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Chaplain Cheryl McDevitt visiting a patient at Brigham and Women's Hospital

What new questions do the changing religious demographics of America present for end of life care--and how are chaplains working today addressing them?

Continuing our annual series on new directions in spiritual care, the Humanist Chaplaincy at Tufts presents a panel of professional chaplains working in hospitals and hospices who are taking unique and progressive approaches to accompanying people through the dying process. We will pay special attention to the growing number of patients and care seekers who don't identify as religious--unaffiliated, 'nones,' atheists, Humanists, and others--and the ways the field of chaplaincy is changed to best support them.

Jason Callahan

Jason Callahan is the Chaplain for the Thomas Palliative Care Unit at VCU Massey Cancer Center and an Instructor for the Departments of Patient Counseling and Pastoral Care at VCU. Jason is a seminary educated secular chaplain, endorsed by the Humanist Society and nationally board certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains.  Prior to coming to VCU, Jason worked as an advertising executive and trauma informed professional counselor. He is passionate about increasing the numbers of non-theistic board certified chaplains. He lives in Richmond with his wife, Erin, and dogs Emmett and Poncho.

Cheryl McDevitt

Cheryl McDevitt has 12 years of experience as an interfaith chaplain in the acute healthcare setting and is an ACPE Associate Supervisor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She is endorsed by the Federation of Christian Ministries and is board certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains.  Cheryl's expertise includes care at end-of-life, behavioral health chaplaincy, and forming spiritual care professionals who are both sensitive and responsive to the spiritual needs of the diverse world we serve. Cheryl lives in Franklin with her spouse, Midge, and enjoys time with her family, cooking and hiking.

Andrew Tripp

Andrew Tripp, MDiv, PhD has been a chaplain for New England Baptist Hospital, and Chelsea Jewish Hospice and Palliative Care. He served on the End of Life Committee for New England Baptist Hospital and serves on the Ethics Committee for Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. Andrew is a Unitarian Universalist, and also serves as the coordinator of ministry for Unity Church of North Easton, MA. Andrew's academic work examines the intersection of ethics and pastoral care in lived religion, and has authored works on spiritual care for folks living with dementia, compassionate care for urban poverty, and pastoral theopoetics. Andrew lives in Arlington with Lynn Cooper, the Catholic Chaplain for Tufts, and Rory, their baby.


Dinner will be catered at 5:30 and the panel discussion will begin at 6:30. Both will be in Goddard Chapel. The program will end at 8pm. All are welcome and encouraged to bring anyone interested! Recieve updates and learn more by RSVPing on the event Facebook page.

This program will be recorded and published online through the Tufts Chaplaincy YouTube channel.

UPDATE: Thank you to all the community members, partners, and panelists who made this year's New Directions panel possible. We're excited to share it far and wide and include everyone interested in this important conversation about the future of end of life care and the changing landscape of religious identity in America. To watch the video of the panel and Q&A, visit the Tufts University Chaplaincy Youtube channel. Feel free to e-mail with any questions or follow up thoughts!