Acadia University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Peter Ricketts today announced the appointment of the Reverend Dr. Marjorie Lewis as the University Chaplain effective March 2.
"On behalf of the entire Acadia community, I want to welcome Rev. Dr. Lewis to our campus and our community," said Dr. Ricketts. "As Acadia’s next chaplain, she brings an enormous amount of experience gained in a career that has been truly international and ecumenical. She will be a great asset in supporting the spiritual and personal growth of Acadia’s increasingly diverse student body.”
Dr. Ricketts also thanked the search committee for assisting with the extensive process.
“I am honoured to have been appointed Chaplain of Acadia University,” said Rev. Dr. Lewis. “The University’s historical and current commitment to providing educational opportunities for persons of all creeds and ethnicities is a commitment which I share. I look forward to serving members of the Acadia community as they explore sources of meaning, purpose, and hope through diverse faiths and spiritualities.”
Rev. Dr. Lewis holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, a Master of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies from the Atlantic School of Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the University of the West Indies. She also holds a diploma in Clinical Supervision from United Theological College of the West Indies and several accreditations in counselling and ministerial studies.
Most recently, she worked as a spiritual and religious care chaplain with the Nova Scotia Health Authority. She has also been teaching online courses about gender, church community development, and health programs. She has been exploring Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in Atlantic Canada and is a consultant to churches in continuing education for clergy and strategic planning.
Rev. Dr. Lewis worked as Acting Anglican Chaplain for the Diocese of Nova Scotia in various hospitals across Halifax. She also served as a Visiting Scholar at the Atlantic School of Theology and conducted action-oriented research on best practices in training ministers to provide exceptional counselling to diverse populations such as the LGBTQ and inter-faith communities.
She has had many international work and research experiences, including the United Reformed Church, Britain, the Jamaica Council of Churches, Oxfam, and the Caribbean Conference of Churches. And she has been a pastor of rural congregations and a high school teacher in Jamaica.
From 2010 to 2015, Rev. Dr. Lewis served as President of the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) in Kingston, Jamaica. From 2003 to 2010, she lectured in the Practical Theology Department at the United Theological College and provided spiritual direction for women in politics in Grenada and female church leaders in Jamaica.
In 2009 she was awarded a Fellowship as Womanist Scholar at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, which is a Christian Afrocentric ecumenical consortium that educates students committed to practicing justice and peace through a liberating and transforming spirituality to become leaders in the church and local/global communities.
“It has been a fundamental belief at Acadia that education and spiritual learning go hand in hand,” said Dr. Ricketts. “The Manning Memorial Chapel is ecumenical and open to all, to pursue the spiritual context of an academic education.”
In 1958, Acadia Students asked for the construction of a chapel. They began to raise money for its development when the family of Fred C. Manning, long-associated with Acadia, offered to build it in his memory. It was opened and dedicated in 1963. Since that time, the Chapel has become one of the busiest spots on campus. It is a place where students, faculty, staff, and community go for services, quiet contemplation, counselling, and a myriad of other activities. The Chapel is open for services daily, as well as a Roman Catholic mass on Saturdays and a University service on Sundays.