By: Andrew Mees, Director of Institutional Communications and Campaign Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomfield College welcomed a new member into its community May 3, as Rev. Terri Ofori was officially commissioned as the institution’s chaplain in a special weekend Ceremony.
“I am so excited to be chaplain Bloomfield College; the school community and mission are a great fit,” said Ofori. “I love the school slogan ‘Write Your Own Story’. As a narrative theologian, I have been challenging people to rewrite their story about God and to let God write their story. When writing the story of your life, let God be the pen. You may have experienced difficulties and setbacks, but your story is still being written.”
Earning her bachelor’s degree from Mississippi University for Women, master’s degrees from Columbia International and Harvard University and a Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, Ofori joins the institution after serving most recently as the interim pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Levittown, N.Y. from 2012-2015.
Possessing a passion for higher education, the Philadelphia native has held positions at institutions including Harvard (and Harvard Medical School), Wellesley College and Brown University, where she served as the interim associate chaplain to the University for the Protestant Community. A narrative theologian, Ofori will provide pastoral care and counseling services to Bloomfield’s students, faculty and staff, joining a vibrant and diverse community with over 50% first-generation college students.
“Narrative theology is one that starts not with abstract principles or particular doctrine but with a particular story; it is inductive rather than deductive,” she said. “In my viewpoint, narrative theology examines a community’s beliefs about itself, the world and God in context or in relationship to the scriptural narratives. I encourage people to look for ways that God has been at work in their lives and use those as ‘ah-ha’ moments to rewrite their personal narratives.”
Bloomfield’s commitment to inclusion and a diverse campus population has yielded the 11th most diverse national liberal arts college in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Colleges rankings. Funded by the Predominantly Black Institution (PBI) Grant, the school is a place where Ofori has immediately felt at home, and one where she feels she can encourage all members of the institution to capture their dreams.
“I hope to contribute to the Bloomfield College community by encouraging and empowering students to reach for the stars, and to let them know that they are loved and because of this they can do great things,” she said. “I think it is important for people to know that I am here for people of all faith traditions, not just Christians. God loves everyone. As the College Chaplain I am simply here for everyone, and to love everyone in this community.”
To learn more about the Campus Chaplain’s office, visit bloomfield.edu/student-life/health-wellness/spiritual-life.