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Assemblies of God (Chi Alpha)

  1. Photo of Blane Young

    Rev. Blane Young

    Chi Alpha Campus Ministries Chaplain (Director)

    Reverend Blane Young became the director of American University Chi Alpha in 2014. He completed an internship (Campus Missionary in Training) with AU Chi Alpha in the 2011-2012 and is a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God. Blane’s main roles include preaching, teaching, and mentoring / counseling students, all while overseeing the ministry. Before coming to Washington, DC, Blane worked on staff at Family Life Church in Brunswick, GA. He graduated in 2009 from the University of Alabama where he was a National Hispanic Scholar and received a B.A. in religious studies and minored in computer science technology and applications. He also served as student director of Alabama Chi Alpha with his now wife, Hannah. He is an active member in National Community Church and involved heavily in ministry there.

    Blane and his wife, Hannah, have a son, Jeremiah, and live in Northwest DC. Blane enjoys finding new podcasts to listen to and sharing them with his son, drinking and making coffee, and discovering the latest technology trends.

    Text: 202.642.6274 (via Google Voice) 



  2. Photo of Natalie Hill

    Rev. Natalie Hill

    Chi Alpha Campus Ministries Chaplain (Associate Director)

    Reverend Natalie Hill is originally from Buffalo, NY and graduated from American University in 2013 with a B.A. in anthropology. She did an internship (Campus Missionary in Training) with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries at AU in the 2013-2014 school year and came on staff as a Missionary Associate after that. She is a worship leader and is passionate about finding ways to bring art and faith together, specifically through music. She is a certified minister with the Assemblies of God and is also involved in preaching, teaching, and mentoring students. Natalie is also a worship leader at National Community Church and involved in ministry there as well, specifically at the Georgetown campus.

    Outside of ministry, Natalie can be found writing songs, reading Steinbeck, drinking coffee, and (unfortunately) cheering for the Buffalo Bills.




  1. Portrait of Fr. Iván Pertiné

    Fr. Iván Pertiné

    Catholic Chaplain

    AU Phone: x3294 

    Fr. Iván Pertiné is very excited to serve as AU´s catholic chaplain! He is the director of the Saint John Society (SJS), a new Catholic Organization of priests and missionaries that work in USA, Italy, Argentina, and Uruguay. He led the Catholic Newman Centers at Oregon State University and at Portland State University for 3 years before coming to Washington, DC and starting the SJS house of studies for their seminarian theological students. He currently serves as the formator for the SJS theological students while collaborating with Fr. Mario Majano at Misión San Andres, in Silver Spring, Maryland. He holds a License Degree in Philosophy and an S.T.B. in Theology by the Pontifical Catholic University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fr. Iván has been a Catholic Priests for 18 years (14 of which in Argentina). During his priestly ministry in Argentina he worked in a state prison, served as a pastor in a rural parish, worked with college and high school students, led different types of evangelization programs, and led evangelization missions in poor slums of different cities in Argentina.

  2. Photo of Grace Hegarty

    Grace C. Hegarty

    Catholic Campus Minister

    AU Phone: x3326


    Grace Hegarty is the Catholic Campus Minister at AU and is very excited for this mission! She fell in love with campus ministry during her undergraduate career at University of Maryland (Go Terps!) where she was very involved at the Catholic Student Center. She attained a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English Language and Literature and Political Science. She has a history of working with the federal government, and other churches/ministries in the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, which all have led her here to AU. In addition to her career, Grace enjoys talking, laughing, camping, kayaking, reading Shakespeare, and listening to Mumford & Sons. She loves talking with students, so feel free to email her at!

Christian Science


  1. Carolyn Seaton

    Carolyn Seaton

    Episcopal/Anglican Chaplain

    Interfaith Council Advisor

    AU Phone: x3329
    Personal Phone: (301) 585-2063

    Carolyn Seaton has served as Episcopal-Anglican Chaplain at the Kay Center since 2002. She loves every minute of her time there, because the Kay students and staff are vitally involved in strengthening their connections to their own faith traditions while learning about others and working together for the greater good of the AU community, as well as the world outside its gates. She has a B.A. in Literature, a Master's degree in Mental Health from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and currently studies at Wesley Theological Seminary next door.

    She has worked as a writer, teacher, and counselor, particularly with high school and college students, most recently at George Washington University, the College Preparatory program at Georgetown University, and as a tutor in private practice. She is a member of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in D.C., is married, and has two daughters in college. She travels anytime she can, loves visiting new cities, reading international fiction, discussing theology, and music of many varieties.

Latter-day Saints (Mormon)

  1. Profile not provided

    Michael Cottle

    Latter-Day Saints Chaplain

    AU Phone: x3329
    Personal Phone: (202) 448-3399


  1. AU Blank Profile

    Sylstea Sledge

    Gospel Choir Chaplain and Director

    AU Phone: x3329
    Personal Phone: (301) 805-5627

    Sylstea C. Sledge, music educator and composer, is a native of Washington, DC. He is the only son of proud parents, Tammah L. Sledge and the late Sylister Sledge. The musical talents of playing the piano and making up songs were discovered very early when Sylstea would visit his Uncle Elisha’s and Aunt Emma’s house and play on their old up-right piano. His musical talents were also nurtured in the Sunday School Department at the Trinidad Baptist Church and the Guiding Star Baptist Church. While continuing to build a stronger musical foundation, blessed teachers: Rev. Rosalynd Reed-Walker, Professor Bernard Barbour, Mrs. Beatrice Gilkes and Dr. Raymond Jackson were among the first inspiring mentors.

    Professionally, Sylstea holds a Bachelor of Science from Hampton University and a Master’s of Music Education from the University of Arkansas. He is a former music teacher of the Prince George’s County Public School System, Adjunct Professor at American University-Gospel Choir, full-time Minister of Music at the First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries, Virginia, Member of the Gospel Music Workshop of America.

  2. Ronnell Brown Headshot

    Ronnell Brown

    Every Nation Campus Chaplain


    Ronnell Brown is originally from Queens, NY and graduated from Howard University in 2016 with a B.S in Human Development. Ronnell is a commissioned minister with Every Nation Campus Ministries through Grace Covenant Church of DC. While at Howard, he was involved in campus ministry as a student leader. After serving on both local and international mission trips to Johannesburg, SA and Phoenix, AZ respectively, he felt God call him to reach and empower students with the same love of Jesus. He is involved in leading bible studies, leadership development, discipleship, and in his local church Grace Covenant Church of DC.

    Ronnell enjoys a great conversation, watching movies, and loves dining out. He truly believes that if we show students on college campuses the potent love of Jesus Christ and win the campus for Jesus, we win the world for Him too!


Ben Leopold, Associate Cru Chaplain, 703-447-4190,
Halie Valada, Associate Cru Chaplain, 215-771-0118,
Kayla Martin, Associate Cru Chaplain, 515-419-4989,
Brittany Bading, Associate Cru Chaplain, x3320,
Lauren O'Connor, Associate Cru Chaplain, 704-576-5981,
Addison Frank, Associate Cru Chaplain, 267-981-8185,



  1. Rev. Quinn Fox

    Rev. Quinn Fox

    Presbyterian Chaplain

    AU Phone: x3329

    Quinn Fox grew up in the Chicago area and attended Colorado College, where he majored in history and played on a nationally-ranked Division III football team; during his college years he was active in Young Life leadership. Upon graduation he spent 8 months in the Philippines with Young Life before enrolling at Fuller Theological Seminary. After four years of study—with a 15-month stint directing the high school ministry at 1st Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs—he received the M.Div. and M.A. degrees. He was ordained as Associate Chaplain at Whitworth College (Spokane, WA) a Presbyterian school, where he served four years. From there Quinn pursued his graduate education, earning a Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in the History of Christian Thought.

