Religious Centers on Campus
The Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life
7 East 10th Street
New York, NY 10003
The Catholic Center at NYU
238 Thompson Street, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10012
The Islamic Center at NYU
238 Thompson Street
New York, NY 10012
Chaplains at NYU
Global Spiritual Life at NYU hosts 70 chaplain affiliates representing various faiths, denominations, and groups on campus.
Doyeon Park, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Rev. Doyeon Park is a Kyomunim, literally meaning one who devotes oneself to teach Buddha dharma in the Won Buddhism. She is a minister of the Manhattan Won Buddhist temple and the Buddhist Religious Life Adviser at Columbia University. She served as an Alternative Representative of Won Buddhism to the United Nations from 2008 to 2013. Doyeon focuses on creating a sangha (spiritual community) where various individuals and groups can cultivate their inner wisdom and compassion to live with peace and dignity. Inspired by the Buddhist idea of inner freedom and happiness, Rev. Park started her monastic training in 1998. She graduated from Dept. of Won Buddhism, Won Kwang University, Iksan, Korea and earned M.A. of Won Buddhist Studies from Won Institute of Graduate Studies, Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA. She received full ordination in 2007.
Malik Walker, Affiliate Chaplain
I am a Zen practitioner in the tradition and lineage of Kodo Sawaki and Taisen Deshimaru. I received Bodhisattva ordination at the New Orleans Zen Temple where I received the Dharma name Bodhi Hokyu (which means "studies the Dharma deeply"). Since 2007, I’ve had the privilege to lead and provide beginning meditation instruction in a variety of places, most notably the Center for Buddhist Life at Yale University, and with the Bodhi Tree Zen Fellowship at Fordham University. Currently, I serve as the Founding Director of Myrtle Avenue Zen Fellowship in Brooklyn, an affiliate group of the American Zen Association and the New Orleans Zen Temple. Connected to my journey as a Zen practitioner and student, is my general fascination and scholarly pursuits in religious studies. I’ve earned a BA and MA in Religion and am completing a doctorate in Theology at Fordham University. My academic work focuses on the ways interfaith and non-faith perspectives affect our understanding of our social and cultural life and how rethinking our understandings of religion and society can lead to new ways to think about what it means to be human in the here and now. Finally, I am a New Orleans native that makes the tastiest Gumbo this side of the Mississippi!
Sebastian White, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Fr. Sebastian grew up in Maine and went to college in Massachusetts, majoring in Economics. After college, he lived Austria for for years, studying at the International Theological Institute, and working for Franciscan University of Steubenville. During his time there he met the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) in Vienna. In 2008, he entered the novitiate for the province of St. Joseph and was ordained a priest in 2014. He is very happy to be in New York and to be working in the New York University community.
Angela Bacaling, Affiliate Chaplain
Angela Bacaling is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She graduated with a degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Second Language Studies. In college, Angela experienced an incredible encounter with the Lord, which transformed her faith and has inspired her to share the love and mercy of Jesus Christ with others. Angela is entering her first year as a full-time FOCUS missionary and is very excited to be serving the students of New York University. In her free time, Angela enjoys singing, dancing, and exploring coffee shops.
Nicole Michell, Affiliate Chaplain
Nicole is a recent graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, OH with degrees in both Clinical Psychology and Theology. For her college was a time of great fun, but also deep conversion and a blossoming relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. This is her second year serving with FOCUS as a full-time Catholic missionary, and her first year serving at the Catholic Center at NYU. She is incredibly excited about making the move to New York City and soaking in all of the beauty it has to offer! Fun fact? She loves eating cheese and climbing trees!
Ryan Noll, Affiliate Chaplain
Ryan is a recent graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, IN with a degree in Visual Communication. After going to college thinking he would come out with just a degree and some good friends, he had a deep encounter with Jesus along the way. This is his third year serving with FOCUS as a full-time Catholic missionary, and his second year serving at the Catholic Center at NYU. He is really excited to share more about Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church with students of New York. Ryan comes from a family of 6 children and loves all things art: from theatre, to music, to design.
Trevor Sorensen, Affiliate Chaplain
Trevor is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Majoring in bank finance, Trevor planned on working in credit analysis before a transformative meeting with Christ. He entered the Catholic Church in 2015, and his heart began to move towards inviting students to encounter Christ. Trevor is serving in his first year as a missionary with FOCUS, and he is excited to invite students into meeting Jesus Christ in the fullness of the Catholic faith. Trevor enjoys hiking, literature, philosophy, and all things coffee. He also has a deep desire to have a hot dog from a street vendor in every major US city.
Chandrashekar Vellur, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
I have been formally educated in Sanskrit, Vedas, Bhagavad Geeta, Vedanta and Yoga. I started religious education at the age of 7 and continued the same till the age of 20. I have worked as a religion teacher at various centers in Southern India. I have undergone religious studies that relates to Hindu Priesthood and worked at temples in Bangalore, India. I have Masters in Mathematics and Masters in Computer Science. I work as a Financial Functional Analyst at Deutsche Bank, NY. I have been with the Bank for more than 20 years and worked at various centers in Europe before starting work at NY. I volunteer to teach Mathematics, English, and religion at Hindu Temple and as a Corporate Volunteer at different schools.
