(If you haven’t read Part 1 click here before continuing on.)
Rev. Loretta Reynolds
Acquiring 17 primary labor positions was somewhat of a miracle so we knew we had to make the very best of the gifts we had been given. In the fall of 1998, I was hired to work as a bridge between the Campus Christian Center and the Collegium (Residence Life professionals) and assumed the position of Student Chaplain supervisor upon Rev. Lee’s retirement. Graciously, Rev. Lee shared the materials he had used for training. I am so thankful I didn’t have to start from scratch! The new primary job position was supported by the Campus Christian Center budget and while I was designated as the labor supervisor, the Student Chaplains also worked as Residence Assistants (RAs). This meant they received training from the CCC and Residence Life, alternated between the 2 departments for labor meetings, and also reported to their Collegium member. We had to figure out how this shared position would work so we started with 9 Student Chaplain/RAs the first year. Through trial and error, patience, and shared effort, within 3 years we worked up to the full 17-member team, with a Student Chaplain in every residence hall! Continue reading The Story of the Student Chaplain Program Continues… →
I am proud of the work of the Campus Christian Center on so many levels. But, among the best things we do is the Student Chaplain Program. These dedicated students work all over campus providing spiritual programs, pastoral care, peer counseling, interfaith education and conversation. They plan and participate in weekly chapel services and contribute to College ceremonies. Often the services they provide are in the background as they quietly attend to student needs and build bridges for students to access the professional assistance they may need to succeed in college. The work they, and their supervisors, do may go unnoticed so I want to take this opportunity to tell a story about this pretty amazing program. As I began to do research for this blog, I found that the conception of this program goes much farther back than I knew. So, let’s start at the very beginning…
Continue reading The Student Chaplain Program: In the Beginning… →
Rev. Dr. Jake Hofmeister
Since I’ve served as a Berea College Chaplain for a little over two years, one thing has stood out to me that is very different here than at other higher education institutions – how selfless, passionate, hard-working, resilient, and all-around amazing our students are. I’m not hyperbolizing here, our students are exceptional. And thank-goodness we have exceptional students (and of course, the faculty, staff, and administration are great, too), because these are exceptional times.
I enjoy the privilege of working with fourteen Student Chaplains this year, along with Rev. Dr. LeSette Wright, as their labor supervisor (and a shout out to the Dean of the Chapel, Rev. Dr. Loretta Reynolds, for developing this program over the past two decades). These students through this program, which is cutting edge and largely unparalleled throughout the country in the arena of chaplaincy, support the spiritual and religious lives of our students on campus and beyond in a myriad of ways. They are peer counselors, spiritual guides, emotional empathizers, Bible study leaders, grief supporters, selfless servers, worship creators, social justice activists, residence hall staff team members – and they are also college students, exceptional college students.
Continue reading Exceptional Times…Exceptional Students →