Building Up Spaces of Interfaith Understanding

Callista Isabelle

Callista Isabelle

Reverend Callista Isabelle is the Inaugural Director of the Office for Spiritual and Ethical Life, here at Washington University. Supporting the diverse religious, spiritual, and ethical identities and being the liaison to a network of off-campus ministries are some of the new resources that her office provides.

Quoted from a recent article, The Reverend stated, “… A lot of good can be done when people from different religious and non-religious traditions work together and building an understanding of one another.”

Callista hopes to connect with as many students, student groups, faculty, and staff to provide resources to religious groups that previously lacked them. While getting to know Callista, we asked:

What excites you most about your new role?

I’m excited about the opportunity to work with students, faculty and staff to build a new office that serves the WashU community. I’m excited to create opportunities for students from many different religious, spiritual and ethical traditions to talk with one another and learn together. I’m excited to have coffee with students and chat about life!

What does “interfaith understanding” mean to you?

Interfaith understanding means a curiosity to learn about diverse religious/non-religious traditions, to look for the best in others’ faith traditions, and to work together to build stronger, more inclusive communities.

What’s something you’d like students to know about you?

I grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Iowa. I’m really tall (6’3” or 190.5 centimeters) and used to play basketball, but my favorite hobby now is singing.

What are you looking forward to this winter season?

Snow! I have lived in very snowy climates all over the USA, so I hope we get some snow here in St. Louis this winter!

If you’d like chat with Callista, check out her bio page or stop by her office in DUC Suite 150, inside the Center for Diversity & Inclusion.

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Written by: Alayna Hutchinson, International Student Advisor