Ylisse Bess (STH’17) Announced New Program Director for Trauma-Responsive Congregations Project

Ylisse Bess (STH’17) will be the new program director for BUSTH’s Trauma-Responsive Congregations project.

The Boston University School of Theology (BUSTH) is pleased to announce that Ylisse Bess (STH’17), staff chaplain at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, will become the Program Director for BUSTH’s Trauma-Responsive Congregations grant, funded by Lilly Endowment.

Currently serving as an advisor for the grant, Bess is stepping into a new role focused on providing direction and support to the Boston and San Diego congregations participating in the grant. Bess will advise congregational leaders in implementing their projects, lead educational initiatives that will foster new learning across the congregations, and partner with BUSTH Associate Professor of Theology Shelly Rambo in grant-related research.

Bess brings a combination of skills and experience as a chaplain, is a thought-leader in the areas of Black wellness and spiritual care, and is an educator in theological settings. Bess recently co-taught the course “Spiritual Care for the Non-Religious,” at BUSTH with chaplaincy colleague Rev. Mary Martha Theil, Director of Clinical Pastoral Education at Hebrew Senior Life.

“Bess is creative, grounded, inspired, and inspiring,” says Shelly Rambo, principal investigator for the Trauma-Responsive Congregations grant. “Their ability to interpret and respond to complex situations while empowering individuals is unparalleled.”

The Trauma-Responsive Congregations program is supporting six congregations – three in Boston and three in San Diego – as they implement projects in their communities. For more information about the grant, please visit https://www.traumaresponsivecongregations.org/.