Announcement: University Chaplain Appointment

January 16, 2024

The following message was sent to faculty, students, and staff on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.

Dear members of the Yale community:

It is with great pleasure that President Peter Salovey and I announce the appointment of Maytal Saltiel as the next Yale University Chaplain, effective immediately.  In keeping with past practice, she will serve a five-year renewable term.  In this critical role, Maytal provides strategic direction, vision, and leadership for Yale’s dynamic and diverse religious and spiritual life on campus, working with students, faculty, and staff from a range of faith traditions as well as those without any religious affiliation.  

As University Chaplain, Maytal oversees the work of the Chaplain’s Office, leading the team in offering pastoral care, interfaith engagement, and programs that support the mission of the Chaplaincy and the University.  She and her colleagues in the Chaplain’s Office continue to serve as valuable partners to the campus community during times of crisis and emergencies.  Maytal also convenes regular meetings of Yale Religious Ministries (YRM), a council of professional religious staff representing more than 25 religious and spiritual traditions.

No stranger to the Yale University community, Maytal joined the chaplaincy team in 2013, serving since 2016 as associate university chaplain and, since July 2023, as interim University Chaplain following the retirement of Sharon Kugler.  Recent months have proven especially challenging for our campus community and Maytal’s contributions in helping us respond to those challenges have been incredibly valuable.  

To date, her professional work has focused primarily on interreligious dialogue, pastoral care, working with smaller religious groups, and helping students develop their own faith and sense of meaning.  She has worked with the InterFaith Forum at Yale (IFFY), Chaplain’s Office Peer Liaisons, Chaplaincy Fellows, Feasting on Faith, Study Breaks, and weekly book groups.  

An active member of the Yale community, Maytal has served on many campus committees over the years.  Her current university service roles include the Intercultural Affairs Council, the Yale Well Committee, Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative, Restorative Justice Working Group and Task Force, and as a fellow and advisor in Silliman College.  Maytal recently concluded a term as the inaugural President of the Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education, the national professional organization for university chaplains.

Maytal earned a Master of Divinity from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins in International Relations.  She resides on campus with her husband and two children.  

As we announce this appointment, President Salovey extends his thanks to the members of the search committee, which was co-chaired by Gregory Sterling, The Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, and me, and whose members included Robert Blocker, Henry & Lucy Moses Dean (immediate past) and Professor of Piano, Yale School of Music; Angela Buchdahl ’94, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue, New York, New York; Jerry Henry ’80 MDiv, Managing Partner for Faith-based & Human Services, Alexander Haas and Immediate Past Chair of the Yale Alumni Association Board of Governors; Martin Jean, Director, Yale Institute of Sacred Music; Kathryn Lofton, Lex Hixon Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies, Professor of History and Divinity, Faculty of Arts & Sciences Dean of Humanities, and Acting Dean, Faculty of Arts & Sciences; Nilakshi Parndigamage ’06, Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff, Provost’s Office; and Shawkat M. Toorawa, Professor of Arabic Literature and Chair, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations.

Please join us in extending our warmest congratulations to Maytal as she takes on this new role!

Kimberly Goff-Crews
Secretary and Vice President for University Life