EphBlog welcomes the College’s new chaplain, The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer. From an internal e-mail:

Valerie grew up in West Philadelphia in an African American Pentecostal tradition, participating in several other Protestant traditions before joining the Episcopal Church as a young adult. She went on to become University Chaplain at Framingham State University, where she helped students from a variety of religious and moral/philosophical traditions form and strengthen their communities. She galvanized the student-led development of interfaith programming to encourage learning across traditions and deeply enjoyed assisting students in planning creative rituals and liturgies that deepened their spiritual engagement.

Valerie grew up in West Philadelphia in an African American Pentecostal tradition, participating in several other Protestant traditions before joining the Episcopal Church as a young adult. She went on to become University Chaplain at Framingham State University, where she helped students from a variety of religious and moral/philosophical traditions form and strengthen their communities. She galvanized the student-led development of interfaith programming to encourage learning across traditions and deeply enjoyed assisting students in planning creative rituals and liturgies that deepened their spiritual engagement.

Former colleagues and students, in addition to describing Valerie as a gracious, authentic bridge-builder with a wonderful sense of humor, were quick to point to her ministry’s strong foundation in social justice. One example is Urban Pilgrimage, the unique experiential learning program she developed at Framingham State.

Valerie attended Penn State University, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and Boston University’s School of Theology, and is now completing her dissertation in Anglican Studies and U.S. Episcopal Church History at General Theological Seminary. Her research examines the ancient order of female deacons from the early church, its late-nineteenth century revival, and its role in the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Filling Rick Spaulding’s shoes will not be easy. Best wishes to Rev. Fischer.

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