New associate chaplain to engage with grad students

Over the summer, Candice Provey was selected to succeed Callista Isabelle as associate chaplain.
Over the summer, Candice Provey was selected to succeed Callista Isabelle as associate chaplain. Photo by Jane Darby Menton.

After working with HIV-positive adults in the public health sector, serving in the Peace Corps in Malawi and directing a civic service initative at Duke University, Candice Provey is tackling a new role at the Chaplain’s Office.

This summer, University Chaplain Sharon Kugler and Reverend Ian Oliver, the pastor of the University Church, selected Provey from a pool of around 400 applicants to fill the associate chaplain post vacated by Callista Isabelle last year. As associate chaplain, Provey said she will serve as the assistant pastor to the University Church and strive to provide spiritual guidance and pastoral care to Yale students, particularly those in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools.

“Right from the start one could see her skillfulness with people, her thoughtful engagement with a variety of religious voices and her calm presence,” Kugler said of Provey. “She also came with considerable experience working with graduate students at Duke along with demonstrating a heart for civic engagement and social justice.”

In effort to reach out and involve graduate students in Yale’s faith community, Provey said she will work closely with the two McDougal fellows for religious and spiritual life, a branch added to the larger McDougal fellowship program last year and co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Yale Chaplain’s office. The branch was created in response to a perceived need to increase religious and spiritual life resources for graduate students, many of whom felt that the existing resources were intended for undergraduates, said Jennifer Mendelsohn, associate director for graduate student life.

Mendelsohn said she has already spoken with Provey about graduate student outreach, and has been impressed by her enthusiasm and approachability.

Kyle Skinner ’11 GRD ’17, one of the McDougal fellows, said he will work with Provey to develop programming that encourages interfaith dialogue, generates a sense of fellowship and inclusion in Yale’s faith community, and introduces graduate students to the variety of religious and spiritual opportunities on campus.

“Candice is uniquely qualified to work with this constituency,” Skinner said. “She is a profoundly caring pastor who is strong in her faith, but she is also a scholar at heart, a person who understands that the mission of the University and the mission of any religious group should be fundamentally compatible.”

The other fellow, Tyler Hale DIV ’13, said he and Skinner have already met with Provey several times to “brainstorm” ideas about how to address the spiritual and religious needs of graduate students. He described Provey as having a warm and approachable personality, and bringing valuable perspective to the conversation.

In addition to engaging with the graduate school, Provey will delivering a sermon each month at Sunday worship services at the University Church, coordinate the weekly Wednesday night services and work with the student leadership board in her role as assistant pastor.

“It’s a big job with two large components, between the graduate school and the church, but she seems to be balancing them well,” Oliver said. “She brings good energy and she really seems to enjoy the students.”

Provey earned her master’s degree from Duke Divinity School in 2010 and is currently seeking ordination in the Presbyterian Church.

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