Who We Are

Leadership and Staff
Wendy Cadge, PhD

Wendy Cadge, PhD

Founder and Director

Michael Skaggs, PhD

Michael Skaggs, PhD

Co-Founder and Director of Programs

LAST Grace 300sq

Grace Last

Financial and Grants Administrator

Amy Lawton, PhD

Research Manager

Lab Intern in Non-Profit Operations

Elinam Ladzekpo (2023-2024)

In Residence
Photo of Cheryl Giles, who will address the World Health Organization conference on October 2021

Cheryl Giles, PhD

Scholar in Residence


Amy Greene, DMin

Innovator in Residence

Consultants and Advisors
Aja Antoine, sociologist of chaplains of color, PhD student at Berkeley

Aja Antoine

University of California at Berkeley 2020 PhD cohort


Steve Dahl

Marketing Consultant

MARTINEZ Jessica 500sq

Jessica Hamar Martínez

Research Consultant

Bethamie Horowitz, PhD

Research Consultant, Jewish Spiritual Care

Helen McNeal

Helen McNeal

Senior Advisor

Jasmine Terry Okafor, CFRE

Development Advisor

Su Yon Pak, EdD

Senior Advisor

Shelly Rambo

Shelly Rambo, PhD

Senior Advisor

Kelsey White, PhD

Research Consultant

Research Assistants

Adah Anderson

Brandeis University '24

Samaria Dellorso

Brandeis University '24

Alaina Vermilya

Brandeis University '24

Lab Alums

Jennifer Cañas Alegria

Brandeis - Heller School '23

Philip Bonmassar

Brandeis University '22

Helena Buckman

College of William & Mary '23

Alison Cantor

Brandeis University '22

Olivia Combs

Brandeis University '22

Lily deLaRue

Clemson University '23

Jiaying Ding

Harvard Divinity (MDiv) '18

Juliane Ding

Swarthmore College '22

Savannah Jackson

Brandeis University '22

Shaunesse' Jacobs Plaisimond

Boston University
PhD '23

Nan Jiang

Business Analytics
Brandeis University

Ben Katcher

Brandeis University '20

Sophia Koolpe

Brandeis University '24

Mariah Lewis

Brandeis University '22

Lijun Lin

Brandeis University
PhD Candidate, Sociology

Markia Neufville

Brandeis University '22

Rachel Payne

Boston University (MDiv) '21

Zoë Pringle

Brandeis University '22

Teresa Shi

Brandeis University '23

Weijian Shi

Brandeis University '22

Simona Shuman

Brandeis University '22

Grace Tien

Princeton University (PhD) '20

Sophie Trachtenberg

Brandeis University '21

Elena van Stee

University of Pennsylvania
2019 PhD cohort

Our Mission

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab (CIL) launched in October 2018 to bring chaplains, theological educators, clinical educators and social scientists into conversation about the work of chaplaincy and spiritual care.

As religious and spiritual life continues to change, the CIL sparks practical innovations that enable chaplains to nurture the spirits of those they serve and reduce human suffering. Our work is shaped by four central commitments maintained by all who are connected to CIL:

Our Principles

All are welcome. We foster care that is responsive to all individuals, regardless of present or past spiritual or religious affiliation (including none), race, nationality, sexual orientation, ability, and gender identity. We convene organizations, institutions, individuals and stakeholders interested in any facet of chaplaincy.

We respect differences. We do not seek to proselytize, convert, or otherwise convince others of a particular religious or spiritual conviction.  We support a professional field cognizant of and responsive to cultural and individual differences in all forms.

We value learning together. We believe collaboration leverages our strengths and expands community benefits. People doing the work of spiritual care can learn much from (and with) one another beyond their specific setting. Engaging those who become, train or work with chaplains fortifies the foundation for our field. Similarly, we nurture connections with social scientists, religious leaders, and civic leaders. We believe that spiritual care is best provided through collaboration across disciplines and communities

We are research-driven. We gather, foster, and share rigorous academic research about the provision of spiritual care across a range of settings to enhance best practices and improve delivery of care. We privilege applied, praxis-oriented research and feedback loops that include clients, practitioners, educators and researchers in a way that strengthens the work of spiritual care.