Umesh Jois, Affiliate Chaplain
From the early age of 17, Mr. Jois has been involved in Hindu spiritual practices. Trained by Pundit Thandi Rama Dixit of Davangere, Karnataka, India, Mr. Jois used to perform poojas at the college dorm and also at devotes houses. After coming to USA in 1976, Mr. Jois continued the same Hindu religious practices performing Hindu religious ceremonies, festival poojas (worship) and weddings for the Hindu community in the northeast USA. Mr. Jois has conducted numerous pooja/prayer/meditation services for devotees either at their residences or at community gatherings. For over six (6) years, Mr. Jois was a part time volunteer priest at the Berlin Hindu Temple in Berlin, New Jersey where he was responsible for complete pooja/prayer/meditation services at the temple on Sundays besides special service times such as Navraatri (festival of nine nights) and Deepaavali (Diwali) (festival of lights. In 2001, sensing the need for spiritual support for thousands of college-going Hindu students, Mr. Jois started a non-profit Omkar Foundation. The mission and purpose of OMkar is to provide an opportunity for college going students to practice Hindu dharma on a regular basis. There is a large and growing Hindu student population in many universities and colleges across the United States that do not have the facility to practice their faith. Our young men and women are in need of spiritual support and religious solace during their young adult years. Religion should be an important part of their life as they pass through their most critical years and establish their identities. At present, Hindu students are the only major religious group in colleges and universities that do not have the benefit of religious services on or near campuses. As the organizer of Omkar Foundation Mr. Jois is responsible for training community volunteers who reach out to university students and perform religious services. He is also responsible for designing and developing a uniform religious service program that is followed by all volunteers performing services and also making available all items need for the service. The service schedules are set-up at the beginning of the academic semester/trimester/quarter and volunteers are scheduled for service. As a registered marriage officiant in the City of New York, Mr. Jois has conducted numerous weddings in NY, NJ, PA, DE and MD.
Sangeetha Kowsik, Affiliate Chaplain
My name is Sangeetha Kowsik. I grew up inside a Hindu Temple, no literally quite. My father was involved in the planning stages of Flushing Maha Ganapathi Temple in the late 70's before moving out to California where he met and married my mother and had me. He was a founder and builder of the Shiva Vishnu Temple in Livermore, CA. My mother is a classically trained Carnatic (devotional classical south Indian music) vocalist and would sing at the temple everyday. I grew up inside that temple surrounded by devotional music and art. I would watch the sculptors bring the temple to life. Many of the murthis (idols) stayed at our house before the temple space was consecrated and they were moved. I threw a huge tantrum (I was 5 years old). As you can see my deep love, adoration, and devotion to Ganesha began very early on. At age 17 I moved to NYC to attend Parsons School of Design and went straight to the Flushing Maha Ganapathi Temple with bright blue hair and a sketchpad. It literally took my breath away, I was in awe, completely at peace, and full of joy. I attended the Ganesha puja/abhishekam every Sunday without fail. I am a designer/artist by profession and have always received my inspiration and passion from religion, not just Hinduism but other faiths as well. I hold a degree in Arabic Calligraphy (calligraphy is sacred in Islam and used to praise God), I love painting especially by Filippo Lippi who painted Christian themes, and Jewish gilded manuscripts. I was the Senior Designer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I had the opportunity to further deepen my understanding of religious art and iconography. In my 30's I discovered Broome Street Temple in Manhattan. There I found myself teaching others prayers, cleaning the temple, and helping the priests with religious rites since most of the devotees were recent converts to the religion, it was up to me to teach them. It brought me so much joy to make flower garlands, pick Ganesha's outfit for the evening (I studied fashion, of course I adore the process of alanakaram or adornments) , and teach everyone the Durga Stostram. Unfortunately that temple closed due to high real estate prices. I continue to attend Flushing temple where I help the priests with flowers and garlands and designed the logo for their young folks group called "akshayam" or limitless in Sanskrit. I got involved with NYU last year upon meeting a NYU student at Flushing. I helped build the temple at NYU and every week would try and teach them a new prayer or host lectures or some sort of activity to help them better understand what it means to be a Hindu or what Hindu religion is. I am truly grateful and blessed to be involved in NYU, and around such amazing folks and students. It brings me so much joy and happiness and I hope this initiative will continue to grow and flourish.
Dr. Anne Klaeysen, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Anne Klaeysen is clergy leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture and co-Dean of The Humanist Institute. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral care and counseling from Hebrew Union College. Anne was raised Roman Catholic in a small village in western NYS. She discovered the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture as a compromise venue for her marriage to an Orthodox Jew. Soon it became their religious community, and they raised their two children there.
Frank Fredericks, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith, a global movement to end religious violence, and Mean Communications, a digital agency for social good. After working in the music industry, managing artists such as Lady Gaga, Frank founded World Faith in 2008. He has been recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, and is a Fellow Alumnus of Leading for Impact at Oxford Skoll Centre, AMENDS at Stanford, IFYC, Soliya, Ariane de Rothschild, and YouthActionNet. He did his BM at NYU and his MBA at Oxford University as a Global Shaper Scholar.
Julie Novas, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Rev. Julie Novas, Esq., LMSW is an Ordained Interfaith Minister, Reiki Teacher, Holistic Health Counselor, Social Worker and Attorney living, loving and working in NYC. A native of the Bronx, she was born and raised Roman Catholic and found her spiritual home in Buddhism and Earth-based/ Indigenous practices. A practitioner of the dharma since 2004, in the fall of 2013, Rev. Julie sat her first 86 day extended meditation retreat. Recently, she completed the 2.5 year Community Dharma Leader teacher training program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of race, class, gender and oppression. She supports others in examining structures and institutions through a holistic, social and legal lens to promote resistance/resiliency to oppression, social justice and social change. Currently, she works as a Mental Health Coordinator, is an Item Writer with ASWB for the national licensing exam for social workers and is an Adjunct at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. She loves reading, soaking in the sun and being in nature.
Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU
Yehuda Sarna, University Chaplain
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna is a visionary, inspiring and highly personable rabbi known for his passion, sensitivity, creativity, and openness. A communal leader, teacher and innovator, he serves as the Skirball Executive Director of the Bronfman Center and University Chaplain of NYU. Rabbi Sarna and his family live in Gramercy Green, where he is Chaplain-in-Residence, and maintain an "open home" to students. He is married to Dr. Michelle Waldman Sarna and father to Batya, Maayan, Moshe, David, Amital and Hillel.
