Home / The Reverend Greg McGonigle, University Chaplain
The Reverend Greg McGonigle, University Chaplain
The Reverend Gregory W. McGonigle became University Chaplain of Tufts University on July 1, 2013. Reporting to the President, his duties are to lead the University Chaplaincy team in supporting religious, spiritual, and philosophical life at the university; to educate about spiritual and ethical issues in society and the world; to coordinate multifaith initiatives and pastoral care on campus; and to build strategic partnerships around the university and beyond.
Through his work at Tufts, he has expanded the University Chaplaincy team to include chaplains for Tufts’ Humanist and Buddhist communities; opened two new multifaith meditation rooms to provide added prayer space; revived and rebuilt the Interfaith Student Council and the CAFE Interfaith Social Justice Pre-Orientation Program; and integrated religious and philosophical life into campus efforts to promote diversity, equity, and social justice. He has increased awareness of the university’s religious diversity through implementing leading-edge spiritual interest surveys and has enhanced communications by creating an e-newsletter that now reaches some 8,000 subscribers weekly. In May 2017, he was presented with Tufts’ Faculty/Staff Multicultural Service Award for significant efforts to promote multiculturalism.
Before coming to Tufts, Reverend McGonigle served for five years as Director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music near Cleveland, Ohio. In that role, he built the spiritual and ethical life of the college into a dynamic, collaborative, and integrated multifaith program. He led the college’s involvement in the White House Interfaith Engagement and Community Service Campus Challenge, established interfaith councils for students, faculty, and staff, developed a successful interfaith service program, cosponsored multicultural initiatives, and opened a new Multifaith Center. He also taught courses on interfaith leadership and religions, genders, and sexualities, and sponsored international learning experiences—including an alumni travel seminar to India.
Before serving Oberlin, Reverend McGonigle was a campus minister for four years at the University of California at Davis. He has also served as a minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Boston Living Center—a community resource center for people with HIV/AIDS.
Reverend McGonigle is an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association—a religious tradition rooted in Judaism and Christianity that honors spiritual insights from many sources and promotes progressive principles of personal ethics and social justice.
He received a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, focused on academic chaplaincy, interfaith relations, and American religious history. While at Harvard, he was a researcher for Professor Diana Eck’s Pluralism Project. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Brown University, with a concentration in Religious Studies focused on South Asian religions. For fieldwork, he studied abroad in India with the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Doctor of Ministry candidate at Boston University School of Theology, focusing on liberation theologies.
He has received special training to be: a Field Education Supervisor with Harvard Divinity School and Pacific School of Religion; an International Service Trip Team Leader with the United Methodist Church; a Facilitator of the Our Whole Lives Lifespan Sexuality Education Program; and an All-Options Pregnancy Counselor with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. He led a Young Adult International Service Trip to Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana in 2007, and participated in the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia in 2009. In 2011, he undertook continuing education in Egypt, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine, and in June 2013 he participated in a Niagara Foundation-sponsored interfaith academic delegation to Turkey. During the 2016-17 academic year, he visited Peru to study eco-theology, Cuba to study theology in revolution, and Spain to study interfaith relations in Andalusia. In 2018, he studied Hinduism and Buddhism in Cambodia and Thailand and ethics at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France.
At Tufts, Reverend McGonigle serves on the President’s Mental Health Task Force and the Provost’s Bridging Differences Initiative. For the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, he serves on the Equal Educational Opportunity Committee (EEOC) and the Committee on Student Life (CSL).
Reverend McGonigle is a Past President of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and a member of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs and the American Academy of Religion. He is an Affiliated Minister in The Memorial Church of Harvard University and a member of the Harvard University Board of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life. He also serves on the Yale Humanist Community Advisory Board. He is among the inaugural cohort of fellows for Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s Campus Chaplaincy for a Multifaith World program.
He lives in Somerville and enjoys exercise, reading, films, theatre, and exploring New England and beyond.