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 Hindu Center at NYU
238 Thompson Street, Room 366
New York, NY 10012
The Islamic Center at NYU
238 Thompson Street
New York, NY 10012
Global Spiritual Life at NYU hosts 70 chaplain affiliates representing various faiths, denominations, and groups on campus. See the full list of Washington Square Chaplains below. Click here to see a list of Chaplains who also work with NYU's Brooklyn campus, and find a list of Global Chaplains here.
Rev. 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.
John Baptist Hoang, Senior Affliate Chaplain
Fr. John Baptist grew up in Northern Virginia and went to college at the University of Virginia, majoring in Religious Studies and Sociology. After college, he joined the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) in 2009 and was ordained a priest in 2016. After ordination, Fr. John Baptist served as Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village for two years and is now serving the New York University community as the Chaplain and Director of the Catholic Center at NYU. Fun fact: Fr. John Baptist has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
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.
Trish is a proud San Francisco Bay Area native and recently graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Music Business and Songwriting. Ever since a profound encounter with the Lord through her Catholic Campus Ministry, she has been swept into a wild adventure that has led her to life as Catholic missionary with FOCUS. A lover of coffee shops, slow mornings, and exploring, she's beyond excited to share in the life and love of God during her first year at NYU.
Nico graduated from Boston University with dual degrees in History of Art and Architecture and Archaeology. After having a deep encounter and reversion spring of his freshman year, he began to work with the BU Catholic ministry in earnest and is now serving with FOCUS as a full-time Catholic missionary. As a first-generation American and culture historian, he is passionate about learning the stories behind the people and places he encounters. A self-proclaimed arts nerd, you can find him enjoying the Met's galleries or playing piano in his free time.
Sangeetha Kowsik, Senior 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 returned. 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. Faith inspires my life's work.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 Head Designer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art for close to 5 years 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).I had the pleasure of serving as Hindu Chaplin for NYU from 2017-18, helping build the temple at NYU, teaching students new prayers, hosting lectures and activities, as well as participating in interfaith panels. 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.
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.
My name is Krishna Venkataraman. I have had a good background in Hindu scriptures and Hindu method of worship, prayer and meditation. As a young boy, I was trained by Sri Rama Krishna Ashram in Bangalore, India where we were taught the message of Hindu scriptures, worship and meditation. Using this background, I subsequently started studying scriptures further, In the USA, I have been attending spiritual retreats annually , conducted by Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, a great spiritual center in PA. I joined HSC as a volunteer in 2000 and started teaching Prayer, meditation and worship to Hindu students at Rutgers University and subsequently at NYU also. I have also taught yogic breathing and meditation in these places. I sing Indian classical music for a hobby.
Dr. Anne Klaeysen, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
My name is Anne Klaeysen, and I am a religious humanist. My denomination of Ethical Culture, founded in 1876, provides humanist philosophy in a congregational setting, recognizing that people who believe in the human potential for goodness and take responsibility for making the world a better place, but neither believe in nor worship a supernatural deity, need community for our ethical, social, and spiritual needs. Fun fact: I am a social justice rabble rouser who loves rally and marches for worthy causes.
Frank Fredericks, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Frank Fredericks serves as an interfaith chaplain in NYC. He 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 Said as a Global Shaper Scholar from the World Economic Forum. Frank also serves as a resource for students studying abroad and as a friendly LGBTQ+ affirming chaplain.
Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU
Yehuda Sarna, University Affiliate 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 and currently serves as Assistant Director for Jewish Education & Engagement at the pluralistic Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University. A convert to Judaism, Rabbi Nikki is particularly happy to discuss spiritual change, doubts, and questions… but she’s also happy to talk pop culture, science fiction, HBO’s Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Game of Thrones. Study with her in her popular JLF Course, "Sex Love and Romance." Rabbi Nikki lives in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, with her wife Rachel and their young sons Ilan and Ethan.