    Quinn has served churches in Southern California, Washington State, Texas and Colorado. As Associate Pastor for Adult Education at 1st Presbyterian Colorado Springs he directed one of the largest adult education programs in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He was invited to join the denomination’s Office of Theology and Worship in 2007 to direct a Lilly Endowment-funded program for new pastors; he contributed to the denomination’s report on Christian-Muslim relations to the General Assembly in 2010. In 2011 Quinn moved to Washington to become the Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Christian Formation at National Presbyterian Church (4101 Nebraska Ave., NW). Quinn taught as an adjunct professor for Fuller Seminary’s Colorado Springs Campus from 1997 to 2012 (church history, historical and systematic theology, homiletics and Presbyterian polity); in 2011 he was Visiting Professor of Church History at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt.

    In addition to his responsibilities at National Presbyterian Church he serves as an Associate Director for the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology and is active in the National Capital Presbytery. He regularly teaches Bible classes and leads a weekly book discussion group at National Presbyterian. He is particularly interested in the intersection of faith and popular culture, and has taught classes on “The Gospel According to Downton Abbey” and “Looking for God in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.”

    Quinn enjoys books and reading, great movies and films, and a wide variety of foods (and travel to their country of origin); he wishes there was more time to write. He likes all kinds of exercise, but would rather hike in the Rocky Mountains than shovel snow off his driveway in Bethesda! Quinn has been married to Nancy for over 36 years; they have two adult children in their 20’s.

  2. Headshot Robbie Wellington

    Rev. Robbie Wellington

    Associate Presbyterian Chaplain


    Robbie Wellington was born in Chicago, Illinois and is a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  He went to middle school and high school in Atlanta, Georgia.  He went on to Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina where he majored in Political Science, French, and German.  After graduating from college, he taught English in China for five years before coming to Washington, DC to do graduate work at American University and Wesley Theological Seminary.  Robbie graduated with an MA in IPCR at SIS and an M.Div. and MTS from Wesley.  Robbie was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in May 2009 and served as a hospice chaplain with Community Hospices for nine years (2008-2017).  Robbie is currently working on his PhD in conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University.

United Methodist

  1. Rev. Joey Heath

    Rev. Joey Heath

    United Methodist Chaplain

    AU Phone: x3304
    Personal Phone:

    Rev. Joey Heath is the United Methodist Chaplain at American University. He was raised in southern Georgia and attended college at Valdosta State University, majoring in political science. After changing a previous plan to attend law school, he spent several years working a variety of jobs from camp counselor to working on cruise ships. In 2008 he felt God leading him to be a part of being change in the church as a pastor. In response he enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary and began a Master of Divinity degree. In 2012 Joey graduated and began his first appointment at Stone Chapel UMC in New Windsor, MD. This was followed by three years at Silver Spring UMC as the associate pastor. Joey’s passion in ministry is to see life changing transformation in the world and to be the church where all are welcomed and embraced for exactly who God has created each one to be.

Jewish & Muslim


  1. Jason Bekendorf

    Jason Benkendorf

    Executive Director of Hillel

    AU Phone: x3324

    Jason Benkendorf has served as the Executive Director of American University Hillel since 2011. An AU alumnus, he is excited to return to his old stomping grounds to work and learn with the extraordinary people who make up the AU community.

    Jason comes to Hillel following five years with The Curriculum Initiative (TCI), an organization that supports inclusive Jewish programming at independent high schools. He previously served as Senior Officer of Public and Academic Affairs at the Embassy of Israel, during which time he worked closely with student activists at AU and other DC area campuses. Jason has also been involved with BBYO in a variety of capacities over the last fifteen years.

    A passion for public service brought Jason to DC, and he received his BA in political science from the AU School of Public Affairs. He subsequently completed an MBA at Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in organization development.

    Jason is a devoted Washington Nationals fan, an avid reader, and a summer camp enthusiast (17 years and counting). No matter the weather, rest assured that he wishes he was wearing flip flops.

