New Haven, Connecticut
Clay CromerChristian Union Director of Undergraduate Ministry at Yale
A South Carolina native, Clay graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2005 with a BS in Marine and Environmental Science. He served the next eight years as an active duty Coast Guard officer, conducting humanitarian and law enforcement missions in the Caribbean, supervising Recruit Basic Training in Cape May, New Jersey, and overseeing search and rescue operations at the Command Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In 2013, Clay and his family followed God's call to seminary, where he graduated with an MDiv in Ministry Leadership from Columbia International University in 2016. While in seminary, Clay served as a pastoral intern, small group coach, and interim worship leader at his church. Clay is also commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard Reserves.
Clay is married to his beloved bride, Callie Jo, and they have three spirited young boys.
Christian Union Administrative Assistant at Yale
Callie was born and raised in the great state of Kentucky. She was truly blessed by a Christian home and received life-changing fellowship and love in her home church of Rich Pond Baptist, still near and dear to her heart. After graduating from Western Kentucky University with a double major in Religious Studies and Nursing, she married a dashing young Coast Guard officer.
She embarked on a series of adventures that ranged from working night shifts in Florida, caring for oncology and Hospice patients in New Jersey, and having three boys (each born in a different state!) and raising them along the way from New Orleans to South Carolina. A full time stay at home mom for seven years, Callie is now finding joy in balancing motherhood with the perfect part time job.
Chitra KovoorChristian Union Ministry Fellow at Yale
Born and raised in India, Chitra earned a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Osmania University and an MBA from Bangalore University. She worked in the corporate sector before marrying her husband, George, a pastor.
In 1990, the couple moved to serve the church in the UK. There she raised their three children and supported her husband in ministry in Derby, Birmingham, and Bristol. In the UK, Chitra oversaw and taught at the University of Birmingham and the Selly Oak Federation of Mission Colleges in the areas of management, leadership development, and cross-cultural mission.
Three years ago, God called the Kovoors to ministry in the United States, serving first at a church in New Haven, near Yale University. Chitra now works directly with students at Yale.
Over the course of her time in India, England and the US, Chitra has mentored students from a diverse range of backgrounds. She loves getting to know people and helping them develop their God-given potential. Her passion is seeing people walk well in their respective roles as leaders. In her free time, Chitra enjoys playing competitive tennis, going to the gym, cooking, and welcoming people into her home. The Brit in her can't help brewing a nice pot of tea for anyone who'd care to stop for a cuppa!
Michael RacineChristian Union Ministry Fellow at Yale
Growing up in Traverse City, Michigan, Michael was blessed both to know the love of God and to have one of the nation's best music programs available right in the public schools. A natural learner with a wide variety of interests, Michael's greatest ambition was always to be a saint (still very much a work in progress!), and it comes as no surprise to those who know him that he integrates vocational ministry with work as a musician and educator. As a musician, Michael has sung and played professionally in nearly every conceivable style from Renaissance polyphony to funk.
Whether he's conducting a sacred choral work, interpreting Bach partitas on his Spanish guitar, or singing a Joni Mitchell cover, music making is and always has been for him something deeply soulful, a seeking after what is pure and true.
Michael was highly involved in campus ministry as an undergraduate at Brown, leading worship, co-leading small groups, and graduating with a concentration in Religious Studies. Upon graduation, he moved to Hunan, China, where he taught English for two years at a public middle school and led a small house church. Michael later headed English teaching and curriculum development for a college scholarship program in Haiti, then taught for a year in Spain before coming to study at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He earned his M.Div. from Yale in 2015. In addition to his work with Christian Union, Michael serves as the choir director at St. John's Episcopal Church in New Haven.