David Wright

University Chaplain

Wheelock Student Center (WSC) 203


Drop-In Hours are meant to be a casual time for students, faculty, staff, and others to chat with Dave about anything. If you'd prefer to schedule a more private meeting, please email Dave directly at chaplain@pugetsound.edu, or drop by WSC 203 and talk with Cyndy Gulyas to make an appointment.

University Chaplain Dave Wright '96 (him/they pronouns) joined the staff of the University in August 2006. Dave is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, and a member of the Pacific Northwest Conference. The Conference in general, and Dave in particular, are in open opposition and disobedience to the heterosexist and cissexist policies of the denomination. Dave's work is explicitly committed to and participating in full inclusion for those of all gender and sexual identities - particularly those who are historically and presently targeted or marginalized by many religious communities.

As University Chaplain, Dave supports the breadth of Spirituality & Religious Life activities on campus and offers confidential pastoral/spiritual/social support for members of the campus community. When there is interest, they help students connect with Tacoma-area faith communities. They are also active in helping lead campus suicide prevention and intervention efforts, advocating for policies and practices that best support campus members of all, any, or no faith, and partnering with the Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement to foster equitable, just, and inclusive campus life. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team for the Division of Student Affairs, he also works closely with the Associate Deans and Dean Baker to help shape and guide the breadth of student life at Puget Sound.  

​Dave is a frequent guest speaker in local faith communities, is actively involved in a variety of immigrant/refugee rights and services organizations, and works on-and off-campus to invite others to join them in challenging cultures of dominant whiteness, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and Christianism. They are a past president of the Association of College and University Religious Affairs, a national organization of college and university religious and spiritual life leaders committed to interfaith and multifaith literacy and respect. Actively working to build bridges between institutional chaplaincies and Student Affairs, Dave was also recognized by NASPA (international organization of Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education) as their 2018 Professional of the Year for Religion and Spirituality.

Education and Professional History

  • BA, Religion at the University of Puget Sound, 1996
  • MDiv, Duke University, 1999
  • Chaplain Resident, University of North Carolina Hospitals, 1999-2001
  • Associate Pastor, Bothell United Methodist Church, 2001-2006