Letter to campus community regarding the appointment of new chaplain - January 27, 2017

Dear members of the campus community,

Last June I wrote to inform you that Chaplain Joseph Donnella had announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of this academic year.  We are very grateful for his dedicated service to our community since 1997, and I hope that you will join me in thanking him for the many ways he has supported and guided so many of us over the last 20 years.

I am writing today to announce that we have appointed Chaplain Donnella’s successor. The Rev. Dr. Kristin Largen will take on the role of Associate Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life/ Chaplain, beginning with the coming academic year.  Kristin is currently Dean and tenured faculty member at the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary.  Some of you may be aware that the Gettysburg Seminary is merging with the Philadelphia Seminary effective this summer.  Kristin will share the deanship of the new United Lutheran Seminary through 2017, after which a permanent dean will be appointed.

Kristin is known for her scholarly work and experience on interfaith perspectives and interreligious dialogue.  At the Seminary she is highly regarded as a popular teacher, prolific author, and internationally renowned scholar. 

In her role on our campus, Kristin will help expand spiritual care and interreligious dialogue, embracing students, faculty, and staff who bring to our community a diversity of religious beliefs.  Specifically, she will attend to the religious and spiritual needs of our students, oversee a group of advisors who work with student religious organizations, provide pastoral counselling, expand opportunities for dialogue and discussion about issues of faith and belief, and work on policies and programs to enhance awareness of and respect for diverse religious traditions.  

We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Gettysburg Seminary on this newly configured position.  I encourage you to give Kristin a very warm welcome when she arrives!


Janet Morgan Riggs