College Chaplain & Director of Religious and Spiritual Life
Location: Davidson, North Carolina
Religious and Spiritual Life
Search for the College Chaplain & Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Davidson, North Carolina
With the recently announced retirement of Rev. Robert C. Spach ’84, Davidson College is launching a national search to identify an accomplished, creative, and inclusive leader to serve as its next College Chaplain & Director of Religious and Spiritual Life. This leader must be compassionate, intellectually curious, and understand the role of faith and spirituality within the liberal arts tradition. The Chaplain serves as the primary pastor for the college community and must be prepared to engage positively with individuals from any faith background and those of no faith background.
One of the nation’s most innovative and selective liberal arts colleges, Davidson College is known for its highly motivated students, dedicated faculty, and tight-knit community. The college was established by Presbyterians in 1837 and maintains its voluntary affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Reformed Tradition. From this heritage, Davidson College affirms the importance of a liberal arts education that helps students develop humane instincts and disciplined, creative minds for leadership and service. The College’s close ties to its Presbyterian heritage ground its profound commitment to building a diverse community where individuals of all backgrounds live and learn together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation.
With respect for Davidson’s traditions and inspired by the college’s Statement of Purpose and its articulation of Reformed Christianity, the Chaplain serves as a thought-partner, guide, and mentor to students, faculty, staff, and the broader campus community. The Chaplain serves the diverse religious, spiritual, and pastoral needs of the entire community and supports all people in expressing, exploring, and practicing their traditions, beliefs, and perspectives in a respectful and pluralistic environment.
Reporting to the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Byron McCrae, the Chaplain is an integral member of the Student Life leadership team. The Chaplain leads a staff comprised of four associate chaplains of various faith traditions and one staff assistant, acts as a liaison to affiliate campus ministers, and advises over fifteen student-led organizations. The Chaplain also provides one-to-one pastoral care and counseling to students, manages an array of weekly programs to support student development, organizes and leads annual programs including retreats, internships, and conferences, and oversees the distribution of fellowships and grants to support students’ vocational exploration, spiritual examination, and religious study.
This leader is often called upon to support community members, speak publicly, and/or facilitate communication during times of crisis and celebration. This includes leading worship services, preaching and celebrating the sacraments, and providing input on issues related to the ethos, values, and vision of the College. As such, the Chaplain must have the pastoral sensitivities to meet the spiritual needs of diverse constituents and must thrive in interfaith settings.
This is an exceptional opportunity for an empathetic and collaborative leader to provide pastoral support to an inspired and diverse community. The successful candidate will have a graduate degree (M.Div. or equivalent) and a minimum of 5 years’ experience in administration in an educational, church, or other institutional context. Experience in chaplaincy in a church or church-related ministry setting is preferred. Ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA) is required.
President Doug Hicks and Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Byron McCrae have appointed a search committee to conduct this confidential search in partnership with Keight Tucker Kennedy and Corinne Crews of the international executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.