Nicole Lyn DeBlosi, Affiliate Chaplain
Named in 2015 by the Jewish Daily Forward as one of America's Most Inspiring Rabbis, Rabbi Nikki Lyn DeBlosi is passionately dedicated to pluralist Judaism, feminism, and LGBTQ rights. She holds a BA summa cum laude in Women’s Studies from Harvard University and both an MA and a PhD in Performance Studies from NYU. She has taught in the Religious Studies, Performance Studies, and Expository Writing Departments at NYU. Rabbi Nikki is the NYU Bronfman Center's Reform Rabbi, and her work spans the Reform, egalitarian Jewish, LGBTQ communities, but of course she's happy to speak of students from all Jewish denominations and indeed all faiths. A convert to Judaism (raised Roman Catholic), she is particularly happy to discuss spiritual change, doubts, and questions. She’s also happy to talk pop culture, science fiction, HBO’s GIRLS, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Game of Thrones! Rabbi Nikki lives in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, with her wife Rachel and their young sons Ilan and Ethan.
Meor: Traditional, Halachkic Judaism
Aaron Eisemann, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Rabbi Aaron Eisemann, affectionately known as Rabbi E, can't seem to graduate the college scene. After graduating from Yeshiva Derech Chaim Rabbincal Institute in Brooklyn, he has been on campus for 14 years and counting. He began his career teaching Jewish wisdom to the University of Michigan students in Ann Arbor. He then headed east, and continued to teach and inspire university students in lower Manhattan. Rabbi E loves eating doughnuts and spending time with his wife, Tziporah, and their beautiful family. Rabbi E has lots of great qualities, with a possible exception of his sense of humor, which many agree is steadily improving.
Adam Diccicco, Affiliate Chaplain
I grew up in Denver, Colorado and moved to New Jersey for the opportunity to work with the inspired NYU students with MEOR! It's hard to leave the Rocky Mountain slopes and white-water rafting opportunities behind but so far, it's been worth it for the thrilling work on and off campus! Fun fact: it's never too late to learn something new; I picked up homebrewing and guitar this past year!
Congressional Magen David of Manhattan
Sion Setton, Partner Chaplain
Rabbi Sion Setton, born in Brooklyn’s Sephardic Syrian community, currently serves as the Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of Congregation Magen David of Manhattan. He received his undergraduate degree and rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University. Throughout his rabbinical studies, Rabbi Setton taught at various institutions such as the Ramaz School and the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue. He also has coordinated and participated in different educational and humanitarian missions around the world, traveling to Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Thailand, England, Spain and Panama. Rabbi Setton is a committed techy who believes in the integration of modern technology with religious and educational initiatives. He serves as a teacher and the Director of Educational Technology at Barkai Yeshiva and also founded www.TorahCentral.com, an online platform that highlights various educators around the world. He the Chairman and co-founder of the Downtown Manhattan Va'ad. Rabbi Setton is married to Mijal Bitton, a doctoral student at NYU and Jewish educator.
Khalid Latif, University Chaplain
Imam Khalid Latif is a University Chaplain for New York University, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, and a Chaplain for the NYPD. He is also the co-founder of Honest Chops, the first-ever all-natural/organic halal butcher in NYC, the Muslim Wedding Service, an agency specializing in providing charismatic and inspirational marriage officiants for wedding ceremonies, and a partner in the MKO Group, an investment group that owns and operates multiple Edible Arrangements franchisees in Manhattan.Under his leadership, the Islamic Center at NYU became the first ever established Muslim student center at an institution of higher education in the United States. Imam Latif’s exceptional dedication and ability to cross interfaith and cultural lines on a daily basis brought him recognition throughout the city, so much so that in 2007 Mayor Michael Bloomberg nominated Imam Latif to become the youngest chaplain in history of the New York City Police Department at the age of 24. Most recently, Imam Latif was selected as one of 60 NYC leaders to serve on May Bill Deblasio’s Transition Team, helping to recommend and select individuals for key roles in the current NYC administration and also appointed to a “Task Force to Combat Hate” by NYC Public Advocate Tisch James to deal with the rise in Islamophobic, anti-semitic and anti-sikh sentiment in NYC.
Faiyaz Jaffer, Affiliate Chaplain
Faiyaz Jaffer attained an MA degree in Islamic Studies (UK), with a concentration on early Islamic history, after his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook University in Political Science and Religious Studies. He has had his research published by academic journals. In pursuing the classical course of Islamic education, Faiyaz studied in the Seminary of Karbala, one of the most prominent centers for Islamic learning. He currently continues his fieldwork as part of the Islamic Research Institute in New York. As a faith leader and social activist, Faiyaz Jaffer has lectured at various universities, seminars, and workshops across the United States, Canada, Europe, East Africa, and the Middle East. Due to the political and social climate, he has been making strides in the greater New York area by taking part in a number of interfaith seminars and discussions in the aspiration of increasing dialogue with various faith leaders. As a highly sought after lecturer and religious leader, Faiyaz regularly leads prayer services and delivers sermons across North America.
Mona Haydar, Affiliate Chaplain
Mona Haydar is a rapper, poet, activist, practitioner of Permaculture, meditator, composting devotee, mountain girl, solar power lover and a tireless God-enthusiast. She practices a life of sacred activism, poetry, contemplation and advocacy for living gently upon the Earth. She teaches classes, gives lectures, leads retreats and workshops, does readings and performs her work. She grew up in Flint, Michigan, graduated from the University of Michigan and has since lived in Damascus where she studied Arabic and Islamic spirituality then went on to live in the mountains of Northern New Mexico at Lama Foundation and in the Redwood forest of Northern California with her husband and son.
Poetry and Music: Mona started penning her poetry as soon as she was old enough to write. One of her first poems in a kindergarten journal went: “I am mood. I am dude. I am Mona.” Mona transitioned from writing and performing her poetry to rap in 2015. Her single Hijabi was a ground breaking debut with over a million views on youtube and another million on Facebook which featured Mona 8 months pregnant with her second son, surrounded by an intersectional group of dynamic women rapping and singing “all around the world love women every shading” calling out racism and colorism. Mona’s second single takes on violence against women with lyrics which call out men in positions of religious authority who use their power to prey on young (and old) people.
