Rev. Christopher McCreight, Chaplain
B.A., Hiram College
M.Div., Emory University
Founded in 1850 by the Disciples of Christ as the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, the College and the church have worked as partners in education and service ever since. Since the College’s first days, it has been nonsectarian and coeducational, and throughout its existence it has sustained this egalitarian tradition of educating men and women from diverse backgrounds. The Disciples are a mainline Protestant tradition that affirms the religious traditions of others as worthy and sacred, and leads Christians to love, to create communities of belonging and liberation, and to work for justice and peace.
These virtues were well-represented by James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States. Garfield belonged to the Disciples, which spurred him to abolition and democratic principles. Hiram has a continuing relationship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and a special scholarship fund exists for children of Disciples of Christ families and ministers. Current religious life at the College is open and free of any sectarian emphasis.
The Fisher All-Faith Chapel and Meeting House is sacred space for our whole campus community: for students of every faith and students of no particular faith. All students who are interested in practicing their tradition and/or organizing a student group to foster a practicing community will find the support of Hiram’s chaplain and chapel. The College chaplain, along with student groups, seeks to plan programs of interest to all students and to assist any student to express their religious tradition(s). Special attention is paid to both tradition-specific and interfaith programming in the Fisher All Faith Chapel and Meeting House.
The College has a special relationship with the Hiram Christian Church, which is adjacent to the campus. The church welcomes each and every student. Whether they are a practicing Christian who is looking for a congregation to worship and engage with, an agnostic who is seeking to learn more about this particular tradition, or a student of another sacred religion or of no particular tradition who is seeking a community to fellowship with - all are welcome and belong.
The College chaplain is available for advising religious groups and assisting Religious Life programming, as well as for personal and spiritual counseling. Pastoral counseling is compassionate and confidential conversation about what is stirring within. It can be about something clearly religious or spiritual: the existential questions on meaning or religious re-imagination to deconstruct and reconstruct one’s theology. It can be about the condition of one’s interiority/spirit: how to address loss and transform it into grief or how to bring a healthy rhythm to one’s daily life. And, it can be about healing the whole of one’s life: discerning how to honor who you truly are or discerning a sacred calling upon one’s life to follow passion and love, and how to reconcile these with family, friends, and communities of belonging.