at Bard College engages with many different people throughout our
community. In all the Chaplaincy does, the aim is to help people
develop a clearer understanding of what they believe, of how they
relate to their own faiths and to those of other faiths. We call
upon the resources of several religious and philosophical traditions
in our work, without asking others to adhere to them. Our concern
is with how the individual integrates his or her own spirituality
within a community of diverse faiths, and with how the community
accommodates the fact of diversity.
Service to the
is committed to enabling students, staff, and faculty to explore
and develop their own spiritual identities. Various academic programs
permit us to see how religious perspectives contribute to our understanding
of who we are as human beings; the Chaplaincy provides us with an
opportunity to practice and experiment on the basis of different
traditions of religion. By historic and active association, the
College belongs to the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican
Communion, but that membership is not taken to limit the scope of
our religious interests. Rather, the chaplains understand that one
of the greatest opportunities of learning is to see oneself and
the world from diverse perspectives such as Buddhism, Christianity,
Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. At Bard College, these great systems
of religion are practiced, not only studied.
has on staff five college chaplains: an Episcopal priest, a Catholic
priest, an imam, a rabbi, and an Anglican priest. The clergy offer
study on a formal and informal basis with members of the college
community who are interested in learning more about their own traditions
or the faith traditions of others. Each chaplain is available for
pastoral care with students, administration, staff, and faculty.
It is the Chaplaincy's
goal to care for members of the college community as they confront
the challenges of living in an academic environment. Integration
of religious practice in these arenas can enhance the lives of those
individuals and that of the institution. We believe that Ňthe sacredÓ
becomes manifest through addressing the whole person, their intellectual,
emotional, physical, and spiritual sides. We work closely with both
the Counseling Service and the office of the Dean of Students to
reach these goals.
supports and advises the Jewish Student Organization, the Muslim
Students Organization, the Christian Students Fellowship, the Buddhist
Meditation Group, and the Catholic community to help students organize
and celebrate regular holy observances and to develop programming
for the campus. In addition, the clergy offer regular weekly worship.
Evensong is observed on Sundays in the Chapel of the Holy Innocents.
The rabbi offers a weekly Sabbath celebration and programming for
other festivals that fall within the academic calendar. The imam
facilitates regular worship through the Muslim calendar. The Catholic
chaplain celebrates Mass on Sundays and holy days, in addition to
providing opportunities for confession and other sacraments and
liturgies. There are several churches in close proximity to the
campus where students are welcome to worship, including St. John
the Evangelist in Barrytown, where one of Bard's chaplains is rector.
While the Chaplaincy
is deeply committed to the development of individual spiritual identity,
we are also concerned to foster a ceremonial tradition that is celebrated
and shared through the strata of the college so that at particular
times faculty, administration, students, and staff gather together
to bear witness to our common life. In addition to our denominational
activities, we also coordinate and participate in a series of ecumenical
events throughout the school year. These vary according to season
and interests. Some examples of past events have been a Festival
of Lights in early December, the building and burning of a labyrinth
at the spring equinox, and a May Day celebration.
Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion; Chaplain of the College; Executive Director, Institute of Advanced Theology
B.A., Bard College; M.Div., General Theological Seminary, ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood; Ph.D., Cambridge University. Books include Abrahamâ€™s Curse; Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography; God in Strength; Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography; Judaic Approaches to the Gospels; Mary Magdalene: A Biography; Revelation; Trading Places; Jesusâ€™ Prayer and Jesusâ€™ Eucharist; Forging a Common Future; and Jesusâ€™ Baptism and Jesusâ€™ Healing. Editor in chief, Bulletin for Biblical Research; founding editor, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Studying the Historical Jesus series (E. J. Brill and Eerdmans). Fellowships and awards: with Jacob Neusner, Choice magazine award, best academic book (1998); Evangelical Scholars Fellowship, Whitney Humanities Center (Yale University); Heinrich Hertz Stiftung, Theological DevelopÂment Fund of the Episcopal Church, National Conference of Christians and Jews. At Bard since 1987.
The Rev. Ginger Grab, an Episcopal priest, is assistant chaplain at Bard and curate at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown. She received a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. from Columbia University, and an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She also completed a year of Anglican studies at General Theological Seminary. For the past 10 years she has been the editor of The Living Pulpit, a professional journal for preachers. An associate with the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard, she has been developing an Evensong program for the College and the surrounding community; during the academic year, this service of candlelight and music takes place at the Chapel at 7:30 p.m. every Sunday.
B.D., Pontifical Urban University, Rome; M.A., St. Johnâ€™s University (Biblical Studies); Ph.D., Fordham University (specialization in the New Testament). Author of The Christian Gospel and Its Jewish Roots: A Redaction-Critical Study of Mark 2:21-22 in Context (Studies in Biblical Literature 131; New York/Berlin/Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009). In addition to being Catholic Chaplain at Bard, he is also the Director of Pastoral Care and Mission Effectiveness at Saint Francis Hospital, in Poughkeepsie, New York. At Bard since 2010.
Rabbi; Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion
B.A., Wesleyan University; M.H.L., rabbinic ordination, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion; Ph.D., New York University. Associate director, ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America; 2005– ); director, Jewish Life Connection, Washington Township, New Jersey (2001–05); rabbi and principal, Garden City Jewish Center, New York (1980–85). Has taught at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, New York University, Adelphi University; guest lecturer at University of Virginia, Wesleyan University, St. Andrew's Presbyterian College, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Vassar College. Contributing editor, Shma (1995â€“2000). Author of Judaism, Physics and God: Searching for Sacred Metaphors in a Post-Einstein World. At Bard since 2008.