Sunday morning, Wagner College’s new chaplain, the Rev. Martin Malzahn, gave an orientation in the Union Atrium about the various programs offered by Campus Ministry to Wagner’s new first-year students. Here is his introduction:
Good morning! My name is Rev. Martin Malzahn. I am your chaplain at Wagner College.
I care about your spiritual growth, religious practice and civic engagement.
Another way to say that is, I care about your feet — those things at the end of your legs that ground you profoundly, here and now. They have also brought you from the past and will lead you into the future.
There are religious stories about feet: Moses was commanded to remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground; Buddha revered their holiness; Mohammad washed them, and so did Jesus, commanding his followers to do the same as an act of selfless love and service.
Today’s religious and spiritual resource fair represents some of the diverse traditions practiced on campus. In addition to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, there are Hindus and humanists as well as lots of ways to be Orthodox, Catholic, Reformed and non-denominational. At Wagner, you are welcome to explore your neighbor’s faith — and to find out more and be faithful to your own.
And I’ll be honest. I’m going to need your help. Wagner is at a turning point in its chaplaincy program. As some of you know, I’m new to campus. I’m an ordained Lutheran pastor who has most recently been serving the Columbia University community for 4 years. I’m here at Wagner because I am deeply committed to helping the college continue its longstanding Lutheran tradition — and, as your chaplain, I’m equally invested in meeting the diverse spiritual and religious needs of the 21st century for students who are not Lutheran. The college is as well. That is why it has invested in a full-time chaplain, and why it is renovating the Knubel Chapel in Kairos House.
I look forward to getting to know you throughout the year.
In this spirit, I offer a blessing: May your feet — and the legs, heart, head and hands to which they are connected — grow in spirit, be faithful in practice, and engage the community.
To learn more about Wagner College's Campus Ministry programs:
- Visit the Campus Ministry website,
- Email the Rev. Martin Malzahn, or
- Visit Kairos House, the home of Campus Ministry.