Jeff Barneson

Jeff Barneson

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Current President, Harvard Chaplains
Jeff Barneson

E-mail:  jbarneson@gmail.com
Address:  Harvard Chaplains' Office, The Memorial Church, Harvard Yard, Cambridge MA 02138
Web site: http://hgscf.org

When you ask me who I am and what I do the answer is easy—I am a follower of Jesus and I pray to follow more faithfully all the time.

I've been on a journey I could not have planned or imagined for myself. From the suburbs of Los Angeles, I've worked with widows and orphans in the highlands of Guatemala; doctors and pastors in Haiti; families and small business owners who live in the garbage dumps of San Salvador and Tijuana; lawyers and inmates who work and live in prisons of Bolivia and Ecuador; even to the hallowed halls of Harvard.

My “conversion,” if one thinks in those terms, is still in process. What I have become convinced of and committed myself to is the reign and relevance of Christ for all of life, the power and witness of gathered communities of Jesus-followers, and the call to pursue justice for all of God's creation - especially those who are poor and vulnerable. That's what gets me up every morning and what has kept me here in Cambridge for 24 years.

During that time, I've brewed a lot of coffee and spoken with a lot of graduate students and faculty through my work with InterVarsity and the Graduate School Christian Fellowship at Harvard. I meet with individuals and groups regularly to pray, study the Bible, and figure out how the journey of faith relates to the academic and professional concerns explored in the university.

Other stuff...
I'm married to Tara Edelschick, who has her own remarkable story of following Jesus. Along the way she earned both Masters and Doctoral degrees from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard, where she is currently an adjunct lecturer. For the coming year she is helping to start an after-school enrichment program for middle school children through our congregation in Area 4 of Cambridge.

We have two boys, Zachary, who is four-and-a-half, and Ezra, who is three.

Despite moderate ADD and a strong preference for conversation, fresh air, and puttering, I received degrees from Stanford, Denver Seminary and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. An avid cyclist, which fits my personality far better than graduate studies, I serve as the faculty advisor for the Harvard Cycling Team. Did I mention earlier that I drink way too much coffee?