Corinne Shmuel, Affiliate Chaplain
Corinne Shmuel is OU-JLIC Educator on campus at NYU, working out of the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. She is originally from England, where she received her BA and MA in Art History, and has spent time learning at Nishmat and Matan in Israel. She is also a qualified chef and worked in a number of culinary positions whilst living in Israel. Her favourite things to teach are: Jewish history through food; Jewish perspectives on sex; and Jewish sustainability. Corinne also practices capoeira and kickboxing.
She lives in the East Village/Lower East Side with her husband, Rabbi Joe Wolfson, and their two young daughters.
Congregation Magen David of Manhattan
Sion Setton, Partner Chaplain
Rabbi Setton serves as the principal of Yeshivah Prep High School. Born and raised in the Sephardic Brooklyn community, Rabbi Setton is passionately committed to advancing the educational opportunities for all his students.Most recently, Rabbi Setton served as the senior Rabbi of Congregation Magen David of Manhattan while being the Director of Educational Technology and a Judaic studies teacher at Barkai Yeshiva. Prior to this position, Rabbi Setton served on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as the Director of Youth at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue, and an educator and Director of Sephardic Life at Ramaz Middle School.Rabbi Setton is the founding Chairman of the Downtown Va’ad and serves as an affiliate Chaplain at New York University, where he teaches Sephardic university students at NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Life on behalf of the Sephardic Community Alliance. Rabbi Setton received his B.A. and rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Brooklyn College.
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
Sheikh Faiyaz Jaffer is the Assistant Research Scholar for the Islamic Center at New York University and an Associate Chaplain for the Center of Global & Spiritual Life at NYU. He 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, Iraq, 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. His outreach efforts have allowed him to be featured in some of the country's most prominent media outlets. As a highly sought after lecturer and religious leader, Faiyaz regularly leads prayer services and delivers sermons across North America.
Ieasha Prime converted to Islam more than 20 years ago after being a Youth Ambassador to Morocco and Senegal. There she developed a thirst for religious knowledge that would cause her to sit at the feet and learn from some of the top Islamic Scholars of our time. Determined to share what she had learned, she started her first non-profit (Sisterhood in Action) at the age of 19. Sisterhood In Action was dedicated to the empowerment of Muslim women in all walks of life from Corporate America to women’s prisons by providing education, advocacy and pastoral care. After rigorous Islamic studies in private institutions in DC, Maryland and Virginia, Ieasha decided to pursue religious studies abroad. She studied Arabic, and Quran at the Fajr Institute in Cairo, Egypt. Later, she moved to Yemen and enrolled in Dar Al Zahra, an Islamic University for Women. There she studied Aqeedah, Quran, Hadith, Arabic, Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Islamic law, Purification of the Heart and other religious related learning. She has received several scholarly licenses (ijaza). The work that she is most committed to and enjoys have been the development of Islamic programming, Islamic Studies curriculum and Rites of Passage programs for youth and adults. Majority of her life has been spent as an educator and activist. She is most passionate about combining Islamic studies, cultural art, activism and service for the purpose of training leaders to rise above whatever challenges stand in their way and that of the community they serve. Ieasha is deeply committed to training Muslim women in traditional Islamic sciences with a focus on modern application. Recently she was the US representative at the Women's Justice Summit in Istanbul. She currently teaches courses on traditional knowledge, the challenges of race and gender in the Muslim community and Spirituality. Ieasha Prime is a proud wife and mother of three children.
For questions about Protestantism abroad, please contact the Chairs of the Protestant Life Affiliate Network (listed below) and they can help find the Chaplain best suited to your needs.
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.
Kevin Niemann, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Kevin graduated Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication 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. In 2012, Kevin moved with his wife and two children to New York City to launch Bridges International at Columbia University and NYU. In 2014, Kevin received a 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 exploring the history and culture of New York City.
Michael Henderson, Affiliate Chaplain
Michael was born and raised in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke, Virginia. He now serves with the Bridges International student chapter at NYU and enjoys working with students from every corner of the world. Michael has travelled extensively to 30+ countries and feels privileged to put this global experience into practice here at NYU. He is member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Downtown where he worships and serves weekly. He also enjoys sports, cycling, international cuisine and listening to NPR Podcasts.
