and Directors throughout the academic year.”
A graduate of Santa Clara University with a master’s degree from Georgetown, Ms. Kugler is a lay Roman Catholic. According to long-established provisions of the Yale Corporation, since the new chaplain is not a Protestant, the president will appoint someone else to serve as Pastor of the University Church that worships in Battell. He and Ms. Kugler will be consulting with the congregation of Battell “to hear their recommendations about the strengths needed to build the Protestant community on campus.”
Martin Jean, who served on the search committee, expressed his appreciation for the appointment. “Sharon Kugler will bring fresh ideas to the nurturing of the diverse religious communities of Yale’s students, faculty and staff. She is compassionate, warm, authentic, intelligent and creative. We at the Institute look forward to working with her in coming years.”
The new chaplain has expressed her enthusiasm for the collaboration as well. “One of the many exciting possibilities that I am truly looking forward to working on at Yale,” she said, “is the opportunity for a flourishing partnership with the Institute of Sacred Music and the chaplaincy. My sense is that there is a firm commitment to explore together the notion of the sacred across many religious traditions. Whether we are thinking about what makes a space sacred, or a sound or a movement for that matter, we know that the echo of artistic expression runs through all our traditions and can inform us in ways that both enrich and enlighten.”