Kaelan Clay '13

Chaplain, United States Navy

Executive Seminar Alumnus

The Rev. Kaelan Clay received his Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Lee University in 2003. From there, he received his Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, and shortly after was ordained an Anglican priest. In 2009, Kaelan became an active duty United States Navy chaplain, stationed first at Naval Base Point Loma, followed by an assignment with the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion as Chaplain of Marine Special Operations. In 2013, Kaelan and his family moved to the United Kingdom to work with the Personnel Exchange Program, where he currently serves with the Royal Navy.

Kaelan is unique amongst John Jay alumni in more than his extensive vocational journey as a pastor: he is a graduate of our Executive Seminar  Program (ESP). In contrast to the months that some spend in the John Jay  Institute fellowships, Kaelan spent one intensely focused week in Philadelphia, discussing similar topics with 15 Anglican chaplains.

While shorter, the impact of ESP is no less powerful. “The John Jay Institute has inspired me to spiritually direct Sailors and Marines by prompting and facilitating them to think seriously about ‘Greatness,’” Kaelan said. “By embracing Christianity’s compatibility with virtue ethics, my command views me as a viable component to accomplishing the mission of the command, as well as providing pastoral care.  Thinking of ‘Greatness’ as the standard that drives us to receive the benefits of Christ has freed me to develop innovative and culturally beneficial programs for military ministry.”

A part of the United States Navy’s Personnel Exchange Program, Kaelan is practicing its intent to strengthen inter-service relationships, fostering mutual respect by sharing knowledge, experience, and doctrine between the parent and host nation in the program (namely, the United States and United Kingdom).