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(Formerly NACUC - National Association of College and University Chaplains,
and ACURA - Association of College and University Religious Affairs)

NACUC Annual Conference 2020

The Place & Purpose of Chaplaincy in Higher Education

February 10-12, 2020

Hartford, Connecticut

Opening Plenary with

Joanne Berger-Sweeney, President of Trinity College, and Joel N. Lohr, President of Hartford Seminary

Plenary Sessions will feature

CNancy Fuchs-Kreimer and    Ingrid Mattson

Sessions throughout the conference will maximize participants' interactions and contributions to shared discussion.

Hosted by Trinity College and Hartford Seminary in collaboration with partners from Wesleyan University, Yale University, Amherst College, Williams College, and Howard University.


NACUC is no longer able to accept registrations for this event.

Locations and Excursions

The conference will take place at the Connecticut Convention Center, with visits to Trinity College and to the Hartford Seminary.

Optional excursions will take place on Monday, February 10, and self-directed dinner on the town takes place on Tuesday evening.

The Connecticut Convention Center is located at 100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford. 

A Call for Proposals

We welcome all who are interested in presenting to submit program proposals for the conference workshops. A team of members who serve on the Conference Content Committee will select proposals, choosing those which most exemplify the theme of "the place and purpose of chaplaincy" and are believed to be of most relevance to the conference attendees. We envision programs which incorporate research, skill building, and the unique practice of this work.  

To be considered as a workshop leader, please submit the following to nisa.muhammad@howard.edu:

Presenter’s name(s):

Lead presenter’s email and phone:

Brief bio of presenter(s) (100 word max):

Proposed title for your workshop:

Please give a description of your proposed workshop (you may also include an outline of your proposed workshop):

What are the learning outcomes for participants and your goals for this session?

What are the audio/visual and room setup needs for this session?

Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself or this presentation with the Conference Content Committee?

The deadline to submit proposals is Monday, January 13, 2020. The Committee will review proposals and share decisions shortly after January 13.  

Please Note: Workshop presenters will need to register and pay the registration fee for the conference. 


Accommodations are available at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Located in the Front Street District of Hartford, the Marriott Hartford Downtown overlooks the Connecticut River and is interconnected with the Connecticut Convention Center.

To reserve your accommodations at the group discount rate, click here by Friday, January 10, 2020 to be taken to a NACUC Conference registration block.

Conference participants make their own arrangements for shared accommodations and costs.  

Hartford Marriott Downtown

200 Columbus Boulevard

Hartford, Connecticut 06103-2807


Hartford Marriott Downtown


Further Information about Hartford, CT

For further information about the City of Hartford, go to:

Hartford.com is a great resource for restaurant ideas, attractions, current events and tourist information: 

For the DASH shuttle route, and more information about transportation around the city: 

For information about Front Street, across from the hotel: 

Find a video of Hartford by drone: 


The spiritual practices, religious identities, and cultural heritages of college and university students in the United States are increasingly diverse. Also increasing are the number of students who do not affiliate or identify with a religious tradition. Yet students continue to place value on spiritual care and engage in moral reasoning and ethical action in their daily lives as they shape and express their particular worldviews. Higher education professionals embrace the opportunities and confront the challenges of this environment every day. The February 2020 Annual Conference of the National Association of College and University Chaplains invites thoughtful consideration of the place and purpose of chaplaincy in higher education. 

In response to the shifting religious landscape, the economy of higher education, and their own re-imagining of themselves, institutions of higher learning configure chaplaincies and offices of spiritual and religious life variously—or not at all. Depending on the history, context, and resources of a school, the role and responsibilities of chaplains and other religious life personnel range from particular and delimited, to vague and diffuse, to engaging and integral to the life of the institution. Participants in the 2020 NACUC conference will come together with professionals in the field of religious life, practitioners of spiritual care, scholars from within the academy, public intellectuals, and religious leaders to deepen the conversation and share in the nature, scope, and meaning of this work.  

The National Association of College and University Chaplains (NACUC) and the Association for College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA) seek to merge and form a new organization. This conference creates space for broad participation in the process of articulating the mission of the new professional organization.

This is a lively and critical moment for the spiritual and religious life professionals who serve in higher education. We lead at a time when the religious affiliations of our students are simultaneously declining and diversifying—even as we face increasingly urgent needs for spiritual well-being and moral leadership in higher education and the world. 

Please join us in Hartford. Renew relationship and discover new partnerships. Enjoy the good company of colleagues in the field. We welcome you, your voice, your worldview, and your perspective on the place and purpose of chaplaincy in higher education. 

Conference Schedule

A more detailed schedule will be available closer to the conference dates. This schedule is subject to confirmations and to change.


Monday, February 10, 2020

Hartford Excursion (Optional, Registration Required)

8:15 a.m.

Meet at the conference center main entrance for excursion transportation.

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Visit two of Hartford’s outstanding cultural organizations: the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and the Harriett Beecher Stowe Center. Typically closed on Mondays, these organizations are opening their doors just for our visits.


The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the oldest continuously operating public art museum in the United States. Director of education Anne Butler Rice studied religion and the arts at Yale Divinity School and will host us for a program entitled “Art & Empathy.”


The Harriett Beecher Stowe Center’s focus on 19th century social issues such as slavery and the role of women reverberate today in the form of racism, mass incarceration, immigration, and equal pay. Our visit to the Stowe Center will include conversation with Joan Hedrick, Charles A. Dana Professor of History, Emerita, Trinity College, and Monica Corsaro, Director of Spiritual Life, Knox College. Hedrick is a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and biographer of Harriett Beecher Stowe. NACUC member Monica Corsaro's scholarship follows the Beecher family to the western Illinois tracks of the Underground Railroad. 


12:30 p.m.

Enjoy lunch and continue excursion conversations at venues along Front Street before returning to the conference center.


1:30 p.m. - Hotel check-in & conference registration

For participants arriving this afternoon, we recommend checking into your room first, with luggage, then taking the elevator to the mezzanine level to register for conference.


3:00 p.m. - Welcome reception

Greet other conference attendees and reconnect with colleagues.


4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Opening Plenary Session

Presidents’ Perspectives on Chaplaincy in Higher Education

Joanne Berger-Sweeney

President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience


Joel N. Lohr

President, Hartford Seminary


5:30 p.m. - Break


6:00 p.m. - Opening banquet

Meet the conference planning partners and the NACUC leadership team.


7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - Workshops

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

7:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. - Breakfast 


9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Plenary Session I

Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer: Perspective on Chaplaincy in Higher Education


10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. - Break


10:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Workshops


12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. - Lunch


1:30 p.m. - Transportation to Hartford Seminary


2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Plenary Session II

Ingrid Mattson: Perspective on Chaplaincy in Higher Education


4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. - Workshops


5:15 p.m. - Free time begins

Transportation back to conference center

Dinner in various locations


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. - Breakfast


9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - NACUC business meeting


11:45 - 12:45 - Lunch


12:45 p.m. - Transportation to Trinity College


1:30 – 3:00 p.m. - Plenary Session IV

Perspective on Chaplaincy in Higher Education


3:30 – 4:30 p.m. - Workshops


4:45 p.m. - Transportation to conference center


6:00 p.m. Closing Dinner

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