I am frequently asked what a typical day is like as a university chaplain, and usually my answer is simple: “There is no typical day in the life of a chaplain.” This work is completely unpredictable, and that is just one of the many reasons why I love it. Yet there are those occasional days that stand out because of the extraordinary moments that unfold, days when one’s hopes and imagination swell, and deep gratitude is the gift tenderly acknowledged before sleep. Such a day in... Read more
The Qur’an asks us, “Where, then, are you going?” (81:26). We live in an age of seemingly incomprehensible turmoil. Amid such political and environmental tribulations, our American society is in the grip of xenophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry. More than ever, the nation must re-examine its assumptions about Islam and relationships with Muslims. Our approach to Islamophobia needs to evolve. Even the term – Islamophobia – is problematic. It’s a tactical way to contrive a... Read more
I’m thinking of a scene in the 2009 film Agora – loosely based on struggles between Jews, Christians, and pagans in fourth-century Alexandria. It’s an awful and inaccurate film in many ways, but I’m a Patristics nerd, and we just don’t get very many big-budget movies about Late Antiquity. In the scene I’m thinking of, the high priest of Serapis and his lieutenant look down from the tower of the Serapeum as a gigantic crowd of Christians swarms the temple, and the lieutenant to the... Read more
REFLECTIONS: Are students today carrying a different set of values than previous generations did? SHARON KUGLER: Some things don’t change. Students are pondering life’s big questions about meaning and purpose while adjusting to life outside the parental purview and exploring what it means to be an adult. Our young people are carrying a burdensome weight.  They worked very hard to get here and now they think they must have everything figured out in this very moment.  The chaplain’s... Read more

Holiday Party 2019