Spiritual Advisor for Pagan Students Appointed at University of Chicago

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  May 6, 2014 — 9 Comments

The Reverend Angie Buchanan, Founder and Director of Earth Traditions, and former Board of Trustees member of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, has been appointed as a Spiritual Advisor for Pagan students at the University of Chicago through Rockefeller Chapel. The chapel is the “the spiritual and ceremonial center of the University of Chicago,” and this appointment represents a major advance towards recognizing and serving the spiritual needs of Pagan students at college campuses.

Rockefeller Chapel

Rockefeller Chapel

Here’s a statement sent to me by Rev. Buchanan on her appointment.

Rev. Angie Buchanan

Rev. Angie Buchanan

“I am pleased to announce my new appointment as the Spiritual Advisor for Pagan students at University of Chicago, through Rockefeller Chapel. I look forward to working with the student body to help them celebrate and deepen their path.

I am excited that the University of Chicago has joined many other colleges and universities that already have established Pagan student groups in place. I am eager to embrace the opportunity to do important work with students, and other religious staff. I am also reflecting on the role this has for the larger Pagan context.

Having a Pagan advisor on staff at a prestigious university such as the University of Chicago supports the mainstream recognition that opens up opportunities and freedoms already available to the practitioners of other religious traditions. It also helps secure the establishment of Paganism as a world religion.

Formalization of the Pagan presence on campus serves to recognize the desire of students, Pagan and non-Pagan, to learn about Paganism through religious inquiry. It also acknowledges the need to provide a space for self identified Pagans to have their spiritual needs met.

My hope is to help the students build a legacy, to empower them to craft their own study groups and rituals, and to transfer leadership through successive graduating classes, thereby building a self sustaining Pagan presence among the student body.

This fits in line with what the intentions of the Founders of Rockefeller Chapel have been about all along; that being to provide a place based on scholarship and religious inquiry in the spirit of religion, that accommodates the “complex and often contradictory issues related to religious and spiritual practice in today’s world, providing support to members of the campus community of any religious affiliation or none.”

Rockefeller Chapel, along with institutions like Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University, and the University of Southern Maine, understand that their Pagan student population deserves equal access to spiritual guidance. That, along with schools starting to include Pagan holidays in their calendars, helps, in the words of Rev. Buchanan, “open up opportunities and freedoms already available to the practitioners of other religious traditions.” 

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://enondragonart.com/ Kelly NicDruegan

    Many congratulations!

  • Robert Anthony Parobechek

    Wow, my respect for Chicago just went up!

  • An Elder Apprentice

    As an Chicago alumni, I am very pleased.

  • Gina Pond

    There’s also Lizann Bassham (frontporchspirit.com) who is one of Campus Pastors at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.

  • Raksha38

    This is fantastic news! Congrats to Rev. Buchanan!

  • AndrasArthen

    This is an exciting, well-deserved appointment. Angie Buchanan and the groups she leads — Earth Traditions & Gaia’s Womb — represent some of the very best that can be found in the pagan movement: a strong spiritual foundation, maturity, integrity, creativity, and a solid commitment to create pagan community and to build bridges between paganism and the mainstream culture. And kudos to Rockefeller Chapel for its ongoing engagement in supporting pluralism and interreligious dialogue.

  • http://saffronrose.livejournal.com/ A. Marina Fournier

    Good for Rev. Buchanan!
    I hope that she will always be able to keep the mindset that allows such an impish expression, as in the photo above. It shows a lively wit and sense of humor–and there’s lots of humor to be found around any bunch of humans.

  • Greenmanwalking

    Awesome Happy to hear this!

  • http://www.littlecloudofsanity.blogspot.ca/ Sarah Empey

    Very Cool!!!