Celebrating religious plurality is goal of staff
Helping University Chaplain Sharon Kugler ensure that the Yale campus is a place where religious diversity is respected and celebrated (read story) are four individuals who represent various faith traditions. The Yale Daily Bulletin asked them to describe their aspirations in their work with the Yale community.
The Reverend Ian Oliver
Senior associate chaplain for Protestant life and pastor of the University Church
“My most important goal is to work with Yale’s University Church and its many Christian groups to establish our creative and constructive role as Christians within a multi-religious university.”
Ian Oliver began his service to the University in July 2008. His professional interests have been at the intersections of college student development, historic Protestant Christianity and interfaith relations. He has been a contributing member of the “Secularity and the Liberal Arts” grant through the Teague Foundation “Big Questions” grant program, exploring issues of meaning, engagement and liberal arts.
The Reverend Callista Isabelle
Associate University chaplain
“My goal is to extend the hospitality of the Chaplain’s Office into the graduate and professional schools, and to provide local community service and reflection opportunities for students of all faith traditions.”
Callista Isabelle is a 2005 graduate of the Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music. She has served in her current post since 2006. An ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she is especially interested in liturgy, global music and the connections between liturgy and social justice.
Coordinator for Muslim life
“As a resource for the Yale community, I strive to offer wholesome, inclusive and nurturing experiences of Islamic learning, practice and engagement for the mind, body and spirit.”
Omer Bajwa was named coordinator for Muslim life at Yale in fall 2008. Born in Pakistan, he immigrated to the United States at the age of three. He completed his graduate certificate in Islamic chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary. His interests include Islam in the United States, interfaith activities, Islam and the global media, and transnational religious and intellectual networks.
Neil Krishan Aggarwal
“My goal is to promote safe and pluralistic exploration of Hindu traditions through fun and interesting academic, cultural, philanthropic and religious event programming while contributing to the overall Yale community.”
Neil Aggarwal is a resident in psychiatry at Yale. After medical school, he studied South Asian religion and anthropology in graduate school. He is interested in cultural psychiatry, psychiatric anthropology and South Asian healing systems.