Interested in booking Chris to speak at your college, university, conference, or community? Email yalehumanists [at] gmail [dot] com and include “speaker request” in the subject line.
Chris Stedman is a Fellow of Silliman College at Yale University and Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community. 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. As a young adult, he worked for Minnesota’s St. Paul Public School District, helping to coordinate their Gay-Straight Alliances and drop-in center for at risk LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) teenagers. Soon after, he worked with a food waste recovery program and the Somali community in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and with adults with developmental disabilities in rural Minnesota. Later, he ran an after school education program for at risk youth on the South Side of Chicago, coordinating a safe space and resources for youth living in the neighborhood with the highest rate of violent crime in the United States. Since then, he has spent the last seven years coordinating and executing programming for college and university students and local Humanist communities through his work for IFYC and at Harvard and Yale.
Chris served on the initial Leadership Team of the Common Ground Campaign, a coalition of young people who stood up in response to the wave of anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence in the U.S. surrounding the Park51 controversy, and continues to advise it in its current form, Groundswell. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the interfaith global development organization World Faith and is an official advisor to nontheistic charitable organization Foundation Beyond Belief‘s Challenge the Gap initiative, as well as their new Pathfinders Project program. 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.