Vanderbilt Offers Olive Branch, Hires Chaplain

Ann McClure's picture

The Rev. John-Sims Baker hasn’t always agreed with Vanderbilt University officials in the past year.

But he’s thrilled with the news that the school named the Rev. Mark Forrester as its new chaplain and director of religious life.

“It is a godsend,” said Sims-Baker, adviser to the Vanderbilt Catholic student group. “When I heard the news, I was surprised and delighted.”

Vanderbilt officials hope that Forrester, whose hiring was announced Wednesday, will end a sometimes heated controversy about religion on campus. More than a dozen student groups, including Vanderbilt Catholic, lost their official status earlier this year for refusing to sign on to the school’s nondiscrimination policy.

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