Sharon M.K. Kugler became the seventh University Chaplain to Yale in July of 2007. She came to New Haven from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she had served as the University Chaplain since 1993. Sharon has over two decades of experience in ministry in higher education, interfaith collaboration, pastoral and social ministry. Her main focus at Yale is to further cultivate a chaplaincy for students, faculty and staff which defines itself by serving the needs of the richly diverse religious and spiritual traditions on campus allowing for deeper dialogue, increased accessibility, personal growth, creative educational opportunities and pastoral leadership. Sharon holds the appointment of Lecturer of Inter-Religious Engagement and Chaplaincy at the Yale Divinity School and is a contributing author to the recently published College & University Chaplaincy in the 21st Century: A Multifaith Look at the Practice of Ministry on Campuses across America. She is the first woman, first lay-person and first Roman Catholic to hold this position at Yale.
Sharon is the past president of both the National Association of College and University Chaplains (NACUC) and the Association of College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA). She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chaplains in Higher Education (IACHE). In June of 2012 she hosted the Global Conference of Chaplains in Higher Education at Yale University welcoming over 450 participants from 25 countries and 11 religious traditions. Sharon received her Masters degree from Georgetown University and is a member of the Theta Alpha Kappa National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology. Her masters thesis, “The Limits and Possibilities of Building a Religiously Plural Community” was used by the United States Department of Defense Office of the Chief of Chaplains as a training tool for new chaplains in the military. Sharon has received honorary doctorates from St. Joseph University in West Hartford, CT, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA and Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. She is married to Duane Isabella, has two daughters and four grandchildren.