Crossing Thresholds by Lucy A. Forster-Smith
The Making and Remaking of a 21st-Century College Chaplain

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With candor, passion, and deep love for her work, Lucy Forster-Smith takes us across the threshold as a chaplain on a college campus. This vocational narrative braids the story of her faith journey that began on a porch when she was a four-year-old, was shaken by a sexual assault as a seminarian, and through healing and grace brought her to claim a call to ministry with students. With delightful humor and an infectious love for her work, Forster-Smith invites the reader into her world.

Crossing Thresholds is a theological narrative, weaving together the story of faith in the context of the professional life of a college chaplain. Lighting on the power of spiritual awakening at a college, once named as the number one institution of higher education that "ignored God on a regular basis," Forster-Smith jars loose the assumptions about the avowedly secular campus. Her journey of healing and grace illuminates and guides to cross the threshold of the campus's soul.

"Lucy Forster-Smith served for two decades as an exemplary college chaplain at Macalester, and she captures in this book the many rewards, challenges, and complexities of that work. Anyone who wants a window into the spiritual life on a modern college campus would benefit from reading Lucy's memoir."
--Brian Rosenberg, author of Little Dorrit's Shadows

"Crossing Thresholds is an invitation to that place of authenticity where self, role, and meaning meet. Only rarely are we gifted by such access to the inside experience of a professional role--whatever the profession--in a manner that transcends artifice. Not only chaplains, but all who care about living faithfully in a complex world, will savor this intelligent, informing, story-filled, and evocative book that reminds us how much is at stake for self and world in the conversation between generations."
--Sharon Daloz Parks, author of Big Questions, Worthy Dreams

"Lucy Forster-Smith blends spiritual memoir with deep theological reflection to provide an engaging and in-depth look at life as a college chaplain. Lucy captures a 'day in the life' by stepping outside of the designated sacred space and into the quotidian rhythms of a campus community. . . . Lucy Forster-Smith makes a compelling case for the power of mere presence. Wherever and whenever people are present with open hearts and open hands, hope and healing abide!"
--Jonathan Walton, author of Watch This!

"In these pages, Lucy Forster-Smith shares her personal stories of wonder, vocation, and brutal pain, elemental in the spiritual life that created the influential religious leader she is today. Through vivid and instructive anecdotes, the book also introduces the readers to the complex landscape of today's college campuses where pluralism, secularism, and politics intersect with religious traditions and spiritual seeking. Colleges and universities are training grounds for future citizens, so we can be glad that Forster-Smith is in the trenches, helping young students to find their deepest personal callings and inspiring values that will create more just communities in the future."
--Paul Raushenbush, religion editor of The Huffington Post

Lucy A. Forster-Smith is the Sedgwick Chaplain to the University and Senior Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard University. From 1994 to early 2014 she served as the Chaplain of Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota. Her recent book, College & University Chaplaincy in the 21st Century: A Multifaith Look at the Practice of Ministry on Campuses across America (2013), has launched broad discussion on the vocation of chaplains in higher education.


About Lucy A. Forster-Smith

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Published September 29, 2015 by Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. 131 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction