Chaplaincy staff photo

Introducing Our Chaplaincy Staff

December 14, 2022

The Office of the Chaplaincy is staffed by a dedicated team of Spiders who work to enrich the religious and spiritual landscape of our campus and ensure all of our students feel supported and welcomed. We just celebrated the one-year anniversary of our newest staff member, Shandra Daniels, and wanted to introduce our team to friends of the Chaplaincy we haven’t seen lately. We hope to see you again soon!

Rev. Dr. Craig Kocher

The Rev. Dr. Craig Kocher is University chaplain, Jessie Ball duPont Chair of the Chaplaincy, and affiliated faculty in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies. 

Dr. Kocher is responsible for overall leadership of Chaplaincy programming, staff, and campus ministries. Chaplain Kocher is active in many areas of university life and teaches courses in UR’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies, in the Sophomore Scholars in Residence Program, and is an academic advisor. Craig is also a part of the Spiders Sports Network broadcasting team for select Richmond women’s basketball and baseball games on ESPN+.  

He is ordained as a United Methodist minister and holds degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke Divinity School, and Columbia Theological Seminary.  Prior to his role at the University of Richmond, Craig served in related roles at Davidson College and Duke University. He is married to the Rev. Abby Kocher and they have two young daughters, Caroline and Catherine.

Bryn Bagby Taylor

Bryn Taylor joined the Chaplaincy staff in July 2010. Taylor earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond and also holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Education. She serves as Associate Chaplain, and her responsibilities include facilitating office operations, coordinating the Kairos Christian service, planning Christian holiday services, overseeing the Weinstein-Rosenthal Forum, and co-leading Pilgrimage programs.

Shandra Daniels

Shandra Daniels joined the Chaplaincy staff as the Administrative Coordinator in December 2021. She relocated to Virginia in 2020 from Scottsdale, Arizona to join her husband, William, who finally found his ideal position in Richmond after living in more than five different states. She brings years of previous administrative support within higher educational institutions including Arizona State University, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and Iliff School of Theology. Shandra and William have one adult daughter in Indiana. In her spare time, she enjoys fine-tuning their forever home in Midlothian, the company of their rescue dog, Ezra, and cultural/sport/foodie jaunts to cities within a 5-hour drive. 

Rev. Jamie Lynn Haskins

The Rev. Jamie Lynn Haskins joined the Chaplaincy staff in July of 2018 and serves as Chaplain for Spiritual Life & Communications Director. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  She holds degrees from Stetson University and Vanderbilt Divinity School and is currently earning her Doctorate of Ministry at Union Presbyterian Seminary. Jamie Lynn supports students who identity as spiritual but not religious, working to create inclusive spaces where all students can grow spiritually and engage life’s “big questions.” She also manages internal and external communications for the Office of the Chaplaincy.

Prior to her arrival at the University of Richmond, Jamie Lynn served at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and at University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Seattle, WA. When not at work she can be found exploring Richmond’s vibrant food scene, hiking, camping, or making her way toward the coastline with her partner Jonathan and their fluffy pup Bernie.

Waleed Ilyas

Waleed Ilyas joined the Chaplaincy staff as Muslim Chaplain in August 2017. Waleed completed his MBA at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in healthcare management, where he also holds an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering. At VCU, he served as President of the Muslim Students Association, one of the largest student organizations on campus. In addition to his part-time role with the Chaplaincy, he is a Project Manager for Ochin, a healthcare IT company. Waleed is pursuing his Masters of Divinity in Islamic Chaplaincy from the Islamic Seminary of America. 

Josh Jeffreys

Joshua Jeffreys began working at the University of Richmond in November of 2015, and started his work with the Chaplaincy in Spring 2016 as the Interim Jewish Life Advisor while working in other roles across campus. Josh has served as the Jewish Chaplain and Director of Religious Life at the University of Richmond since 2018. In this role, Josh works to cultivate a thriving Jewish community on campus, oversees numerous multifaith initiatives and affiliated campus ministries, and teaches in a variety of settings to help foster a more inclusive community for students of all religious and spiritual backgrounds. 

Josh received his undergraduate degree in Jewish Studies from Rutgers University in 2013, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Richmond in 2019, and a certificate in Earth-Based Judaism from ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewa, where he is currently studying toward rabbinic ordination. Prior to joining the University of Richmond, Josh worked with multiple Jewish organizations including the Weinstein JCC, VCU Hillel, BBYO, and several synagogues as an educator, community builder, and prayer leader. Josh lives in Richmond with his wife Amy and their awesome toddler.

The Rev. Mr. Tom Mullen

Tom Mullen started at Richmond as an adjunct journalism professor in 1997 and became fulltime in 2003 not long after he was ordained as a Deacon within the Catholic Church. After his first parish assignment, his bishop moved Tom to the University of Richmond in 2005, first as a deacon assistant, then eventually as campus minister through St. Bridget Catholic Church. He became part of the chaplaincy staff in 2013. His job is to coordinate Catholic life on campus, which covers Mass, other liturgies, Bible study, devotional life and service. His family is a mix of religious traditions and includes Episcopalian, Baptist and Jewish relatives. Tom teaches full time at the University of Richmond, serve as Faculty-in-Residence in Dennis Hall and works with first-year transition programs.