We are the University Chaplaincy - we are here for you.
Reporting to the University President, the University Chaplain leads the chaplaincy team, which currently includes an Africana Spirituality advisor, Buddhist chaplain, Catholic chaplain, Hindu advisor, Humanist chaplain, Jewish chaplain, Muslim chaplain, and Protestant chaplain. They serve the whole Tufts community – including those without a religious or philosophical affiliation – as well as their particular chaplaincies. The team also includes program and administrative staff, a music director, and student workers. Together, the office supports student communities, interfaith organizations, and university-wide programming.
The Rev. Elyse Nelson Winger became the University Chaplain in October 2020. She leads the University Chaplaincy team in supporting all religious, spiritual, and philosophical life at Tufts; educates about spiritual and ethical issues in society and the world; and coordinates pastoral care, multifaith initiatives, and strategic partnerships around the university and beyond.
Dr. Preeta Banerjee became the Hindu Advisor in August 2020. She is the first person to hold this position. She supports Hindu Life at Tufts, and works to advance the joys, concerns, and needs of the Hindu community.
The Reverend Daniel Bell was appointed Protestant Chaplain at Tufts University in August of 2016. As a member of the University Chaplaincy team, Dan is dedicated to enriching the spiritual and ethical lives of all those affiliated with Tufts, with a focus on the Protestant community. He works closely with the Tufts Protestant Students Association to develop the ecumenical Protestant community on campus. Dan works with students to coordinate worship services, spiritual formation activities, service and social justice projects, and ecumenical and interfaith initiatives. He also provides pastoral care to students, faculty, and staff.
Rabbi Naftali Brawer was appointed Tufts’ Jewish Chaplain and Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel in May 2018. Before coming to Tufts, Naftali was Chief Executive of the Spiritual Capital Foundation, a London-based think tank and consultancy on the centrality of values in organizations. Prior to that role, he was Senior Rabbi to the Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue in Northwest London, one of the largest Jewish congregations in Europe, with close to 1300 members.
Lynn Cooper A02 was appointed Catholic Chaplain in 2008. Since then Lynn has served the spiritual and sacramental needs of our diverse campus community. Lynn seeks to serve those who are united in Catholic life and worship, those who are attracted to the Catholic faith, and the larger Tufts community. Pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, retreats, study groups, and prayer groups extend this ministry to the many dimensions of the lives of students and others in the university community. Lynn also serves as the University Chaplaincy's Associate Director, assisting the University Chaplain with strategy and planning, and leading educational programming.
Anthony Cruz Pantojas was appointed Humanist Chaplain in Summer 2021. As Humanist Chaplain, Anthony supports the Humanist Community at Tufts (HCAT), offers pastoral care, and works alongside the University Chaplaincy team and campus partners on various interfaith, intercultural, social justice, and anti-racism initiatives.
Azmera Hammouri-Davis was appointed Africana Spirituality Advisor in Fall 2020. As Africana Spirituality Advisor, Azmera works in partnership with the University Chaplaincy and the Africana Center to provide opportunities for students to deepen their curiosity, and nourish their critical reflection around spiritual cultivation.
We will be conducting a search process for a new Muslim chaplain.
Ji Hyang Padma, Ph.D.
Ji Hyang Padma was appointed Buddhist Chaplain in July, 2021. In this role, Ji Hyang supports student leaders of the Tufts Buddhist Mindfulness Sangha, develops and facilitates opportunities for all community members interested in practicing and exploring diverse Buddhist traditions and practices on campus, offers pastoral care, and works alongside the University Chaplaincy team and campus partners on various interfaith, intercultural, social justice, and anti-racism initiatives.
Nora Bond joined the University Chaplaincy team in December 2019 as Program Manager. She coordinates programs and outreach efforts to integrate University Chaplaincy with all areas of the university and with external partners. Nora develops and manages departmental outreach and communication strategies for the University Chaplaincy to establish lively engagement with undergraduates, graduate students, staff, faculty, and local organizations. She is charged with overseeing the signature events of the University Chaplaincy, and she supervises the incredible student staff team who work with the office.
Shelby Carpenter joined the University Chaplaincy as Program Coordinator in August 2019. In this role, Shelby supports specific programmatic and outreach initiatives led by the University Chaplaincy staff and students, and supports our department alumni and advancement efforts. Program support includes, but is not limited to: the Spiritual Life Resource Fair and other Fall startup programs, musical concerts (Halloween Organ Concert and Winter Holiday Concert), #GivingTuesday, the University MLK Celebration and Day of Service, the Russell Lecture on Spiritual Life, and the Baccalaureate Service. This position also supports specific communications initiatives, including social media, websites, and publicity development.
Lindsey joined the University Chaplaincy Team in July 2021 as Administrative Coordinator. She provides specialized support to the University Chaplain and to the Chaplaincy to assist in running programs and helping to fulfill the Chaplaincy's mission and goals.
Thomas B. Dawkins was appointed Music Director and Organist in the Tufts University Chaplaincy in August 2018. His main duties are to provide music for the Protestant Evening Worship that takes place weekly in Goddard Chapel, various university events including Matriculation, Baccalaureate, and Commencement, as well as performing and organizing concerts in the chapel such as the Halloween Midnight Organ Recital and Winter Holiday Concert. He also curates instruments and records the monthly tune played by the carillon in the bell tower. He is committed to making the chapel at Tufts a destination for those wishing to hear and to make great sacred music.
Goddard Chapel, 3 The Green, Medford, MA 02155
Graduate Student Interns
Venerable Mahayaye Vineetha
Harvard Divinity School Intern
Ven. Mahayaye Vineetha is a Theravada Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka. He has been trained in the monastic education over 12 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Pali Language and Buddhist Studies from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. After his BA, he sacrificed his time improving monastic education and supporting Buddhist communities around the country. He has followed one-year Buddhist Ministry Initiative program at Harvard Divinity School. He earned his Master of Buddhist Studies degree at The University of Hong Kong. He is now completing his Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School. He enjoys reciting and listening to Pali Suttas. He is eager to learn about diverse faith traditions and their practices. If someone asks him what would be your next goal, he says, he wants to be nothing.