Why College Chaplaincy?

An Imaginary Dialogue Between a College Student and Her Chaplain

Chaplain: That sounds fine to me. What are you researching?

S: Well, we were supposed to interview a professional woman about her job. I was kinda curious about
why you are a chaplain so I thought I’d ask you, if that’s okay, that is…um, well, and if you have time…

C: That sounds good to me. I’ve got some spare time now. Ask away.

S: So why are you a chaplain?

C: I’ve always understood it to be a call.

S: A call?

C: Something God has asked me to do, not in so many words, but through my life experiences. When I was a sophomore in college, I came to the realization that I had some of the gifts that indicate a call to ministry. It was a scary prospect, but at the same time, the minute I said the words out loud I felt at peace and a little excited. That inner sense of peace and excitement all at once has always been an indicator to me that the Holy Spirit is involved in whatever decision I’m about to make. I had the same feeling about volunteering in Northern Ireland for a year and about coming to Wilson.

But back to your question, at that point I really loved my college chaplain. She was a fantastic role model, and I idolized her a little. Well, maybe more than a little. I guess at the time I thought, “I would hate to work in a church, but I could totally work at a college. That sounds like fun.” Working in a church sounded stifling at the time while working at a college sounded liberating. I spent a lot of time exploring all of the ministry options while I was in graduate school, and after all that searching I came back around to the same place. This is the work I love.

S: What do you love about it? Read more