David Dorsey


  • Multifaith Chaplain and Sustained Dialogue Director


Multifaith Chaplain David Dorsey’s commitment to inclusion, dialogue, and human-land relating began early, growing up on a farm outside of Athens, Georgia, with parents who chose not to shield him from the harsh realities inherent in relating across race lines in the Deep South.

Upon completion of graduate degrees in music and theology, David began a lifelong career in dialogue, pastoral care, spiritual discernment in higher education. Now in his eleventh year at Oberlin, David created the Barefoot Dialogue program, featured in his doctoral dissertation — Barefoot Dialogue: An Experiment in Human and Biotic Relating (with distinction) from the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California.

David facilitates dialogues relying heavily on active listening and choosing a more beneficial vulnerability that engenders trust, practices he readily observed while teaching and researching in Antigua, West Indies and Nairobi, Kenya. He has facilitated dialogues using the Barefoot methods in a range of settings, urban and rural, including ACSLHE (the Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education) Georgetown University, Washington, DC; the Aldo Leopold Foundation, Baraboo, WI; the Annual International Conference on Islamophobia Studies, UCal Berkley, CA; and the Parliament of World Religions, Toronto, Canada. 

David currently serves on the social equity working group for the City of Oberlin, the Human Relations Commission, and the Board of Directors for Oberlin Community Services.

David loves most anything outdoors and is passionate about planting trees.


Happy Return

December 8, 2023

Oberlin was Samia Mansour’s top college choice. Now years removed from her graduation, she chose it all over again.