St. George’s First Female Chaplain

After more than 120 years of history, St. George’s School has finally appointed its very first female chaplain in the person of Rev. Jackie Kirby.  She will be officially introduced and appointed at 9.45 a.m. on Thursday, January 18 while service is being conducted.

Rev. Kirby’s religious journey has been a traditional one. She has her family roots within the outskirts of Baltimore, where she grew up. Being part of a household with Episcopal beliefs had a great impact on her childhood years, although her faith was overshadowed by other undertakings when she reached high school and got into university for college.

Religion became a focal point in her life once again while she had a thriving career as an English and Expository Writing Professor at the Boston University years after graduating from college. Her Episcopal belief was reinforced by the amazing sermons conducted by a Buddhist pastor at a Unitarian Church where she attended service regularly. This circumstance was the main factor that brought her back to Yale’s divinity school, her alma mater where she received her undergraduate degree in literature. From there, she went on to St. George. Kirby has said that St. George is the one and only place she would like to be because of the good things she heard about the school, and she has been there since 2014.

The Rev. Jackie Kirby who also earned a Ph. D. in comparative literature from New York University shares a 9-year old daughter with husband, Ed.  They moved into the campus premises recently, where she holds two classes per trimester, and conducts religious services.

Kirby disclosed that her appointment as St. George’s first woman chaplain makes her feel very blessed and accepts all the responsibilities that come with it.  She adds that she wants to be a good role model for all the young women in the campus – where she aspires to endorse better understanding, wellness and the identification of different religions. Last year, St. George’s School welcomed its first female headmaster, Dr. Alixe Callen.

The Right Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, Rhode Island’s bishop said the Rev. Kirby’s addition and ministry at St. George’s community is perfect. He goes on to say that her credentials make her the ideal choice to perform ministry work with the personnel and students of the school. Whenever her work schedule permits, Rev. Jackie Kirby visits female inmates at Cranston prison, spends time with her family, goes mountain biking, and does heavy and speed bags boxing training.