Finding a Meaningful Chaplaincy Career in a One-of-a-Kind Setting

finding a meaningful chaplaincy career

Choosing and engaging in theological education is a transformative experience. Choosing HIU is a life-changing one. Everything is expressed in our name: Hartford International University for Religion and Peace. We are clergy, chaplains, activists, and above all, peacemakers. No matter which path you choose at HIU, you will be equipped with an open mind, empathetic curiosity, and a desire, and more importantly, the tools to create and support peace.

A Meaningful Career Serving G-d and G-d’s People

For me, chaplaincy is a third career. My bachelor’s degree is in sports management, and I practiced real estate for ten years. When I left corporate life, I sat on a beach in prayerful contemplation trying to discern what would be next. A very clear voice emerged that directed me to serve G-d and G-d’s people. It took another ten years to find my chaplaincy path. Once I found chaplaincy, finding HIU was as big a moment as the one on the beach. 

A Special Community

The HIU community is a special one, like no other, and believe me I did a lot of research. We are truly a cross section of the world in terms of all the metrics by which we humans like to define ourselves. Both in person and online, our campus is a community that cannot be constituted anywhere else. We are united by our love for each other, for humanity, and, in some cases, for the Divine (in many forms). We are people who have no obvious business being in community with each other, but that is what makes it such a gift. We are young, old and young at heart. We are children of Abraham, the Earth and practitioners of all faiths and no faith. All of these and more prepare us for the overwhelming task of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, in ways great and small.

Preparing To Be An HIU-educated Chaplain

This spring I earned a Master’s Degree in Chaplaincy, and I am applying to the Master of Arts in Interreligious Studies program at HIU. I am doing so for a multitude of reasons. The most important reason is that I choose to be an HIU-educated chaplain. Not just board certified, not just CPE trained, but a wholly educated chaplain from a space and community that I feel represents the world I hope to serve lovingly, empathetically, and effectively. 

While the Chaplaincy program has prepared me for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training, I feel that there is more to learn for me to serve all of my G-d’s people in all their diverse beauty. The MAIRS will allow me to deepen my Jewish education, while also giving me a base of interreligious and intercultural dexterity that will allow me to meet and serve more spiritual care seekers where they are in their spiritual journeys. At the final Community Prayer for this year, I read a poem that I composed for my final project in my first unit of CPE that captured my journey to become a chaplain. The final line is I AM a chaplain. My next goal is to be an HIU chaplain.