Klassel, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in theater from the University of Pittsburgh, grew up in a Jewish household and gravitated to Humanism in college.
“It started with a sincere effort to try to understand what it is that human beings can know and cannot know,” he said. “My conclusion was that this world is something we can know while the spirit world is something we cannot really know.
“Why not pay attention to what we can know?”
As a chaplain, Klassel said he would draw on Humanist principles of compassion and respect rather than prayer and belief in God.
“What’s extremely important is compassion, the compassion of another human being who goes through issues, who has difficulties,” he said. “That kind of connection from one human being to another is just as powerful as any other type of connection.”
For those of you keeping count, that makes four Humanist chaplains currently serving at universities throughout the country.