Hartford Seminary and Trinity College were the co-hosts for the annual conference of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, which ran from Feb. 10-12 at various locations in Hartford, CT.
The conference’s theme was “The Place & Purpose of Chaplaincy in Higher Education,” and it opened with a plenary session featuring the presidents of the hosting institutions. Joanne Berger-Sweeney, President of Trinity College, and Joel N. Lohr, President of Hartford Seminary, both gave their perspectives on the conference’s theme.
About 150 chaplains from across the country attended the conference, most of which was held at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Workshops interspersed across the three days included topics such as “Postmillennials and Religion,” “Building Resilience in Students and in Ourselves,” and “Spiritual Well-Bring for Black Students at Predominately White Institutions of Higher Education.”
The conference included three other plenary sessions. Tuesday morning’s plenary featured Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, who spoke about the skills, competencies, and qualities needed to be of service as religious and spiritual professionals on campus today.
For Tuesday afternoon’s session, the chaplains traveled to Hartford Seminary to hear Dr. Ingrid Mattson, who founded the Seminary’s Islamic Chaplaincy Program in 2001 and who was the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Dr. Mattson, now the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at Western University in Canada, spoke about a chaplain’s role in removing obstacles for others who are on the path to God, among many other things.
Wednesday’s sessions began with a trip to Trinity College for workshops and meetings and ended with a final plenary session on “Innovation in Perilous Times,” moderated by Shelly Rambo, Association Professor of Theology at the Boston University School of Theology, and John Schmalzbauer of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab.
The video of Dr. Mattson’s presentation is below.