Advisory Group

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab Advisory Group is a gathering of individuals who offer general guidance to the Lab at the invitation of the Lab’s senior leadership. The Advisory Group meets quarterly to consult on the Lab’s activities, provide constructive criticism, and brainstorm about developments in chaplaincy and how the Lab can most effectively address them. They also help the Lab partner with and support chaplains in a range of settings. Advisory Group members serve for three-year terms.

    • Tahara Akmal – Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education and Chaplain, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.
    • Claire Chuck Bohman – Director, Sojourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General Hospital
    • Rev. Dr. Rita Brock – Senior VP for Moral Injury Programs, Volunteers of America
    • Ali R. Candir, BCC – Founder & President, Wellspring Chaplaincy Initiative
    • Melissa Carter – Interim Senior Director for Global Spiritual Life, New York University
    • Mark Chaves – Professor of Sociology, Religious Studies, and Divinity, Duke University
    • Erica Cohen Moore – Executive Director, National Association of Catholic Chaplains
    • Betty Ferrell – Director and Professor, Division of Nursing Research and Education, Department of Population Sciences, City of Hope National Medical Center
    • Phil Gallagher – Director, Human Resources, Morgan Stanley
    • Kathy Gallivan, SNDdeN – Director, Spiritual Care Services Department, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
    • Linda Golding – Chaplain, New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center; Coordinator of Pastoral Services, Milstein Hospital
    • Sarah Jobe – Chaplain, Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women
    • Dan Judson – Dean of Graduate Leadership Programs, Hebrew College
    • Larry Kanarek – Private consultant; Director, McKinsey & Company
    • Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben (Ret.) – 26th Chief of Chaplains, United States Navy; Chaplain, United States House of Representatives
    • Heidi Kugler – Chaplaincy Administrator, Federal Bureau of Prisons
    • CAPT, CHC Jack Lea (RET) – Executive Director, National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces
    • Dennis LoRusso – Visiting Fellow, Princeton University
    • Kristen Lucken – Chair, Religious Studies, Brandeis University
    • Janet R. McCormack – Director of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling, Denver Seminary
    • Helen B. McNeal – Principal, McNeal Rector
    • Zachary Moon – Associate Professor of Theology and Psychology, Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Ronald Oliver – System Vice President, Mission and Outreach, Norton Healthcare
  • Sara Paasche-Orlow – Executive Director, Hillel, Northeastern University
  • Su Yon Pak – Senior Director & Associate Professor, Integrative and Field-Based Education, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
  • Sue Phillips – Founder and Principal, Sacred Design Lab
  • Christina Puchalski – Professor of Medicine and Health Science, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Director, GWU Institute for Spirituality and Health; Co-Director, MFA-GWU Supportive and Palliative Outpatient Clinic
  • Shelly Rambo – Associate Professor of Theology, Boston University
  • Carolyn Richar – Chief Mission Officer, Capital Caring Health
  • Alan Rozen, MD HMDC FAAHPM – Chief Medical Officer, Platinum Palliative Care
  • CAPT, CHC Lyman Smith (RET) – Director, Presbyterian Federal Chaplaincy
  • John Schmalzbauer – Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies, Missouri State University
  • Asha Shipman – Director of Hindu Life and Hindu Chaplain, Yale University
  • Rev. Dr. J. Eric Skidmore – South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program
  • Rabbi Mychal B. Springer – Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education, NY-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Ronit Stahl – Assistant Professor of History, UC Berkeley
  • Tiffany Steinwert – Dean for Religious Life, Stanford University
  • Csaba Szilagyi – Director of Research, Rush University Religion, Health and Human Values
  • Lauren A. Taylor – Affiliated Faculty, NYU Wagner; Assistant Professor, NYU Langone School of Medicine
  • Rev. Mary Martha Thiel – Director of CPE, Hebrew SeniorLife
  • Rabbi Nancy Wiener – Founding Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling and Fieldwork Coordinator, Hebrew Union College
  • Rabbi Seth Winberg – Director of the Center for Spiritual Life and Senior Jewish Chaplain, Brandeis University; Executive Director, Brandeis University Hillel
  • Frank Yamada – Executive Director, Association of Theological Schools
  • Jason Zuidema – Executive Director, North American Maritime Ministry Association