  2. Portrait of Mollie Feldman

    Mollie Feldman

    Assistant Director and Senior Jewish Educator


    Mollie Feldman joined AU Hillel's team in July 2017 as Assistant Director and Senior Jewish Educator. Mollie received two master's degrees from the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. She previously served as the youth director at a synagogue in Minneapolis and as an educator at Brandeis Collegiate Institute, an innovative four-week residential program for Jewish young adults. Mollie completed the Experiential Jewish Educators Program at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem and received a Certificate in Experiential Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College.

  3. Sarah Bernstein

    Sarah Bernstein

    Springboard Social Justice Fellow


    Sarah Bernstein, originally from Massachusetts, joined the AU Hillel team in August 2020 as the Springboard Social Justice Fellow. Sarah graduated from the University of Delaware in May 2020 with a B.A. in Public Policy and Communications and was deeply involved on campus as an organizer with Planned Parenthood’s student affiliate group. Sarah is thrilled to support AU Hillel’s student engagement and social justice initiatives and create thought-provoking, inclusive, and intersectional programming rooted in Jewish values.



  1. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

    Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

    Muslim Chaplain

    Personal Phone: (240) 880-7708

    Born on in 1948 at sea to Palestinian refugee parents, Dr. Ahmad was raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1970 and in 1975 obtained a Ph. D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Arizona. He teaches an introductory course on Islam at the Wesley Theological Seminary and holds a position as senior lecturer at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD where he has taught honors courses in "Religion and Progress" and on "Religion, Science, and Freedom." He has also taught college courses on Islam and Development at Georgetown University and graduate courses in Islam and Development and Theory of Social Change at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies. Dr. Ahmad has lectured on Islam at the Foreign Services Institute and for the Joint Special Operations University's Middle East Orientation Course. He has done postdoctoral work in astronomy at Harvard, the University of Maryland, and under contract to Goddard Space Flight Center and for private firms. He is currently President of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, an Islamic think-tank in the Washington, DC area.

    Dr. Ahmad is an internationally sought-after speaker on matters relating to Islam and Muslims. He is author of Signs in the Heavens, co-editor of Islam and the West: A Dialog, and co-author of Islam and the Discovery of Freedom. Dr. Ahmad's essay "An Islamic Perspective on the Wealth of Nations" appears in the International Library of Critical Writings on Economics series #129 The Economics of Property Rights. His most recent books are The Islamic Rules of Order and the Directory of Policy Experts in Islamic Studies and Muslim Affairs. In addition to serving as a Muslim chaplain at American University, he is a chaplain at the Adventist Behavioral Center and the Perkins Hospital, Imam of the Dar-adh-Dhikr Mosque, President of the Islamic-American Zakat Foundation, and arbitrator for the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area. He resides in Bethesda with his wife Frances Eddy.

    Dr. Ahmad has received the "Star Cup for Outstanding Public Service" award from the Montgomery County Civic Federation, the "Champion of Democracy Award" from Marylanders for Democracy, the "Samuel P. Chase Freedom Award" from the Libertarian Party of Maryland, and the "Sentinel Award" from the Montgomery County Civic Federation.

  2. Ghiyath Nakshbendi

    Ghiyath Nakshbendi

    Muslim Chaplain


    Ghiyath Nakshbendi, was the Founder of the first college Masjid at Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland back in 1972, where he was tenured faculty. Most recently, he serves as a volunteer Muslim Chaplain at the Kay Spiritual Life Center at American University, and faculty advisor to several university student-run organizations, including the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

    Ghiyath left academia to pursue a 25-year career in the financial industry. He is a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) subject-matter expert, with a focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and has conducted work on significant projects in the region spanning from Mauritania to Oman, over a period of 20 years. He was a member of the Advisory Committee on U.S.—Muslim World Relations formed in 2006 at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and is currently a fellow of the Sovereign Investment Lab and the ? BAFFI CAREFIN Centre for Applied Research on International Markets, Banking, Finance and Regulation at Università Bocconi and the National Council on US-Arab Relations

    He returned to academia in 2007 to teach business courses at the American University, at i) the Kogod School of Business, in addition to, being an affiliate faculty member of ii) the School on International Service, the Arab World Studies Program and iii) the College of Arts and Sciences. Ghiyath was a guest of the United States Department of State’s (DOS) tour in 2008 to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan where he spoke about Islam in America.