Ask A Muslim: Mona and her husband, Sebastian set up a stand in Cambridge, Massachusetts with signs that read ‘Talk to a Muslim’ ‘free coffee and donuts’ ‘free conversation’ and ‘Ask a Muslim’ encouraging open and loving dialogue which garnered the attention of NPR, Al Jazeera, The Boston Globe among other media outlets.
Currently Mona is working on her second collection of poems and her first work of nonfiction on Islamic Spirituality through the lens of other spiritual traditions. She is working towards her Masters in Theology. Mona helps to grow a more universal love with her activism, writing, performing and teaching.
Kevin Niemann, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Kevin graduated with a Speech Communication major and Spanish minor from Texas A&M University in 1995 where he served as a resident director of one of the school’s oldest residence halls. Since graduating, he has served in campus ministry at Texas Tech University, Samara State University in Samara, Russia and Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. Kevin and his family returned to the Texas in 2009 to work with Bridges International – a ministry to provide service opportunities, social networking and spiritual resources for international students. After three years in Texas, Kevin and his wife began to miss life in the city and decided to move to New York to help with the needs of international students here in the greatest city in the world. In 2014, Kevin finished his Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, discovering new cultures, hanging out with his two children and biking around the city.
Carson Millender, Affiliate Chaplain
I am married to my wife Sabrina and we have 1 daughter and 1 child on the way. I grew up in the Christian church but my faith really became my own in college. That was where I truly began to follow Jesus. I like to play all sports, read, and learn other languages.
Michaela Millender, Affiliate Chaplain
Michaela was born and raised in Texas, with Tex-Mex and bluebonnets a plenty. She attended the University of Oklahoma, with a semester spent living in Italy, and graduated with a degree in International and Area Studies and an Italian minor in 2014. Post graduation, she began working in campus ministry at the University of Oklahoma for two years before moving to New York City to work with Bridges International. She and her husband, Carson, love traveling to new places, experiencing different cultures and their respective cuisines, and have extremely high standards for barbeque.
Matt Pursley, Affiliate Chaplain
Matt lives in Harlem with his wife Sabrina and two daughters, Hazel and Eleanor. He has a passion for diversity and loves interacting with people from all over the world. He loves learning languages . As a christian, he enjoys respectful dialogue with all other religious and non-religious worldviews. He works with Bridges International, a non-profit seeking to serve international students as they walk through life here at NYU.
Mary Catherine Young, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
“Mary Cat” Young is an Episcopal priest who has spent fifteen years working with youth, college students and young adults in Minnesota, Massachusetts, South Carolina and New York. Mary Cat and her husband Chad are enjoying the art of becoming parents to their one year old daughter Dorothy Sue and their mini-schnauzer “The Enforcer." Mary Cat has been active in church work on the local and national level, most recently having been a member of the task force that developed rites for blessing same-sex relationships in Episcopal Churches nationwide. Favorite hobbies include: knitting, baking chocolate chip cookies, and reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books.
Natalie Perkins, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Natalie graduated from Union Theological Seminary and was awarded the Karen Ziegler Feminist Preaching Prize. As a minister and professional performer, she is now working on several projects that marry art and spirituality. Additionally, she works with the Westar Institute to help bridge the gap between religious academia and the general public and is the co-founder of the Tanho Center for a New New Testament. She can usually be found working on one of her writing projects, traveling to churches around the country to lecture on extra canonical texts, or performing with the USO Show Troupe. In her spare time, she struggles to keep her plant, Otis, alive.
Ian Lau, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Ian immigrated to the US with his family during eighth grade. He became a Christian in high school and entered NYU as a freshman in 2001, when he joined Compass Koinonia (CK). After graduation, Ian stayed on to serve in CK and started working full-time in technology in the financial industry, where he still works today. He is currently director of Compass Koinonia undergrad at NYU and a member of Compass Fellowship Church. Ian enjoys badminton, street food, and sushi. Some of his favorite authors are John Piper, David Platt and Ravi Zacharias. He is married to Jackie, whom he met at CK as an undergrad.
Matthew Chin, Affiliate Chaplain
My name Is Matthew Chin and I am a Chinese American who was born and raised in NYC. I grew up in a family that was not religious and it was not until my sophomore year in high school that I was first exposed to Christianity. It wasn’t until the summer before the start of my junior year in college that I began attending bible study and church regularly. I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior in September 2003. I have been actively involved in college ministry ever since and continue to strive to grow deeper in my relationship with Christ. I am an avid baker and I first learned how to play drums using chopsticks and paper plates.
Jackie Lau, Affiliate Chaplain
Jackie grew up in Brooklyn, New York with her parents and older sister. She first met Compass Koinonia (CK) at New York University when she was an undergraduate student in the business school. It was there that Jackie committed her life to Jesus. She was involved in CK from freshmen through senior year, and upon graduation, continued to serve in the ministry. She currently works full-time in human resources for a financial services company. She is a member of Compass Fellowship Church with a passion for both local and international missions. She loves food, games, shopping and volleyball! Jackie met her husband, Ian, at CK at NYU. They’ve been married since October 2007 and are currently residing in the Greenwich Village area.
Vinny Wong, Affiliate Chaplain
Vinny was born and raised in New York and graduated from Columbia University with an engineering degree and from Baruch College with an accounting degree. At Columbia, she was introduced to Compass Christian Koinonia (CCK), the sister group of NYU’s Compass Koinonia (CK), where she began her spiritual journey. Five years and one million questions later, Vinny finally convinced the skeptic inside her (the product of being a scientist and a New Yorker) that there is no greater truth than Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Lord of her life. She recently joined the staff at CK and looks forward to experiencing God through this ministry. Vinny is easily amused and has a penchant for laughter, so don’t be afraid to say hi! Despite popular suspicion, she promises she is not a spy for NYU’s Upper West Side rival and she is genuinely excited to be a part of the NYU community.
