Kip Lynch ’22
The Trinity Tripod had the pleasure of interviewing Interim College Chaplain and Interim Co-Director of Spiritual and Religious Life the Rev. Y. Trevor Beauford about his role as chaplain and his involvement in the Trinity community. Beauford received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina and a Master of Divinity from the School of Divinity at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
On the beginning of his involvement with those in the Trinity College community, he explained that he was introduced to students at Trinity College who were members of the Men of Color Alliance in 2018 at a community event and he later provided an avenue for community service opportunities through the Union Baptist Church in Hartford, of which he has been pastor since 2016.
Service opportunities at the church include making “breakfast for the homeless community every Saturday and Sunday morning.” From there, students began attending Union Baptist and eventually invited him on campus to assist in a Bible study group. After reaching out to then-Chaplain Read, “she then had a conversation with me over my credentials and then she brought me on to the team as an Associate Chaplain.”
Given that Trinity, like most other colleges, is becoming increasingly secular, Beauford affirmed his belief that religion can form a positive role if one is “intentional about helping to shape and nurture their worldview in light of how one looks at their faith.” He expressed his belief that faith can “give us that foundation for understanding how we live and act in the world.”
On how the chaplaincy has evolved beyond the Episcopal tradition to cover all aspects of spiritual life at Trinity College, he stated that “we attempt to be radically inclusive…we try to help students to develop their own personal practices while being able to fully participate in practices of others.” In order to meet the needs of all students, he described how “as the world has changed…we are far more inclusive in our approach. We know we have to meet the needs of all students.” He also indicated that the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life is developing several partnerships with other traditions that are not able to directly serve members of the Trinity College community.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the spiritual and religious life community was forced into a radical change by shifting to online services. He noted that since “one of the pieces of all faith expressions is the idea of assembling together…we had to redefine what it means to be together.” He explained that the role has expanded to “be super creative in how we maintain the traditions of the faith while trying to be innovative in our approaches going forward.”
On whether he would consider shifting from Interim College Chaplain to taking on the role of College Chaplain and Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life, which is currently in the process of being filled, Beauford added that “because that’s a HR matter, I can’t discuss anything about the search of the role publicly.”