Hamline News

Hamline University Names Kelly West Figueroa-Ray Chaplain and Director of the Wesley Center

After an extensive search, Hamline University has selected Kelly Figueroa-Ray as university chaplain and director of the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice.

Figueroa-Ray earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Berkeley in international and area studies, completed her Master of Divinity at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. magna cum laude, and her doctorate in religious studies at the University of Virginia. Her focus is on the relationship between scripture and theology as it is lived out in contemporary communities, with a particular interest in multicultural Christian ministries.

She begins her position on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

“I am delighted that Dr. Figueroa-Ray will guide Hamline University’s spiritual and religious life and lead our engagement with Saint Paul and the wider community,” said President Fayneese Miller. “Her research expertise and passion for transformational ministry and higher education will be a valuable contribution to campus.”

Figueroa-Ray joins Hamline University from St. Olaf College, where she was a visiting assistant professor of religion. Prior to that appointment, Figueroa-Ray served as the communications and operations director for the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

“I look forward to building on the dynamic and rich collaborations, initiatives and programming that Chaplain Nancy Victorin-Vangerud has established at the Wesley Center,” said Figueroa-Ray. Victorin-Vangerud recently retired after 14 years of service to the Hamline University community.

“Chaplain Figueroa-Ray’s profound commitment to the dignity of all people shows up in all of her work,” said Dean of Students Patti Kersten. “Her experience in community organizing, project management and teaching will bring a new dimension to the role of chaplain and enrich the spirituality, service and social justice mission of the Wesley Center."

Written by staff.