Eliza Smith DeBevoise

University Chaplain, Director of Community Engagement and Lecturer of Religious Studies

Rev. Eliza Smith DeBevoise is the University Chaplain, Director of Community Engagement and Lecturer of Religious Studies at Converse. Before coming to Converse, Eliza served as a hospital chaplain resident for PRISMA Health in Greenville, SC. In addition to chaplaincy work in a clinical setting, Eliza also has work experience in the areas of campus ministry, congregational ministry, non-profit work and assisted living.

Eliza is a 2016 graduate of Furman University and a 2020 graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, where she earned her Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with a focus in Pastoral Care. Her areas of expertise include interfaith work, religious trauma theory, grief/ bereavement, and vocational discernment work with students.

In 2020, Eliza won the Florie S. Johnson Award at Columbia Theological Seminary, showcasing her ability to offer spiritual care to those with a wide array of needs. Eliza is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Eliza oversees all religious life organizations on campus as well as the food and hygiene portions of Valkyrie Supply, our basic needs hub, managing community partnerships for this endeavor with the help of our annual AmeriCorps VISTA. She also connects students to local opportunities for service, serves as the confidential resource on the Student Life team, and develops and teaches courses for students.

Eliza is the proud recipient of the Dukes Family Award for Staff Achievement (2023), the First Gen Champion Award (2022-2023), and the Recognition for Outstanding Advisor (2024).

In her free time, Eliza enjoys spending time at the beach with her friends and family, listening to podcasts, and watching true crime documentaries. Her favorite food is ice cream, and her favorite color is purple- Go Valkyries!

Selected Publications & Presentations

Returning to ritual: Gen Z and religion. Smith DeBevoise, Presbyterian Outlook (2024)

Purposefully broad: Reflections on ministry outside the parish. Smith DeBevoise, Presbyterian Outlook (2023)


  • BA in Religion - Furman University
  • Masters of Divinity - Columbia Theological Seminary
  • MA in Practical Theology - Columbia Theological Seminary