Ryken hopes to appoint new chaplain by January

Wheaton does not yet know who its next chaplain will be, but President Philip Ryken and the search committee are working to appoint a permanent chaplain to replace Chaplain Kellough, who retired after the spring semester of 2014 and after 25 years of service at the college.
According to Marilee Melvin, the executive assistant to President Ryken, Kellough “contacted many pastors of multi-ethnic churches (in June) to get the word out (about the chaplain search).” Melvin said that they received applications from “qualified individuals located in ministries in the U.S. and internationally, both men and women of various backgrounds.”
Ryken hopes to have a new chaplain appointed by Jan. 1, 2015, but Melvin said that Ryken “will rely on the direction of the Holy Spirit for that.” Until a new Chaplain is chosen and employed, Dave McDowell, ’68, will be serving as an interim chaplain. Melvin said that while Ryken hopes to have a new chaplain in place by the new year, “it is more important to Dr. Ryken to choose the right person than to make an arbitrary deadline.”
The chaplain profile includes three main focuses: Christian character, community values and ministerial competencies. Ryken also stressed the importance of having a chaplain with cross- cultural communication skills.
According to the chaplain profile on Wheaton’s website, one aspect of Christian character for which the College is looking is “personal identity in Jesus Christ in ways that foster humility, joy, perseverance, courage and good humor.”
Examples of community values are “prizing ethnic diversity, building strong relationships across cultures and valuing the full range of gifts that God has given to women and men in the body of Christ,” as well as “cultivating genuine love for the local church as the primary locus for membership in Christ-centered community, lifelong discipleship to Jesus Christ and participation in public worship and the sacraments.”
One ministerial competency listed on the website is that the chaplain would “faithfully teach and preach the Bible, giving fresh insight into God’s Word, ground everyday life in the grace of the gospel, challenge prevailing campus idolatries and inspire students and others to surrender body and soul in service to Jesus Christ.”
The chaplain must be in full agreement with Wheaton’s Statement of Faith and theology as well. He or she must sign the Community Covenant, and he or she must support the liberal arts and have pastoral gifts.
Practically speaking, the new chaplain must have a Masters of Divinity or “some equivalent,” and a doctorate is preferred, according to the position description on Wheaton’s website. He or she must have 10 or more years of ministry experience and must be ordained.
Three short essays and a 10 minute clip of the applicant’s speaking must be sent in with his or her resume. The chaplain application is online.
Human Resources is handling chaplain applications before sending them on to the search committee if the applications meet the basic requirements listed on Wheaton’s website. The search committee began their work in the summer and will continue to serve through this fall semester.
The search committee represents people from various aspects of Wheaton. Two professors, a coach, one graduate student and two undergraduate students who have served or are serving in esteemed positions in the student body comprise the committee. Another senior undergraduate is helping Ryken with logistics.
Ryken’s senior administrative cabinet said the committee members “are in touch with student and faculty thought and feeling, represent staff concerns and have qualities and experiences that lend themselves to being especially sensitive to the chaplain profile.”
The committee is helping Ryken with the applications, but he will make the decision.

Leave a Reply