Matt Pursley, Affiliate Chaplain
Matthew Pursley is married to Sabrina and has three daughters. He loves discussing the differences and similarities of faith traditions and spiritualities as well as thinking critically about beliefs. As a devoted follower of Jesus he seeks to love each person without partiality. He also can't turn down a root beer; a struggle he hopes to one day overcome. Make sure you say hey to him...and have a root beer in hand :)
Jordan Merkle, Affiliate Chaplain
Jordan was born and raised in Michigan and went to college at Campbell University where he studied Political Science. Realizing he did not want to go into law or politics after graduating, he moved abroad gaining an appreciation for the cultural beauty and diversity of the world and a passion to understand the spiritual traditions of the people who inhabit it. He has lived in 5 different countries and has traveled to around 40 but he is far from done and hopes to visit pretty much everywhere he has never been. His passion and experience with different cultures makes him a great fit to serve in the with Bridges International in New York City and at NYU. He lives with his wife Dolly in Bay Ridge Brooklyn where they are active members at Crossroads Christian Church located in Bay Ridge.
Natalie Perkins, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
This is Natalie's third year as a chaplain and she is loving every minute of it. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary, she now works with two religious institutes: Tanho Center– which focuses on early Christian texts, and Westar Institute– which aims to bridge the gap between religious scholarship and the general public. She is also a professional performer and often travels to sing around the nation. Reach out to her if you have questions or want to talk about the intersection of religion and justice. OR, religion and the arts. Or, both. Or neither.
Chris Harding, Partner Chaplain
Chris Harding is an Episcopal seminarian who has spent ten years working with youth, college students and young adults in New York and San Francisco. Chris has been active at many levels of the Episcopal Church, having served in parishes, at the diocesan level with the New York Service and Justice Collaborative, and the denominational level with Integrity, a LGBTQ advocacy organization within the Episcopal Church. Chris and his husband Andrew enjoy cooking, skee ball, and parenting their dog-ter, Beth the Bichon Frise.
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 and recently had a new addition to the family, baby Olivia Joy.
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 is 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.
Janell Yoo, Affiliate Chaplain
Janell was born in South Korea and immigrated to America at the age of 9. She moved from California to New York to attend School of Visual Arts to study photography. During her college years, she joined Compass Koinonia (CK) at NYU to continue her spiritual growth. CK provided new challenging questions about Christian living and what that means to a person, allowing Janell to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. After a year and half mission work in Thailand, she wanted to plug herself to a meaningful community to serve with NYU. She enjoys the challenges that comes with student ministry and continually pray for God’s direction in all things.
Hello, friend! My name is Chelsea Lo, and I am a staff member of the Compass Koinonia (CK) fellowship at NYU. I grew up in a Christian family, but struggled with the finality of declaring faith in a God I could not prove existed. In 2010, I moved to NYC for college, where I began attending Compass Fellowship Church - to which CK is affiliated - and became very involved with campus Christian life, but did not officially accept Christ as my Lord and Savior until 2016. A not-that-fun fact about me is that since graduation, I have been working in finance. A more-fun fact about me is that I once rode down the boardwalk on the tricycle of Yo-Yo Ma's mother!
Brittany Brock, Affiliate Chaplain
College was the best four years of my life! It was a time for me to explore different beliefs and religions and to discover what I truly believed in. Growing up in South Carolina, it was easy to go along with what everyone else believed, but it wasn’t until college when I learned about a personal relationship with God through Jesus. College is when I started walking closely with God, reading the Bible, and living life in intentional Christian community through Cru. I’ve now lived in NYC for 5 years and I really enjoy rock climbing, pottery, and traveling!
Brandon Brooks, Affiliate Chaplain
I grew up in Madison, WI and until moving to New York City in June of 2018, had lived there my entire life. I enjoyed school, basketball, soccer and golf growing up, as well as rooting for the Green Bay Packers football team and the Wisconsin Badgers football and basketball teams. My parents were nominal Christians and sent me to a Catholic school, but during all of this time, I didn't quite understand what it meant to have faith or have a relationship with God. I was pretty self-reliant. As I got older, I transitioned from lots of involvement in sports to a passion for music, specifically percussion. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, initially as a percussion performance major. However, God had other plans for me and after getting involved with Cru on my campus, I began to grow in my faith in ways that I never had before. I felt that God was changing the trajectory of my life and I decided to change my major (to Communication Arts) and pursue a career in vocational ministry. As I continued to grow, I continued to be assured of God's directing in this way. Once I graduated I started working with Cru at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and spent 5 years ministering to college students there before moving to New York to work with Cru. I have loved every minute of getting to love and serve college students; they are the best! One fun fact about me: I was born completely deaf in my right ear, so don't call my name in a large crowd. ;)
Hello! I'm Lydia Brooks. I live in Hell's Kitchen now, but I call the Midwest my home - specifically, Minnesota! Because of my Minnesota roots, I love nature. Lakes, trees, animals, hiking, you name it, I love it. In fact, I love it so much that one time I rode down the side of a 14,000 ft mountain in the back of a pickup truck! Despite my love for nature, I love New York City too and have increasingly become passionate about the people who live here - their stories, struggles, longings, and passions. I love engaging people about their lives, interior world, and about their spiritual journey. My own spiritual journey started when I was young. I grew up with a mom who loved God and had a strong relationship with him, and a dad who didn't believe in anything. Because of this, it wasn't until college when I really explored my faith for my self and established where I stood apart from my parents' faiths. As I explored, I connected with a Christian club on my campus. It was there that I experienced the transforming love of God and the joy of a relationship with him. My life has never been the same since! Because of this, I'm passionate about giving students a safe space to explore their faith in college, and love to come alongside students in their journey in any way that I can.
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 freshmaen 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 as a missionary overseas. In the years since, it has led him to invest his life so students everywhere fall in love with Jesus and learn to follow Him 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, if he’s honest? Is too often).
Encounter Christian Fellowship
Hanna Chung, Affiliate Chaplain
Hanna H. Chung: Pastor's wife and Christian counselor (LMFT, Phd cand.in Family Ministry)My husband Joseph Chung and I serve The Remnant Church. I am passionate about working with people with problems. Mother of two sons and a spiritual mother of many, trying to share the love of Jesus in NYC!
Jonathan is NYC born and raised and a CUNY Baruch Alumni who always hung out on NYU's campus. College was some of the best years of his life, especially as he discovered and embraced the Christian faith. He has served with Encounter Christian Fellowship since it started in his college years over 11 years ago and continues to be passionate about working with students in these formative years of their lives. Jonathan enjoys eating delicious food, discovering new music, and exploring scenic locations.
Joseph Kim, Affiliate Chaplain
Joseph moved to New York after completing his education at the University of Oregon about three years ago. Since then he has been attending Remnant Church and currently serves in the college ministry as a staff member. He has been a Christian all his life but his time in New York has really grown his faith in Jesus Christ. In his free time, Joseph enjoys baking and is a very passionate fan of the Oregon Ducks football team.
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, It was 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).
Canile Jackson, Affiliate Chaplain
Born and raised in Queens, NY, Canile graduated from St. John's university in 2008 and has been a campus minister with Every Nation Churches & Ministries since 2011 and is part of the NYC Campus team at Every Nation Church, New York. He has worked with students at St John’s University, Parsons School of Design, FIT and other schools across NYC. Canile has a passion to engage students with the love and truth of Christ, sending out and empowering students as leaders across NYC and the world. Canile loves New York for the diversity of people and food, and loves playing and watching sports, and the occasional MCU movie.
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
Having lived in Malaysia, Arizona, Singapore, California, Ohio, and Texas, before moving to NYC 5 years ago, I realized how important communication is to diverse communities. We may be different, but I would love to have a conversation to learn and to grow together. I once finished the gallon challenge (finish a gallon of milk within an hour) and became lactose intolerant.
Jason Casper, Affiliate Chaplain
Jason Casper moved to New York City in 2001 from Pennsylvania and it was his experience of witnessing the 9/11 attacks firsthand that helped guide him into a relationship with Jesus Christ. In 2012, after working as a senior graphic designer/art director for 13 years, Jason felt a call into full-time ministry to international students after volunteering since 2009. He had also served at Calvary Baptist Church with their Bowery Mission compassion outreach team as well as serving with their young adult ministry since 2010. Currently, Jason has a deep passion for engaging the Muslim community through interfaith dialogue and has been an active participant in the NYU student club MuCh (Muslim-Christian Dialogue) and has been invited to speak at several MSA functions at NYU. When not working with students at NYU Jason can probably be found listening to/attempting to play jazz guitar!
Lisa Voth, Affiliate Chaplain
Lisa grew up in Oklahoma and later Washington State. She decided to become a follower of Jesus at an early age. In college, she discovered a love for biblical narrative and theology and gained a master's in biblical interpretation. Lisa spent a year in Cameroon assisting a Bible translation team.She's passionate about connecting Muslims and Christians in friendship and dialogue and loves learning about how people from other cultures see the world. One of Lisa's favorite things is a conversation over coffee digging into life's big questions. She likes to rock climb, is a die-hard Star Wars and Lord of the Rings fan, and has a movie quote for every occasion.
International Students, Inc. - Christian & Missionary Alliance
Cristobal Tong, Partner Chaplain
God has led Cristobal to a wide range of occupations in his journey to ministry ranging from working as a sushi chef to a potential legal career as a paralegal. It is through these unique experiences that he has been able to minister and bless youth, college students as well as young adults alike at 3Stone/NYCAC for the last 10 years as a counselor, intern and as of 2015, an associate pastor. He obtained his Bachelor Degree from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He is currently working towards his ordination with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Cristobal wants God to use all aspects of his life in spreading the gospel to the nations, and desires to equip, empower, and encourage the local church to be the arms and legs of Christ in their community and throughout the world. Having grown up in NYC, Cristobal feels naturally led to serve and make disciples of the 2nd and 3rd generation of Asian Americans through mentorship and living life together – truly living out the invitation to “come and see.”Cristobal is married to his wife, Carla, whom he calls the biggest blessing of his life. They look forwarding to faithfully following God, wherever He calls them.
Valerie Althouse, Affiliate Chaplain
Originally from Hershey Pennsylvania, Valerie Althouse is NYC Area Director for International Students Inc (ISI). She serves as one of the Chaplains at New York University where she founded the English Connections program for international students. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Christian Counseling, as well as a Master of Science in Biblical Studies from Cairn University. Valerie is certified in several areas, including emotional intelligence testing (EQi), cross- cultural communication, life coaching, and critical-] incident stress debriefing. Valerie loves engaging international students through teaching English, Leadership Mentoring, Bible studies, and simple fun activities! On the side, Valerie enjoys vocal performance, reading, and travelling.
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.
Erick Sorensen, Partner Chaplain
Erick was born and raised in Southern California. He is married to Melissa, and they have three boys, Jude, Jonathan, and Lincoln. He has degrees from Lutheran Brethren Bible College (Certificate of Biblical Studies), Biola University (Bachelors in Organizational Leadership), and Lutheran Brethren Seminary (Master of Divinity).Before moving into Manhattan to plant Epiphany Church, Erick served as Senior Pastor at Victoria Community Church in Fontana, California, and Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church in Staten Island, New York.
Chelsea Whitfield, Affiliate Chaplain
Chelsea Whitfield is a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Graduate and Faculty Ministries at NYU. Chelsea is passionate about empowering students for ministry and creating spaces for international students to encounter God and use their gifts to further his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. When she's not on campus, Chelsea can be found at Kopi Kopi, Pokee, or having bubble tea. She would love for you to join her!