Brittany Brock, Affiliate Chaplain
I grew up in a Christian home in South Carolina but didn’t start exploring what I truly believed until I went to college at Winthrop University. I graduated from there with my B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Religion. While in college I discovered what it looked like to have a personal relationship with God through His son Jesus through getting involved with a Christian organization where my faith really began to grow and develop. After college I taught middle school science with Teach for America in Rural Eastern North Carolina for 2 years before working with Cru. Fun Fact: I enjoy roaming around New York and finding great local coffee shops and restaurants.
Ashley Coffey, Affiliate Chaplain
Ashley graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in Business Management in 2013. She became a Christian in college after witnessing a vibrant community within Cru. It was through those relationships that God's personal connection to people became tangible. Being known by God transformed her life and ignited a passion to see other college students experience a relationship with their loving Creator. Ashley loves trying new things (food, activities, coffeeshops, recipes..) and exploring new places. Ashley enjoys being active. If she could, everyday would be an 'outdoor day' with fun trails to walk and beautiful sites to see.
David Coffey, Affiliate Chaplain
David joined the full time staff of Cru after graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2008. It was a natural fit, because he has a passion to see young men lead both courageously and compassionately and to help college students grow in their faith. He is a right-brained visionary type with a need for creative outlets. He loves shooting videos, writing new music and learning as much as he can! He is a fan of mind-bending films like Inception, The Dark Knight and The Matrix; and thought provoking authors like Tim Keller, CS Lewis and John Piper. He is a lifetime student of theology and lover of the Bible.
Sam Gryzwa, Affiliate Chaplain
Sam was born in Wisconsin, and experienced Christianity in his family and at church from a young age. However, for most of his life until college ‘religion’ just meant a moral system of rules. He came into college as a nominal Christian, totally consumed with himself. A number of senior students involved with Cru befriended him early his freshmen year, and their love, care, and sacrifice had a transformational impact on his understanding of God. He began to cultivate a real, active relationship with Jesus on his own for the first time; it completely changed his life. Soon, God began to give him a passion to reach other students like himself with the Gospel. This strongly influenced his decision to spend his first year out of college reaching Muslim students in the Middle East. In the years since, it has led him to invest his time, talent, and resources in helping students everywhere fall in love with Jesus and learn to follow God for a lifetime. He loves New York City, plays cello & piano, writes music, reads books, adventures with his wife, and eats a good burger as often as he can (..which is too often).
Encounter Christian Fellowship
Jonathan Gong, Affiliate Chaplain
Jonathan was born and raised in Manhattan and graduated from CUNY Baruch for undergraduate studies. He has been an active part of Encounter since 2008 and it has played a pivotal part of his personal growth in faith. It was through being invested in that he loves to invest back into the next generation and desires to see many students fall deeper in love with Jesus. Jonathan loves to spend time with friends, delights in good food, and can often be found listening to music.
Cindy Wei, Affiliate Chaplain
Cindy Wei grew up mischievously terrorizing Sunday School classrooms in Chinese-American churches along the East Coast. While she spent her childhood as a smart aleck Bible know-it-all, it wasn't until her junior year at the University of Pennsylvania that the incredible truth of God's prodigal love for her really clicked. When it did, Cindy's entire life became consumed by one passion: letting God love on her and letting other people watch. Her prayer for Encounter is that it would truly become a powerful and intimate meeting place for an affectionate God and His beloved children. Her end-game is to chase after Jesus as hard as she can, and bring as many people as possible with her. In Cindy's spare time, you can find her journaling with Bae (i.e. Jesus) at cute cafes, trying to cook, and Zumba-ing it all out.
Evangelical Lutheran Church
Rebecca Seely, Affiliate Chaplain
Becca Seely is a Lutheran pastor who works with college and graduate students throughout New York City. She was not raised in church and first began to explore questions of faith when she was in college. As a result, Becca is particularly passionate about working with young adults who are asking questions about God and what gives our lives meaning and purpose. She love hearing people's stories, learning new things and discovering the unexpected ways God is working in the world around us. In her free time, she enjoys running and biking in Central Park, hanging out with her wife, Abby, and planning elaborate theme parties. Becca is an active member of Proclaim, the professional community for LGBTQ Lutheran clergy.
Every Nation Campus Ministries
Selene De Los Santos, Affiliate Chaplain
Selene De Los Santos moved to New York City to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in 2004, in pursuit of an acting career. Shortly after graduating AMDA she realized that she had a great desire to help people in a greater capacity. As a result she furthered her education by going to Hunter College and joined the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, itwas through serving with this organization that awakened her passion to be in ministry. During her summer break she attended the Every Nation School of Campus Ministry in Nashville, Tennessee, in which, she gained the foundation of being a campus minister. When she came back to New York City in the winter of 2010, she transferred to The New School where she focused on Creative Art’s Therapies and received a BS in Liberal Arts. During this time she continued to minister to students through Every Nation Campus Ministries (ENCM). Selene graduated and married in 2012 and now has a toddler. And just a fun fact, she secretly loves watching cartoons! Selene is very excited to continue working with students and facility at NYU through Every Nation NYC and Every Nation Campus Ministries (ENCM).
Fernando De Los Santos, Affiliate Chaplain
Fernando De los Santos moved to New York City from the Philippines to attend St John’s University in 2004, in pursuit of a doctorate in Pharmacy. During his freshman year of college, he was connected to the Every Nation New York Church and the Every Nation Campus Ministries New York staff and became part of their church family. It was through the relationships with his church and the campus ministry that he took to heart the call of God’s love in his heart and was empowered to minister the gospel of Jesus to his university. Serving alongside Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, he then led multiple bible studies, musical worship services, and ministered to his colleagues. As a result, St. John’s University has an Every Nation Campus Ministry presence which continues to serve students in the reinforcement of their faith. Fernando currently lives in Harlem with his wife and works as a Pharmacist at an independent community pharmacy in the Chelsea area.
International Students, Inc.
