Walker Bristol, A14, joined the University Chaplaincy as Humanist in Residence in 2014. In 2018, that role was expanded to Humanist Chaplain, alongside the five other Associate Chaplains on the University Chaplaincy staff.
Walker directs the Tufts Humanist Chaplaincy and curates programming for Tufts’ atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, and otherwise non-religious community members. Walker also coordinates chaplaincy resources at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton. In addition to Walker’s work in the Chaplaincy, they are currently serving as a confidential resource for the Tufts Center for Awareness, Education, and Resources.
Born and raised in southeastern North Carolina, Walker graduated from Tufts in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy. They went on to receive their Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 2018, completing research on spiritual care and counseling and intergenerational trauma. Walker was fully endorsed as a Humanist Chaplain by the American Humanist Association in January 2017.
Having written extensively on contemporary atheism and Humanism and movements for justice, Walker has been published in the Huffington Post, The Humanist magazine, Mic.com, and the interfaith engagement blog NonProphet Status. They previously coordinated service programming with the Humanist Community at Harvard for six years, in particular a series of successful meal packing events supporting food insecure families in the Greater Boston area.
In addition to work at Tufts, Walker serves as a per diem staff chaplain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They are a community educator and certified Rape Crisis Counselor with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.
Walker loves music, photography, and carnivorous plants. They regularly attend the Friends Meeting at Cambridge and live in Allston with dear friends.
Walker says, “Many of us don’t realize how valuable chaplaincy can be to support us through life’s transitions, no matter our spiritual background. Nonreligious students need guidance and support just as much as their religious peers and a chaplaincy with open doors to Humanists and people from all walks of spiritual life will naturally help those students build supportive relationships with each other. I believe the University Chaplaincy can and should be a welcoming space for everyone: to confront life’s challenges and celebrate life’s gifts.”