Humanist Chaplain in “Ministry”


Bart Campolo, Humanist Chaplain at USC, came out as an agnostic to Tony, his famous Evangelical father.

Now, he’s doing a new kind of “ministry” that builds on the idea that non-theists need community too.

“[He] wants to create a humanist community that Christian people can celebrate — what he calls “a church for people who don’t believe in God.” He wants to create experiences with inspirational talks, uplifting music, service opportunities, and perhaps even potluck suppers.

“One thing I learned from Jesus was that if you want to gain your life, you have to lose it for the sake of the gospel,” Bart said. “I may have a different gospel now, but I want to give my life to it. I still have good news to share.”

This is one good example of why I sometimes think Secular Chaplaincy is the future of ANY Chaplaincy.  If a Chaplain only represents one faith, and doesn’t move through Interfaith Chaplaincy to a No More Borders kind of Chaplaincy, I think their ministry misses out on the radical inclusiveness that gives a depth and deeper relevance to the whole meaning of Chaplaincy.



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