Emily Yung, Affiliate Chaplain
Emily is a Campus Staff Member with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She grew up in New York City, attended college in Boston, and served as InterVarsity staff at colleges in the Fenway area for 5 years before moving back to New York. She loves mentoring and investing in students who want to learn more about God, God's love for them, and God's purposes in the world. Emily is dedicated to fostering space for students to be curious and ask questions freely. In her downtime, Emily loves biking around and exploring different corners of the city, finding dessert places to try out, and spending time with family and friends.
Sarah Lin, Affiliate Chaplain
Sarah Lin is a campus staff minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and serves the Multi-Ethnic Chapter of InterVarsity at NYU. Sarah was born and raised in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University, where she studied urban planning and public policy. Sarah loves working with college students and seeing God transform and renew their lives. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drinking tea, and exploring new cities.
Judson Memorial Church
Donna Schaper, Partner Chaplain
My life mission is spiritual nurture for public capacity. This mission grounds me in my first love, which is parish ministry. My love of teaching is directly related to this first love: I find it thrilling to be able to reflect on decades of action in the parish with others who are there. I also love teaching people in leadership situations beyond the parish, like community organizations, chaplaincies, and non-profits. Action-reflection is a method I learned at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and I have treasured it ever since. Preaching, pastoring and building community (or rebuilding community) are my strengths and graces. I build good teams with deep benches. When it comes to congregations, I like the self-governing ones the most. They meet my happiness and goal of spiritually well-nurtured people who have great public capacity.
Sungmin Kan, Affiliate Chaplain
My name is Sungmin Kang from South Korea. I grew up in a christian family and always wanted to learn about God and the Bible. I came to the states 7 years ago to pursue my study further in Theology. After I finished my degree, I became a christian minister. I love to watch soccer and really enjoy having conversations with those who have different cultural and spiritual backgrounds.
PRiSM Progressive Student Ministry
Becca 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.
Reformed University Fellowship
Matthew Terrell, Partner Chaplain
Matt hails from Atlanta, GA and is happily married to Megan. They have three children -- Eliot , Zoey and Margaret. Matt has identified as a Christian since a young age and has been serving with RUF in campus ministry since 2012. He enjoys reading, fly fishing, watching Seinfeld, and eating donuts.
Wei Feng Ho
Wei is from Atlanta, GA. He graduated from Georgia Tech (BS International Affairs), Reformed Theological Seminary Atlanta (MDiv) and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He’s previously worked with college students with Mission to the World sending them on mission trips around the world and as a college student pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. Wei’s a foodie, bubble tea connoisseur, Atlanta Braves baseball fan, book worm, drummer, tennis player, and lover of big dogs.
Abbey Slater, Affiliate Chaplain
Abbey has been a Christian for as long as she can remember. She moved from a little town in Rhode Island to New York City in August of 2018 to serve college students with Reformed University Fellowship. She loves falling in and out of love with New York, walking nowhere on sunny June days, hailing cabs, drinking lavender lattes, burying her face in the grass when it’s just been cut in Central Park, running by the Hudson (or the East River) while listening to Revisionist History, eating Pho when it’s raining and French fries at midnight. Shoot her an email if you want to hear more of her faves (or share some of yours!)
Remnant Christian Fellowship
Jonathan Kim, Affiliate Chaplain
Jonathan is currently a Pastoral Intern at Remnant Westside Church in NYC, where he has attended since his freshman year at NYU. He is a seminary student at Reformed Theological Seminary pursuing his Master's in Christian Counseling. Before transitioning into ministry, Jonathan received his undergraduate degree from NYU Stern and worked in the corporate world for five years. Jonathan's passion is to serve college students and help them discover their identities in Jesus Christ and develop a genuine personal relationship with God. He currently lives in Queens with his lovely wife. He loves to watch and play sports and his dream is for the NY Knicks to win a championship at least once in his lifetime.
