Greg M. Epstein serves as the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, and is author of the New York Times Bestselling book, Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe. He sits on the executive committee of the 36-member corps Harvard Chaplains. In 2005 he received ordination as a Humanist Rabbi from theInternational Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, where he studied in Jerusalem and Michigan for five years. He holds a BA (Religion and Chinese) and an MA (Judaic Studies) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Masters of Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School.
Epstein was the primary organizer of “The New Humanism,” an international conference in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Humanist Chaplaincy of Harvard University. He blogs for CNN.com, Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post, and his work as a Humanist rabbi and Chaplain has recently been been featured by ABC World News with Diane Sawyer; ABC News Network; Al Jazeera; Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and numerous other programs on National Public Radio; BBC Radio; NYTimes.com; USA Today; Newsweek; US News and World Report; The Boston Globe; The Jewish Daily Forward, The Christian Century; The Guardian, and many more. He is an adviser to two student groups at Harvard College, the Secular Society and the Interfaith Council, and to the Harvard Humanist Graduate Community. He also chairs the Advisory Board of the national umbrella organization the Secular Student Alliance, joining such renowned nonbelievers as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.
Greg grew up in Flushing, Queens, New York as an assimilated and disinterested Reform Jew. He studied Buddhism and Taoism while at Stuyvesant High School in New York City and in college went to Taiwan for a semester aiming to study Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism in its original language and context. Finding that Eastern religions do not necessarily have greater access to truth than Western ones, he returned to the US and shifted his focus to rock music, recording and singing professionally for a year after college. Soon thereafter, he learned of the movement of Humanism and the possibility of a career as a Humanist rabbi and chaplain.
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Assistant Humanist Chaplain/ Interfaith and Community Service Fellow
Christopher D. Stedman is the Assistant Chaplain and the Interfaith and Community Service Fellow at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard.
Chris served on the initial Leadership Team of the Common Ground Campaign, a coalition of young people who stood up in response to the wave of anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence in the U.S. surrounding the Park51 controversy, and continues to advise it in its current form, Groundswell. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the interfaith social action organization World Faith and is an advisor to the Foundation Beyond Belief’s Challenge the Gap initiative. Portland, Oregon’s GLBT newspaper Just Out called his work “brilliant” and labeled him an “emerging… vibrant and youthful queer voice for the secular humanist movement,” and author Jeff Sharlet said the following about his work: ”[it] may be heresy to say, but it’s hard to find a smart balanced atheist writer with something new to bring to the table.”
Raised in a secular home in Minnesota, Chris converted to evangelical Christianity after being invited to church by friends at 11 years old. After years of wrestling with theology and his sexual orientation, Chris left the Christian tradition and spent some time exploring. Eventually he recognized that he was an atheist and Humanist, and today he works to advocate for the mutual respect of religious and non-religious individuals.
For more on his work, check out this video.
Outreach and Development Manager
Sarah Chandonnet is the Outreach and Development Manager at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard and has been a member of the HCH team since 2009.
A graduate of Harvard Divinity School (’09), she holds an MTS in Religion, Literature, and Culture. While at Harvard, she served as the editor-in-chief of Culture: The Harvard Divinity Graduate Journal of Religion, and as the vice president of the Harvard Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists (HASH). She also holds a BA (English, ’07) from Boston University, where she studied under Elie Wiesel. Sarah’s academic interests include 19th and 20th century American literature, and Judeo-Christian textual influences. She has written for Boston University’s Daily Free Press and The Journal of the Core Curriculum, as well as Harvard Divinity School’s The Wick, and the American Humanist Association’s Humanist Network News.
Sarah grew up in Lowell, MA, and she attended Ste. Jeanne d’Arc School, where she began her early Biblical studies, and Lowell High School. She has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations, including the American Red Cross and Rebuilding Together — Lowell where she sits on the board.
Since starting at the Humanist Chaplaincy in the Fall of 2009, Sarah has been involved with much of the programming, including major events with Discovery’s The MythBusters, Stephen Fry, and Seth MacFarlane. Check out her interview with bestselling author Jodi Picoult.
Executive Assistant/ Administrative Manager
Conrad Hudson is the Administrative Manager for the Humanist Community at Harvard office as well as the Executive Assistant for Chaplain Greg Epstein.
Conrad earned his bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Kansas where he focused on supporting local non-profit organizations with accounting, administration, and business software training. While at KU he also became involved in the secular community, serving as Vice-President and then President of the Society of Open-Minded Atheists & Agnostics, winner of the Secular Student Alliance’s 2011 Best Activist award and founder of their annual conference Reasonfest winner of the Center for Inquiry’s Best On Campus Event award. He has also previously volunteered his time as counselor at Camp Inquiry and as treasurer for the Secular Student Alliance.
Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in the midwest, a tight-knit community, but one closed to and withheld from minds who dared to question its dogma. Conrad came to the Humanist Community at Harvard looking for a way to create community for freethinkers of all types who are willing to join hands in making this world a little more bearable.
Campus Organizing Fellow
Chelsea Link is the Campus Organizing Fellow at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard.
Chelsea recently graduated from Harvard College (’12), where she studied History & Science with a focus in the history of medicine. While at school, she served as both the Vice President of Outreach of the Harvard Secular Society and the President of the Harvard College Interfaith Council. She was honored to receive HCH’s Service to Humanity Award for her interfaith service initiatives.
In addition to her regular-ish column on Assistant Chaplain Chris Stedman’s blog NonProphet Status, Chelsea runs her own blog, Blogging Biblically, where she documents her attempt to read the Bible in [approximately] a year. She has also contributed to blogs such as the Interfaith Youth Core and Social Action Massachusetts. In her spare time, Chelsea runs bone marrow drives as a Volunteer Ambassador for the National Marrow Donor Program. She also enjoys cooking while pretending she’s on Top Chef, adores word games of all kinds (and was once the President of the illustrious Harvard College Crossword Society), and tends to kill the mood at parties by unnecessarily reciting Shakespeare.