    At American University he introduced the first academic courses in the Washington, D.C. area on Islamic Finance at the graduate and undergraduate levels, in addition to, the first Graduate Certificate in Islamic Finance in the United States. Ghiyath is a Fulbright Scholar and has been affiliated with five other educational institutions of higher learning in the United States and abroad, where he has taught various business courses in the Arabic language.

    Ghiyath is a frequent speaker in both the domestic and international arenas, and presented at the U.S. Department of State and Foreign Service Institute. His television, radio and print interviews, includes: Dubai TV, Alhurra Television, Express News, SNRT of Morocco, HOT 102 FM Station of Jamaica, Atlantic Radio of Morocco, VOA, SkyNewsArabia, Kuwait TV, FM 93.3 Radio of Kuwait, Oman TV, Xinhua News Agency, Al Ekhbariya TV of Saudi Arabia, French TV, France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo International, among others. 

    Ghiyath received his Bachelor of Commercial Sciences from the University of Aleppo, Syria; earned his Master in Business Administration from the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; and was awarded his Ph.D. in Business Administration from American University, Washington, D.C.

Hindu & Buddhist


  1. SGI Buddhist Chaplain Barbara Kraft

    Barbara Kraft

    SGI Buddhist Chaplain


    As a 40 year practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism and member of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), Barbara has been a Buddhist Chaplain with the Kay Center since 2011. Through the practice of Nichiren Buddhism, people awaken to the dignity and power within, allowing them to transform their lives on the deepest level thereby creating an indestructibly happy life state and desire to contribute to a peaceful society. Barbara has held various responsibilities and leadership roles within SGI and participated in the many SGI activities aimed at fostering peace, culture and education both locally and internationally.

    Barbara holds two degrees in Psychology, a Bachelor's Degree from George Washington University and a Masters Degree from Catholic University. During a career in Criminal Justice, she counseled offenders and worked with youth and families. She served as a board member for two DC schools and has worked with a local group of neuropsychologists in coaching and tutoring youth with learning and emotional disabilities. She currently has a private tutoring practice.

  2. AU Blank Profile

    Ven. Bhante Katugastota Uparatana

    Buddhist Chaplain

    Buddhist Chaplain
    AU Phone: x3329
    Personal Phone: (301) 946-9437

    In 1981 Ven. Dr. Henepola Gunaratana, the president of Washington Buddhist Vihara invited Bhante Katugastota Uparatana to join the temple as a resident monk. Upon arriving, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy at University of District of Colombia. He has served as the Buddhist chaplain at American University in Washington, D.C. since 1989 where he also teaches Vipassana meditation. In an effort to nourish Theravada Buddhism among the Sri Lankan, American and foreign born people in the United States, Bhante Uparatana founded the International Buddhist Center in Wheaton, Maryland in 1996.

    A few years ago, Bhante Uparatana was appointed the co-president of the International Buddhist Committee, which encompasses all Mahayana and Theravada temples and centers in the Washington metropolitan area, and year 2000 he was appointed to host International Vesak, a celebration of Vesak by all of the temples and centers collectively.


  1. Portrait of Kavita Pollad Sekhsaria

    Kavita Pallod Sekhsaria

    Hindu Chaplain


    Kavita Pallod Sekhsaria is currently pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology at Rutgers, and is completing her internship in Maryland this year. She has been involved in the Hindu community and efforts to educate young Hindus about their faith throughout her life through numerous settings, including as a Hindu Camp Director, as as a student leader of the Hindu Student group at her alma mater (The University of Texas), and as a creator of Hinduism 101 (a resource for teachers to use in the classroom). She is very excited about the opportunity to bring together her passion for both emotional and spiritual well-being as a chaplain at AU this year. 