Kenny Chau, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Kenny grew up in NYC’s Chinatown where he played lots of basketball and developed street smarts. After completing a term with the US Army Reserve and undergraduate studies at SUNY Buffalo, Kenny returned to lower Manhattan to help immigrant youth and their families adjust to life in the Big Apple. Kenny and his wife, Cindy, also spent a memorable 2004-2005 living in Beijing. In 2008, Kenny received a Master of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and returned to NYC to pastor at his home church association until 2014. With excitement to be part of a chaplaincy team at NYU, Kenny is committed to help international students and their families thrive in this thrilling city. Though Kenny still plays basketball, the only quickness in his game is how fast he gets tired. Lastly, Kenny enjoys savory dishes of all cultures, strategic board games and gets a kick out of being mischievous with their kids, Joey and Makayla.
Joshua Ong, Partner Chaplain
Joshua Ong is a Southern Baptist Pastor at a Chinese Church in Chinatown. He received his M.Div from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he also has is MA in ESL from the University of Arizona and his BA from Biola University. He once finished the Gallon Challenge (of Milk) and is now lactose intolerant.
Jason Casper, Affiliate Chaplain
Jason grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to New York City in the Spring of 2001. It was his experience of witnessing the 9-11 attacks firsthand that helped guide him into a relationship with Jesus Christ. He worked as a professional graphic designer and art director at various advertising agencies for 13 years before feeling called to do international student ministry with ISI. Jason's interest for cross-cultural ministry began 2006. He has also been active in compassion ministry to the homeless for many years through Calvary Baptist Church and The Bowery Mission. Jason loves most things jazz and enjoys playing guitar.
Isabel Hodges, Affiliate Chaplain
Isabel grew up in China. Soon after she became a Christian she attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. She has worked in administrative, children, and youth positions, and served as the principle at a Chinese school. She enjoys working with and building bridges among students from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds from around the world and enjoys the opportunity to use English, Mandarin, and Cantonese to help students survive and thrive during their educational stay in the US and in New York City. In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking and exploring nature. Currently Isabel and her husband live in Queens, NYC.
International Students, Inc.- New York Chinese Baptist Church
Adam Ben Ing, Partner Chaplain
Adam Ben Ing graduated from Alliance Theological Seminary in May 2004 with a Master of Divinity and was ordained by the American Baptist Churches of Metro NY in September 2008. He has been serving a the English Ministry pastor in the New York Chinese Baptist Church for 12 years. You can find him occasionally biking to a park in his Flushing neighborhood with his three year old son Noah in the backseat.
Winnie Ling, Partner Chaplain
Winnie currently ministers at a New York Chinese Baptist Church as the Outreach Coordinator. Her church partners with International Students Incorporate to minister to international students. Her social work and college ministry background shapes her style of witness. She has deep Brooklyn roots and is always open to sharing her love for the borough with the rest of the world.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Trevor Agatsuma, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
I was born in Seattle which at the time had one of the lowest rates for church attendance in the country. I am grateful that growing up as a Christian in this environment caused me to ask critical questions about what I was brought up in. This has greatly strengthened my faith. I have had many conversations with friends where we disagree in fundamental ways on our worldview. But instead of bringing discord these conversations brought us closer together as friends. I hope to bring more conversations like this to the university. I also love hiking, running, Spartan Races and listening to NPR Podcasts.
Anna Lee-Winans, Affiliate Chaplain
Anna Lee-Winans is a lay campus minister for the last 13 years at New York University serving through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She currently serves graduate students and faculty. Prior to InterVarsity, Anna was a social worker in a pediatric AIDS clinic in the Bronx. She is an alumna of NYU, graduating with a BA in Journalism (’97) and an MSW (’01). Born and raised in New York City, she has had an ecumenical faith journey: baptized Lutheran, grew up Methodist, educated in Catholic parochial schools, made a decision to follow Jesus at NYU through InterVarsity, enjoyed Pentecostal and Brethren denominations, and attends an Episcopal and non-denominational Protestant church. Anna enjoys hosting friends over good food, listening for God in your story, and laughing with her husband and daughters.
Chelsea Whitfield, Affiliate Chaplain
Chelsea Whitfield serves at a Campus Minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Graduate and Faculty Ministries focusing on ministry among international students and scholars. She is passionate about seeing international student thrive during their time in the U.S. both in their academic and spiritual pursuits. Chelsea is a member of New Life Fellowship Church in Elmhurst, Queens where she worships and serves. She loves trying new cuisines and would love to have a meal with you!
Emily Yung, Affiliate Chaplain
I am a Christian and a Campus Minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in New York. I grew up in New York City, attended undergrad in Boston, and worked with InterVarsity at colleges in the city of Boston for the past 5 years. I love mentoring and investing in students who want to learn more about God's love for them, and fostering space for anyone to ask their questions freely. In my downtime, I like to bike around and explore the city, find new ice cream shops to try out, and spend time with my family and pets.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (Graduate and Faculty Ministries)
David Michael Williams, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
David Williams is a campus staff member for InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries at NYU where he serves as a university chaplain, pastor, and advisor for the medical, dental, and law student fellowships. A native of Raleigh, NC, David joined InterVarsity in 2011 and spent his first two years on staff serving the Graduate & Faculty Ministries at NC State University, Meredith College and Campbell Law School. David holds masters’ degrees in biblical studies and theology from Westminster Theological Seminary and Duke Divinity School, and is a devoted lifelong learner. David is passionate about helping people to love God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength and to love their neighbors as themselves. David and his lovely wife Alissa live in Brooklyn, and David is pursuing ordination as a Presbyterian minister. You can follow David’s ministry at his blog, 10000places.com . A fun fact about David is that he briefly held the record for number of hot dogs consumed in a lunch-hour at Ashworth’s Drugstore in Cary, North Carolina.
Judson Memorial Church
Donna Schaper, Partner Chaplain
I enjoy being neighborly and love having a positive connection with NYU through the Spiritual Life Center. For years my institution has quarreled with NYU over both small and large matters. It is a pleasure to be able to be ecumenical across the street, a street which goes both ways. My theology is post-denominational and progressive so this access to a sparkling ecumenicity makes me very happy indeed.
