Yuri Yamamoto, M.Div., Ph.D.

Chaplain Commissioned and Endorsed by Federation of Christian Ministries

Yuri Yamamoto (they/she) is passionate about connecting with people through story sharing and expressive arts as part of our healing journey. As an Asian American, racial justice is particularly important to Yuri. Yuri also identifies as a gender non-conforming female. Yuri is originally from Japan, married to their husband, Akihiko Yamamoto, for more than 38 years. They have six children and four grandchildren. Yuri has been a staff accompanist at Meredith College Music Department since 2013 and previously served as a church music director and pianist for over 15 years.

Yuri has a Master of Divinity degree from the Shaw University Divinity School (SUDS). Since January 2021, Yuri is serving as one of the fellows representing SUDS in The Gift of Black Theological Education & Black Church Collaborative. Yuri received the C.T. Vivian Scholarship from SUDS and the David Hilliard Eaton Scholarship from the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Yuri was a 2020-2021 fellow with the Progressive Asian American Christians where they connected with other Asian American Christians and learned about their histories, theologies, and many other stories. In 2022, Yuri will participate in the How to Fuel Your Passion: Tangible Skill Sets for Faith Leaders, a program by the Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity.

Yuri completed seven units of clinical pastoral education and now serves as a resident chaplain at the Durham VA Medical Center and a contract chaplain at the WakeMed Hospital. Yuri has also volunteered at the Wake Correctional Center since 2015 until the COVID-19 pandemic closed volunteer opportunities at the prison.

Yuri also holds the Expressive Arts Therapy graduate certificate at Appalachian State University and a PhD in Genetics from North Carolina State University. Yuri was instrumental in organizing and publishing the book, Unitarian Universalists of Color: Stories of Struggle, Courage, Love and Faith. Yuri currently serves on the boards of the Raleigh Organizing Against Racism and the African American Education & Research Organization at Melchor Quick Meeting House.