HCAU is a chapter & grant recipient of the American Humanist Association. The chaplaincy is comprised of AU students, faculty, and staff who come together to explore Humanism, to put into action progressive values & insights, to celebrate all that is good in this life and this world, and to serve the University, the wider community and the world. We invite you to come join us!
Led by Humanist Chaplain Ben / Binyamin Biber, biber at american.edu / 301.437.7745 mobile
Chaplain Biber started the Humanist Chaplaincy at AU in 2011. He’s an ordained Humanistic rabbi who for twelve years served a DC congregation called Machar, the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism (‘Machar’='tomorrow’ in Hebrew). He is a past president of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis, a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of J Street – working for a just peace between Israel & Palestine, & a board member of the Humanist Society, the professional organization of chaplains and officiants active in the American Humanist Association. Ben is also a social worker trained in counseling, community organizing, nonprofit leadership, & progressive advocacy.
The Humanist Chaplaincy’s Work
- offering educational programs, services, & materials to promote the wider understanding of Humanism, its meaning, history, forms, & pragmatic relevance to our lives, as well as its relationships to various traditions, philosophies, & fields – from religious to secular, from arts & sciences to the other disciplines & professions taught at the University;
- supporting & fostering participants’ personal development & well-being with particular focus on the moral, emotional, psycho-social, & philosophical facets of life, including our human search for & creation of meaning & purpose in our lives;
- facilitating the development of a healthy & vibrant Humanist community at AU that fulfills a measure of our common needs for connection & friendship, intimacy & love, participation in & belonging to a circle of like-minded others committed to the greater good;
- actively engaging with & benefiting the larger community, society, & world in which AU operates through service & advocacy that applies the vision & values of Humanism such as affirming, defending, & advancing the equality, liberty, & humanity of all, as well as standing with & aiding the unfortunate & disadvantaged, the exploited & oppressed;
- educating ourselves & others about the imperative of mutual respect, tolerance, & co-operation to achieve humanity’s shared goals in a free, fair, & pluralist democracy.
The Chaplaincy works closely with the AU Rationalists & Atheists (AURA), an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance.