Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life records, 1962-2013

Emory University

Emory University Archives

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/pmjqg

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Emory University. Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life.
Title: Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life records, 1962-2013
Call Number:Series No. 240
Extent: 11.75 linear ft. (21 boxes)
Abstract:The Office of the Chapel and Religious Life oversees religious activities and sacred spaces at Emory. The collection consists of office records, audiovisual, and historical files from 1962-2013, with special emphasis on the tenure of Susan Henry-Crowe from 1991-2013.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Select materials restricted in accordance with Emory University Archives Access Policy.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.




[after identification of item(s)], Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life records, Emory University Archives, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by Michael Hessel-Mial, 2015

Collection Description

Administrative History

Emory University’s Durham Chapel was built in 1915 and served as the official chapel of the university until 1981, when it was replaced by Cannon Chapel. Durham Chapel became a wing of Pitts Theology Library, to house materials from the 1975 purchase of the Hartford Seminary library collection. Rev. Donald Shockley served as University Chaplain from 1979-1990, and was succeeded by Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe in 1991.

The Office of the Chapel and Religious Life was formed in 1998 as a response to conflicts sparked in 1997 by a planned same-sex commitment ceremony by an Emory administrator at a chapel on the Oxford campus. The ceremony was canceled, citing Methodist policy on homosexuality, leading to a conflict between the University and the Church over the proper administration of the chapel. The resulting compromise policy led to the establishment of the Office of the Chapel and Religious Life, with Henry-Crowe serving as dean.

During Dean Henry-Crowe’s tenure, the chapel’s activities developed more robust ecumenical and interfaith collaboration, including the establishment of the Institute of the Study and Practice of Religion, and the Inter-Religious Council. One of the major programs of the office was the Journeys program, in which students, professors and faith leaders conducted fact-finding missions in conflict regions. Such trips included occupied Palestine, Northern Ireland and Cuba, and other areas. Rev. Bridgette Young Ross assumed the deanship in 2014, after Susan Henry-Crowe left to become executive director of the United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists predominantly of the papers of the first Dean of the Chapel and Religion Life, Susan Henry-Crowe. These include subject files and office records, as well as extensive files on official travel, either through the Journeys program or through other ecumenical organizations. The collection includes selected historical files on subjects related to the chapel and to religious life, and files on Henry-Crowe’s predecessor, Rev. Donald Shockley. Very little specific chapel history is represented by this collection. The collection also contains substantial digital video and audio discs of Religious Life events.

Arrangement Note

Organized into three series: Office records (1), Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Week event files (2), and Restricted materials and unprocessed additions (3).

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