Chaplains & Staff
James McCann, SJ, PhD
Email Fr. James McCann
Fr. Jim McCann, S.J., a native of Chicago, joined Campus Ministry at
Georgetown in 2018. After theological studies in Paris, he completed a doctorate at Princeton University, specializing in international politics. He has taught at Loyola University Chicago and Xavier University in Cincinnati. He headed the U.S. Office to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union and later served as rector of the Oriental Institute in Rome, a graduate school specializing in the Christian East. He has lived in Europe and Central Asia and has enjoyed working with students from all over the world.
Email Michael Goldman
A Georgetown University Law Center graduate and a lawyer in a previous career, Michael has been the Jewish Chaplain for the Law and Medical Centers since August 2002. He has been a student of Judaism for his adult life and has taught numerous courses on Judaica, including courses at Georgetown Law and Medical Centers. Michael endeavors to help students of whatever religion/spirituality (or not) find a home at Georgetown Law. Michael was instrumental in bringing Lawyers in Balance to Georgetown Law and believes that attention to mindfulness helps law students navigate law school and lawyers handle the pressures of practice.
Watch Michael’s reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic here.
Rev. Ebony Grisom
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Rev. Ebony Grisom is the Protestant Chaplain on the Law and Main Campuses. Rev. Grisom is in ordained in the American Baptist Churches USA. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in African-American/African Studies and her Master of Arts from Providence College in American History. She completed her seminary education at Duke Divinity School, receiving a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Christian Education and a certificate in Gender, Theology and Ministry.
Rev. Grisom began her career in education, working in secondary and post secondary admission offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and North Carolina. Prior to Georgetown University, Rev. Grisom served in a faith-based anti-poverty non-profit, and two Baptist churches, where she equipped faith leaders and people of faith to act against the sin of poverty. To that end, she is a past Co-Chair of the Rhode Island Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. In addition to her work at Georgetown, she is the Co-Convener of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA’s Convening Table on Joint Action and Advocacy for Justice and Peace. Her call to Georgetown University melds her experience in higher education and the parish, allowing her to meet God’s People at the intersection of the Church and the academy.
Watch Rev. Grisom’s reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic here.
Imam Yahya Hendi
Email Imam Yahya Hendi
Imam Hendi is the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, the first American university to hire a full-time Muslim Chaplain. Imam Hendi is also the Imam of the Islamic Society of Fredrick and is the Muslim Chaplain at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He servers as a member and the spokesperson of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America. He is an adjunct faculty member at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. Imam Hendi holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Religions from Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Comparative Religion. In May 2002, Imam Hendi was selected by Hartford Seminary to receive its annual “James Gettemy Significant Ministry Award” for his dedication to his Ministry and for his work to promote peace-building between people of different religions.
Imam Hendi has written numerous publications on many topics, including women in Islam, women and gender relations in Islam, the coming of the Messiah, and religion and Islam in the United States. He has presented a multitude of interfaith and general lectures in the United States, Asia, Europe, central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East in the last eight years. He was one of the Muslim leaders who met with the President of the United States in the aftermath of September 11 tragedy. Hoping to create positive relationships between the followers of the three Abrahamic religions, Imam Hendi often visits and lectures at churches and synagogues. He also serves on national and international interfaith councils.
Imam Hendi offers Muslim retreats. He often leads Qiyamul-lail prayer and Jum’ah (Friday services). He also counsels students on academic, professional, and social issues. Imam Hendi believes that only with love and education can the world be a better place to live in.
Watch Imam Hendi’s reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic here.
Associate Director for Mission Integration
Email Mary Novak
Mary J. Novak serves Georgetown Law Center and the School of Continuing Studies as a mission integrator, chaplain and spiritual director with a particular focus on Ignatian Spirituality and Pedagogy at the intersection of psychology, spirituality and the work of justice. Mary studied and trained in theology, spirituality and spiritual direction at Santa Clara University and the Washington Theological Union from which she earned a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Studies. She has extensive experience in pastoral ministry, including the ministry of spiritual direction, having served in hospitals and universities for over 15 years.
A graduate of Santa Clara University Law School, Mary practiced for over a decade in the areas of California water, energy, environmental and natural resources law, first at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and then at Ellison & Schneider. While at Orrick, she served on a team pursuing a capital appeal for a man on the largest death row in the United States. She was a member of the Clinical Law Faculty at Santa Clara University Law School and later, she served as the Director for Faculty Development in what is now the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University.
Another area of Mary’s study and practice is peacebuilding, having studied at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. She focused her final project at the Washington Theological Union on Catholic Peacebuilding in the context of Kenya’s post-conflict reconciliation where she lived for a year. She returned to the U.S. to serve the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in their conflict with the Vatican. Mary currently serves as Chair of the Board of the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty and Promote Restorative Justice.
Watch Mary’s reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic here.