David Dorsey


  • Multifaith Chaplain
  • Director of the Office of Spirituality and Dialogue


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 formation, and higher education. Now in his tenth year at Oberlin, David created the Barefoot Dialogue program. His doctoral dissertation — Barefoot Dialogue: An Experiment in Human and Biotic Relating — was approved with distinction from the Pacific School of Religion, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.

David facilitates dialogues relying heavily on active listening and choosing a more beneficial vulnerability, 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 Parliament of World Religions, Toronto, Canada. David loves most anything outdoors and is passionate about planting trees.