Dong Kim, Partner Chaplain
Dong Whan is seasoned KCCC staff having served in the ministry well over 30 years. However, he still have a youthful passion and devotion for Christ from the time they first joined staff. He had served as the Regional Director for KCCC in Los Angeles for 16 years and is now the National Director of KCCC USA. Dong Whan has two sons, Moses and David. He has been disciples and infused with a passion for helping to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.
Min Han, Affiliate Chaplain
Min was raised in Queens NY and graduated from St. John's University with a Bachelors of Science in Homeland Security. During his freshmen year in college, he encountered Jesus in such a powerful and loving way through the community of Korea Campus Crusade for Christ ministry. Since then he has been passionate about helping the next generation grow in leadership and knowing Christ. Along with ministry, Min proudly serves as an Officer in the United States Army Reserve.
Eunshil Lee, Affiliate Chaplain
I like to think of myself as privileged because I get to live out the life that I wanted to live out because I meet students at where they are, help him see them as better persons through the lenses of God and live out their life to the fullest. I was blessed by KCCC college ministry in my college years so i wanted to give back by helping staffs financially but God has called me to be a staff instead.
Soo Ho Park, Affiliate Chaplain
I became a Christian at my 3rd year in college. After receiving my degrees in Physics from Seoul National University, I worked at R&D in LG headquarter for 2 years and started my seminary study. After serving as young adults’ pastor at Sarang Community Church for several, I came to America for further studies. I thank God for giving us opportunity to helping Korean international students (KCSA students) on campuses in New York since 2003, teaching the Old and New Testaments, helping students to deal with conflicts in relationship with parents, friends, professors and to overcome difficult circumstances in studying as international students, and counselling them to choose jobs and further study for the next step under pressure of their future. I have been I’m married and have two sons and a daughter. As a forever friend of young adults, I like what young adults like, eating, chatting, and sporting. I love to hike, play tennis, and drink tea.
Reformed University Fellowship
Madeline Francis, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Madeline Francis serves as campus staff with Reformed University Fellowship at NYU. Hailing from the Sunshine State, she graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2014 with a degree in English Literature. Her college experience was transformed by the community she found at RUF. She moved to New York City in August 2015 to work with RUF. She is obsessed with cookies from Levain Bakery on the UWS, Flannery O'Connor short stories, and the podcast This American Life.
Matthew Terrell, Partner Chaplain
Matt was transformed by RUF during his undergraduate years at Clemson University. Through RUF, Matt recognized his need for God's grace and how it changed everything. He also met his wife, Megan, while serving on the RUF worship team. They have three children, Eliot (2011), Zoey (2013) and Margaret (2016). Matt graduated from Clemson in 2007 with a B.S. in Construction Science and Management. After a year and a half working in the construction industry, God called Matt and Megan to seminary in St. Louis where they both earned graduate degrees. From there he served as RUF campus minister at Samford University in Birmingham, AL for four years until coming to NYC to work with City Campus. Though now in New York City, he still cheers for his hometown Atlanta Braves and Clemson's football team. He also likes fly fishing,sketching, reading, watching Seinfeld, and eating donuts.
Remnant Christian Fellowship
Jessica Fang, Affiliate Chaplain
Jessica, a Southern California native, graduated from New York University. In college, she accepted Christ and began to understand what it means to be in community and experience God's grace in a deeply intimate way. After Jessica accepted Christ, she decided to dedicate her life to church ministry. She has served as a college ministry family group leader for 2.5 years and as a ministry leader for one year. She joined staff at Remnant Westside Church in 2015 and was reminded of the conviction that God is faithful to the desires of her heart. Jessica loves to witness people encounter the love of the Father and step into their heavenly identities as sons and daughters, a powerful Kingdom truth that has personally grounded her in her faith. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the streets of NYC, eating ice cream and laughing. She longs to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth and see people encounter the amazing love of the Father.
Joel Park, Affiliate Chaplain
Joel Park, born and raised in Seattle, WA, graduated from New York University in 2010. He grew up in the Presbyterian Church and now serves at Remnant Westside Church. He has been involved in college ministry since 2008 and desires to see God's crazy love be part of the normal college experience. He loves talking about identity, surrender, and the bible. Unfortunately for others, he also loves to make puns and tell "dad jokes". Focusing on teaching and discipleship, he hopes to continue to make an impact as he pursues a Masters Degree in Biblical Studies.
Student Christian Movement
Rev F. Romall Smalls, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Rev. F. Romall Smalls' daily prayer is that unconditional love be our guide. He has been described as a dynamic preacher, public thinker, educator and social commentator. Here at NYU Chaplain Smalls has helped lead the annual SCM "Student Day of Payer" and timely "Prayer Breaks" during finals and midterms. He has served as a witness and counselor to our community's tragedies and heartaches during university vigils that seek to recognize the pain and suffering that occurs in NYC and around the world. Through the Student Christian Movement of NYC (@SCMnyc), Rev. Smalls seeks to link student’s faith with Christ's call for social justice on campus and throughout the global village. As both an ordained Affirming and Welcoming Baptist minister, professional journalist and media consultant he loves to connect, express himself and share encouraging messages and prayers on social media. You can even find some of his current and past work from Religion News Service (RNS), The New York Times, Gannett Newspapers and Scholastic News on-line. A fun fact about Rev. Smalls is that he interned at Capitol/EMI Records when he was in college in the 1990's when rapper MC Hammer ruled the charts. He earned his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York where his multi-media thesis project, "Living Water: Reflections of Faith" was awarded the prestigious Malcolm Boyd Veritas Award for his work in social justice on behalf of the SGL/LGBTQ community. Rev. Smalls regularly seeks to put his faith into action and has participated in #BlackLivesMatter sit-ins, anti-gun violence marches, and Queer and Trans rights protests. He loves tweeting and Periscoping about his views and thoughts about life, prayer and social justice. You can follow him at @SCMnyc1.
