Chris Stedman is a Fellow of Davenport College at Yale University and Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community (YHC). Previously a Humanist chaplain at Harvard University, he is the author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious. A Contributing Editor at Religion News Service and advisor to Religion Dispatches, Chris is a committed Humanist and interfaith activist and previously served as the co-founder and Emeritus Managing Director of State of Formation at the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, as the atheist columnist for RNS, and as a Content Developer and Adjunct Trainer for Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). Details magazine named Chris as one of “five next-gen gurus who are disrupting religion’s status quo” and Mic called him “the millennial who’s busting every stereotype about atheists.” He has appeared on CNN, msnbc, and Fox News, and has written for publications including Salon, CNN, msnbc, The Advocate, USA Today, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post.
Chris brings more than a decade of experience as a community organizer to YHC. A passionate advocate for the nonreligious, Chris is actively involved in the Secular Student Alliance, the Center for Inquiry on Campus, the American Humanist Association, and other organizations dedicated to building and supporting community for the nonreligious.
Chris received a summa cum laude B.A. in Religion from Augsburg College and an M.A. in Religion from Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago (with dual concentrations in Pastoral Care & Counseling and Religion & the Arts). His favorite quote was written by agnostic astronomer Carl Sagan: “For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” What makes the vastness bearable for Chris—and, often, what makes it more than bearable—is the meaning he finds with others in community. That, and long walks with his dog Tuna.
J. Cody Nielsen is the Executive Director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Minnesota, President of the National Campus Ministry Association, serves as an advisor for Ask Big Questions, an initiative of Hillel, and serves on the board of the North American Interfaith Network. From 2013-2014, Cody completed a twenty-five school research study concerning how public universities consider religious engagement on their campus.