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Fuller inducted as president of National Association of College and University Chaplains

This is the second time University Chaplain Jan Fuller has headed the national group, which includes close to 200 members. 

Jan Fuller, university chaplain at Elon University, was inducted Wednesday, Feb. 21, as president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, her second time leading the national group.

University Chaplain Jan Fuller

Fuller's induction took place during the group's national conference in Washington, D.C., a gathering Fuller played an integral role in planning during the past year while serving as vice president of NACUC. The three-day annual meeting titled "Voices from the Margins: Marginal Presence, Magnified Power, Meaningful Peace," featured workshops and speakers including Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, former South African Ambassador to the United States, Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, and Michael Twitty, of Kosher Soul.

"I am humbled by the association’s trust in me and I am grateful for Elon’s support for me in this position," Fuller said. "It is a very important time in our history as we seek to understand the changes in higher education and in our own field of chaplaincy."

Fuller hopes during the next year to strengthen the bonds between the various chaplaincy guilds, such as planning the first ever joint annual meeting between NACUC and the Association of College University Religious Affairs professionals now scheduled for February 2019.

Fuller believes it is important to further strengthen NACUC's connections with two Muslim chaplains organizations and lend her group's support to a fledgling Hindu organization. During the past year, Fuller has served as vice president with Adeel Zeb, the co-university chaplain and the first Muslim chaplain at The Claremont Colleges who a year ago became the first Muslim president of NACUC.

Fuller, one of the organization's longest-serving members, first filled the role of president of NACUC in the mid-1990s when she was university chaplain at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. Since that time, the group's membership has more than doubled in size and its membership now represents a more diverse group of faiths.

Fuller has played a vital role in revitalizing the Journal of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, a biannual journal that she believes plays the crucial role of demonstrating the impact of the work NACUC's membership is having on their campuses. She has served as chair of the journal's editorial committee.

Fuller will serve for a year as president of NACUC and along with other duties is charged with heading the meetings of the group's Executive Committee.

“Elon has some of the finest Student Life staff of any institution in the country, and we are glad to see Chaplain Fuller’s leadership of this national professional association,” said Jon Dooley, vice president for student life. “She has been instrumental in making Elon a national leader for interfaith engagement and it is clear she will bring that same approach and focus to NACUC.”

Fuller came to Elon in 2011 after 24 years at Hollins, her alma mater, as university chaplain. Prior to her work at Hollins, Fuller served as the Baptist chaplain at Yale University from 1982 and 1987, and as an adjunct professor of higher education ministries at the Yale Divinity School from 1983 to 1987. She worked as a pastoral associate and interim pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1980 to 1982.

The daughter of Baptist missionaries to the Middle East, and bilingual in Arabic and English, Fuller earned her undergraduate degree from Hollins in 1978 and a master of divinity from Yale University in 1982. She completed her doctoral studies in 1999 at Wesley School of Theology, where her thesis examined bereavement and theology for young adult women.


Owen Covington,
2/22/2018 8:10 AM