Peter Trautman, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Peter Trautmann knew that he wanted to find a community to support his faith when he arrived as a freshman at NYU. What he found was much deeper than just support; he had a series of experiences that changed his life forever. He was amazed by Christian students who had lives that were robust, meaningful and fun. He loved the balance of fun and substance he found in The Navigators- a group committed to going deep into the Scriptures and deep into relationships. He traveled to Mongolia to serve and teach English with The Navigators the summer between his junior and senior years. After NYU, he worked in downtown Manhattan on the business side of a non-profit for two years before going to Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary for his Master of Divinity. He then joined the staff of The Navigators so that he could provide others the same kind of authentic community that was so transformative for him. He loves John 10:10 where Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Measuring in at 6-foot-7-inches, he’s often asked, “Do you play basketball?” To which he might respond, “Do you play miniature golf?” Peter and his wife Amanda live in Brooklyn with their three little boys.
Joe Geib, Affiliate Chaplain
Joel was born to parents who were Christians, and he came to know and love Christ at a young age. He grew up in a suburb of Chicago, the mountains of east Tennessee, and eastern North Carolina. After graduating from Calvin College in 2008, a position with Americorps brought him to New York City. He immediately loved NYC, and realized it to be a place in which he wanted to invest himself long-term. Joel attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, graduating with a MA in Theology in 2014. He enjoys biking, reading in parks, and discovering delicious restaurants. Joel revels in destroying his competition in Just Dance Now dance-offs - usually until newcomers get the hang of the game, improve, and begin to consistently win against Joel. Then he is overcome with bitterness and frustration
Brendan Mahar, Affiliate Chaplain
Brendan is a staff member of The Navigators at NYU, a Christian fellowship. He never imagined he would be a minister when he was young, but during his years in college, he felt called by God to teach and counsel. Brendan received a degree in philosophy and religious studies and continues to enjoy logic, classical philosophy, and the writings of Soren Kierkegaard.
Benjamin Ness, Affiliate Chaplain
I love adventure, but not as much as I love people and seeing them live a full life. I grew up trying to figure out what it meant to have that full life, and found that with the help of my Christian Mentors. It is my joy to be able to do that for others now. A fun fact about me is that I once gained 14 pounds in 20 hours. Two random things that I love to do when I get the chance are skydiving and downhill skiing.
Leann Sebald, Affiliate Chaplain
Leann is a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, where her study focused on dance, biology and psychology. She was involved in the Christian Fellowship at Marymount and New York University throughout her college years. Coming from a small town in Pennsylvania, she found a new home in the city through the loving community that exists within The Navigators’ campus ministry. Serving as a staff intern with The Navigators Leann hopes to come alongside students and support them as they transition and grow during their time in school. She has a background in the Protestant faith and currently attends a non-denominational church in the city. She was also very involved with Young Life during her high school years. For fun, she can spend hours drawing with charcoal and can hardly resist good conversation and a quality latté.
Sarah Terning, Affiliate Chaplain
Sarah Terning is a recent graduate of Belmont University, where she majored in Classical Violin Performance. Born in Minnesota, her family moved to Georgia right before she entered the awkward middle school days. In that transition, her relationship with Christ became personal. Sarah entered college knowing she would need a community and place to grow spiritually. She met the Navigators her freshman year and has been involved ever since. The Navigators offered deep scripture study and one-on-one discipleship that transformed Sarah’s life and the lives of students around her. As a Navs staff member, Sarah is excited to support and invest in students as they grow and learn in the influential city of New York. Sarah enjoys being outside and has been known to occasionally adopt pet snails.
Youth Evangelical Fellowship
SeungEn Yeo, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
She grew up in a family, where her mom was a faithful christian. Nevertheless, her mother’s passionate faith couldn't convince her even though she wanted to be convinced and be a true Christian. Thankfully, her thirstiness wasn't neglected by God and she found the true life and the true joy in God in her sophomore year of university. Her thankful heart is now expressed through campus ministry, where she can help people just like she was found in her very important stage of life. In her free time, she likes to take a walk and talk about daily life and think upon life-questions that can help people to lead to God.
William Kim, Partner Chaplain
Coffee and conversations are two of my favorite things. So, as a minister in 180 Fellowship, I enjoy listening to the story of people's lives in hopes to convey how God might be working. My desire to see God moving in our campus in multifaceted ways, engaging in stories of renewal, healing, and salvation.
Sapreet Kaur, Partner Chaplain
Sapreet is the Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, a community-based organization that works towards the realization of civil and human rights for all people. In particular, they work towards a world where Sikhs may freely practice and enjoy their faith while fostering strong relations with their local community wherever they may be. In 2013, Sapreet became the first Sikh to speak in a Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service. She has appeared in/on several media outlets including the New York Times, Time Magazine, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, National Public Radio, and Fox News. She volunteers with the Girl Scouts of the USA (www.girlscouts.org) currently serving on the National Board of Directors as a member of the Board Executive team in the role of Secretary and International Commissioner. Previously, from 2008 to 2014, she served as a board member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (www.wagggsworld.org), a 10 million member worldwide movement across 147 countries providing non-formal education where girls and young women develop leadership and life skills through self-development, challenge and adventure. She also currently serves on the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation board of directors. (www.tutufoundationusa.org). Sapreet is a member of the National Organization of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, having served as a business volunteer in Uganda and Kenya from 1998-2001. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Fellowship of Activists to Embrace Humanity, a human development organization committed to fighting poverty and promoting education in South Asia. Sapreet is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University with a dual degree in marketing and international business. Sapreet’s favorite food is ice cream.
Dr. Simran Jeet Singh, Partner Chaplain
Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Trinity University. He is the Senior Religion Fellow for the Sikh Coalition, a Truman National Security Fellow for the Truman National Security Project, and a Handa Fellow in Interreligious Communication. He also enjoys running marathons and spending time with his wife and daughter.