Bahá’í, Sikh & Unitarian


  1. Baha'i Chaplain Donna Denize

    Donna Denizé

    Baha'i Chaplain

    AU Phone: x3329
    Personal Phone: (202) 537-6478

    Donna Denizé, of Haitian-American descent, is the author of the poetry chapbook, "The Lover's Voice" (1997) and a book of poems, "Broken Like Job" (2005). Her poems have appeared in anthologies such as Hungry As We Are; WPFW Poetry Anthology; Weavings 2000, and magazines, Provincetown Arts, Gargoyle, World Order, Innisfree Journal of Poetry, and Orison. She holds degrees from Stonehill College and Howard University, where she was a student of poet Robert Hayden, while he served as Consultant to the Library of Congress. She served two years on The Folger Poetry Board, and has also contributed to scholarly books and journals, including Shakespeare Set Free, published by the Folger Shakespeare Library and Teacher’s Digest, an educational magazine from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She was also one of eight invited teacher's for The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s eight part mini-series, In Search of the Novel (aired nationwide, 2000-present).

    In 2003, she was awarded by Williams College the George Olmsted Jr., Prize for excellence in secondary teaching, and in 2004, she was appointed to the board of trustees of The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) in Staunton, Virginia. She currently teaches literature at St. Albans School for Boys, where she has taught Shakespeare, American literature, and freshman English for 20 years, and during the summer, teaches in “The Cathedral Scholars Program,” an outreach program of academic enrichment which serves students from 18 different D.C. public schools.


Unitarian Universalist

  1. Charlotte Jones-Carroll

    Charlotte Jones-Carroll

    Unitarian Universalist Chaplain

    AU Phone: x3329
    Personal Phone: (301) 652-2205

    Charlotte Jones-Carroll, an SIS BA '67 alumna, became AU's Unitarian-Universalist lay chaplain in 2001. Campus ministry for UU-preference students is sponsored by River Road Unitarian-Universalist Congregation (RRUUC) in Bethesda, Charlotte's home congregation, under supervision of Rev. Nancy Ladd. Before Charlotte took up this role, she served 31 years in USAID and World Bank positions, earned an MPA at Princeton University, and studied peacebuilding and conflict transformation informally at AU and Eastern Mennonite U. She has worked with high school youth as well at RRUUC, and served on that congregation's board, as well as the board of the UU Service Committee in Cambridge, MA and several other non-profit organizations' boards in the DC area. Charlotte and her husband Tom have an adult daughter, Ilona Carroll, and live in Chevy Chase, MD.

Humanist & Quaker


  1. Binyamin Biber

    Binyamin Biber

    Humanist Chaplain

    AU Phone: x3329

    Chaplain Biber is the faculty adviser to the Secular Student Alliance at AU. He is an ordained Humanistic rabbi who for thirteen years served a DC congregation called Machar, the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism ('Machar' means 'tomorrow' in Hebrew). He served as the President of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis - North America, is a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of J Street – working for a just peace between Israel and Palestine, and was a board member of the Humanist Society, the professional organization of chaplains and officiants active within the American Humanist Association (AHA).


  1. Gene Throwe

    Gene Throwe

    Quaker Chaplain

    AU Phone: x3326
    Personal Phone: (703) 405-9003

    Gene Throwe is an alumnus of the American University Washington Semester Program (Spring ’92) where he studied foreign policy. He holds a BA from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. Gene currently works for a non-profit that advocates for nursing education. He is active with Friends Meeting of Washington (Quaker) in Dupont Circle and was led to develop an outreach program between local college students and the Quaker community after attending a retreat on engaging young adults in Quakerism. Gene currently serves on the Ministry and Worship Committee at his meeting and is active with the Young Adult Friends. His hobbies include knitting and crocheting, reading, and he is active in LGBT issues.