The Rev. Lisa Garvin will become acting dean of the Chapel and Religious Life on Feb. 7, the University announced on Jan. 17.

Garvin, who currently serves as the associate dean of the Chapel and Religious Life, will replace the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, who has accepted the position of general secretary of the United Methodist Church’s (UMC) General Board of Church and Society, according to a Jan. 17 University press release.

Garvin has worked as associate dean since 2012. She said her current role is to assist Henry-Crowe with the responsibilities within the Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life.

Prior to joining Emory, Garvin was the director of ministerial services in the Mississippi Conference of the UMC, where she was responsible for overseeing the ordination process for United Methodist clergy in Mississippi, according to Garvin.
As dean of the Chapel and Religious Life, Garvin added, she serves as the face and voice of religious and spiritual life at University ceremonies, convocations, vigils, memorials and celebrations that call for prayer and spiritual leadership.

In addition, Garvin’s role will include oversight of the Inter-Religious Council representing 30 religious groups on campus, pastoral care for the community and collaboration with the dean of the Candler School of Theology and the pastor of Glenn Memorial UMC to serve the University.

Garvin said she is privileged to work with a community of administrators, faculty, staff and students who value the life of the mind and the life of the spirit.

“I am honored to serve Emory University as the acting dean of the Chapel and Religious Life during this time of transition,” Garvin said. “It will be a joy … to fulfill our mission of strengthening group religious identity and inter-religious engagement.”

There will be additional shifts in responsibilities within the office staff to ensure a continuation of community and spiritual growth, Garvin said.

“I am excited to continue to nurture and cultivate the rich and diverse religious life we enjoy at Emory during this important time of transition for our community,” she said.

Garvin said she is looking forward to building on Henry-Crowe’s legacy of “radical hospitality” where all people are welcome and invited to live authentically within the community and continue to help Emory serve as a model for university chaplaincy.

“While I am admittedly biased, I believe Religious Life at Emory is the best religious life program in the country,” she said.

–By Stephen Fowler