Jane is a New York City native. Growing up in Brooklyn & Queens, she has always loved the city. For college, she went to Stony Brook University and fell in love with Psychology and Linguistics. There, she found her calling to join staff with the organization SOON Movement through which she got to know Jesus personally as a college student. After three years on staff with SOON, she still gets excited whenever she gets to be a part of seeing changed lives and leading others to come to know Jesus as well. Jane enjoys playing the guitar in her spare time.
Student Christian Movement
F. Romall Smalls, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Rev. F. Romall Smalls has been described as a dynamic preacher, public thinker, educator and social commentator. He is a Senior Affiliate Chaplain at New York University (NYU), Pastoral/Spirtual Care Counselor at the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) the nations' larger HIV/AIDS service center and Associate Minister for Social Justice at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, NY. Through his work with 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 express himself and share encouraging messages and prayers on social media. You can find some of his current and past work from Religion News Service (RNS), The New York Times, Gannett Newspapers and Scholastic News on-line. 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. Rev. Smalls also serves on the Westchester County Youth Advisory Board, is an affirming LGBTQ+/SGLBTQ Chaplain, and an offering pastoral care as global Chaplain. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @romall06.
Jared Parsons, Senior Affiliate Chaplain
Jared Parsons absolutely loves his job of working with students and sharing the freedom that comes from knowing who Jesus Christ is and the love he showed us. He has worked in full-time Christian ministry for 6 years now, all with his amazingly kind wife Jana. His father started a Christian school for at-risk teens in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska so ministry is in his blood. He enjoys watching soccer, playing basketball, and reading pretty much anything besides romance novels.
Brendan Mahar, Affiliate Chaplain
Brendan is a staff member of The Navigators, a Christian fellowship. He grew up in America, England, and Australia. Brendan is not ashamed to be described as a Bible and philosophy nerd.
Jana Parsons, Affiliate Chaplain
Jana Parsons grew up in Omaha, Nebraska where she came to know the love of Christ as a teenager. Heading into college she was looking for a community that would support her and help her grow in her faith, which she found when she got connected to The Navigators. Since then it has been her passion to invest in college students the way she was invested in during her collegiate years. Jana loves reading, playing piano, and has traveled to Mongolia twice in her life!
Leann Sebald, Affiliate Chaplain
Leann is a 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 staff with the Navigators Leann is passionate about coming alongside students and to support them as they transition and grow during their time in school. She has a background in the Protestant faith, currently attends a non-denominational church in the city, and has been trained in ministry through The Navigators over the past four years. She was also very involved with Young Life during her high school years. For fun, she loves being creative and can hardly resist engaging in meaningful conversation over a cup of coffee.
Cydney is a recent graduate of Florida State University, where she studied International Affairs and Social Work. She was known as the Christian “good girl” all of her life and thought she had an understanding of what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus until she got involved with The Navigators her second semester of college, when she started to study the Bible more deeply and came to understand the true message of Christ’s love in a whole new way. Cydney comes from a small Georgia town of about 23,000 people and had never visited New York City until the summer of 2017. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the city and to dream of coming back after graduation and walking alongside students, helping them experience the love of Jesus that she has experienced for herself. She brings her love of college football, all things Florida State University, and warm weather with her from the south to the big city.
Emily is from Tampa, FL. She studied advertising and studio art at the University of Florida. As a freshman in college, she met the Navigators and quickly connected with their passionate love for Jesus and all people. After spending the summer in NYC in 2015, she is excited to return to the city! When she isn’t teaching others how to study the Bible or engage in spiritual conversations, Emily is likely to be found taste-testing macaroni and cheese, editing videos or curating dance playlists.
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 to think upon life-questions that can help people to lead to God.
Dr. Simran Jeet Singh, Affiliate Chaplain
Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is an educator, writer, activist, and scholar who currently serves as the Senior Religion Fellow for the Sikh Coalition and Henry R. Luce Post-Doctoral Fellow for Religion in International Affairs at New York University’s Center for Religion and Media. He enjoys running marathons and spending time with his wife and two daughters.