The Rev. Dr. Gregory W. McGonigle

Dean of Religious Life and University Chaplain at Emory University
headshot of reverend Gregory Mcgonigle

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The Reverend Dr. Gregory W. McGonigle was appointed Dean of Religious Life and University Chaplain at Emory University on August 1, 2019. Reporting to the President, and as a member of the President's Leadership Team, his duties are to support all religious and philosophical life at the university, to lead the team in the university's Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, to provide pastoral care, and to promote interfaith engagement initiatives on Emory's campus, in Atlanta, and beyond.

Before coming to Emory, Dean McGonigle served for six years as the University Chaplain of Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, where he oversaw Goddard Chapel and the Tufts Interfaith Center and led a team of ten chaplains and staff supporting the diverse religious and philosophical life of that university. He added positions for Humanist, Buddhist, Africana, and Hindu chaplains to the team, and he worked with students, faculty, and staff to revive the CAFÉ Interfaith Social Justice Pre-Orientation Program–a student interfaith engagement program that has won national recognition and has been written about as a distinguished program for developing interfaith leaders. He also received Tufts University's Faculty and Staff Multicultural Service Award.

Before Tufts, Dean McGonigle served for five years as the first multifaith Director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Oberlin College. He involved Oberlin in the White House Interfaith Community Service Campus Challenge, created the Oberlin College Interfaith Council, opened a new Multifaith Center, and helped to appoint the college's first Muslim Chaplain. He also taught courses on Interfaith Leadership and Religion, Gender, and Sexuality, and led an alumni trip to India as an exploration of South Asian religions and sacred space.

Prior to Oberlin, he served as a campus minister at the University of California at Davis, helping to build interfaith relationships for a multifaith living community. He has also served in ministry in congregations, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and at an HIV/AIDS community center. While in divinity school, he worked as a researcher at the Harvard Pluralism Project.

Dean McGonigle is an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association–-a religious movement rooted in Judaism and Christianity that honors spiritual insights from the world's religions and promotes progressive principles of personal ethics and social justice. He is past president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and a past board member of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs. He currently serves on the executive board of the International Association of Chaplains in Higher Education. He has served on the field education faculty and educated ministers through Pacific School of Religion, Harvard Divinity School, and Candler School of Theology.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Brown University in Religious Studies, focused on South Asian religions. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University focused on American religious history, and Doctor of Ministry degree from Boston University School of Theology.

He enjoys traveling the world and has visited some thirty countries. He also enjoys reading, film, and theatre.


  • DMin | Boston University
  • MDiv | Harvard University
  • AB | Brown University

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Interfaith studies and leadership
  • Chaplaincy and religion in higher education
  • Queer and other liberation theologies
  • American religious history
  • South Asian religions
  • Multiculturalism and social justice
  • Civil and human rights
  • Unitarian Universalism
  • Transcendentalism