Chaplain leaves for Northeastern
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 00:09
Alexander Levering Kern, who has served as Brandeis’ Protestant Chaplain since 2006, left Brandeis to work at Northeastern University, where he is serving as the executive director of the new Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service.
According to Rev. Walter Cuenin, Interfaith Chaplaincy coordinator and Catholic chaplain, interviews for a new Protestant chaplain are underway. With Kern gone, Brandeis has three chaplains: Cuenin, Rabbi Elyse Winick and Imam Talal Eid.
The Interfaith Chaplaincy shares three chapels: The Berlin Chapel (Jewish), the Bethlehem Chapel (Catholic) and the Harlan Chapel (Protestant). Cuenin said in an interview with the Justice that he hopes to add a Hindu advisor in the future.
At Brandeis, Kern’s specific job included leading Protestant services, being a liaison and spiritual advisor for students and working with the other chaplains. He also directed the Brandeis University Interfaith Leadership Development Fellows program. BUILD brings together participants in the Brandeis community for a yearlong program that aims to expand not only the participants’ understanding of different faiths, but also their leadership skills.
Cuenin spoke of Kern leaving Brandeis in an interview with the Justice. “He got a better job. At Northeastern the job is phenomenal, just a much bigger job, at a much bigger school.
They are trying to build this whole center for Spirituality there. It is right up his alley,” said Cuenin. “He will get to be full-time and facilitate on tasks he never would have had an opportunity to help with at Brandeis.”
According to the Center’s website, Kern is responsible for “designing innovative programs that explore spirituality, religious diversity, intercultural competence and civic engagement at the local and global levels.”
Kern said in an interview with news@Northeastern that he is “truly grateful for this new adventure, and [understands] the enormous opportunity that exists at Northeastern to pioneer and innovate a new model of religious life on campus and a new model of global leadership development, supporting our students as they tackle the challenges of the 21st century.”
Kern declined requests for an interview with the Justice, due to Northeastern’s external communications policies as well as time constraints.
Faculty, students and colleagues attended a lunch to honor Kern on Sept. 6 on Chapel’s Field. The lunch was organized by Cuenin.
“This is a great opportunity for Alex and we will all miss him,” said Cuenin.