Few people at Millsaps College can impact students' lives as directly as the College chaplain. From the legendary and long-serving Don Fortenberry, B.A.1962, to recent standouts Lisa Garvin, B.A. 1993, and Rwth Ashton, the chaplain at Millsaps has historically not only nurtured the spiritual development of United Methodist students but also overseen the religious life of the entire campus community - all while creating and coordinating opportunities for community service and engagement.
Within days of the departure of former Chaplain Rwth Ashton, Vice President and Dean of Students Brit Katz convened the first meeting of the Chaplain Search Committee. Chaired by Katz, and consisting of three faculty members, four staff members, four students, and one alumna, the Search Committee has met at least twice a month since early July to discuss, and to discern, who will be the College's next chaplain.
"Even though the search began shortly after United Methodist ministers had received their new assignments from the Methodist Conference, the committee has been very pleased with the number of qualified - and indeed compelling - applicants," said Kenneth Townsend, B.A. 2004, a faculty/staff representative on the committee.
Katz suggests that the number of strong candidates reflects Millsaps' reputation and appeal in both higher education and United Methodist circles. "Millsaps offers the best of different worlds. We have a socially and religiously diverse, intellectually-engaged community that takes seriously its ethical heritage, in general, and its Wesleyan roots, in particular."
After reading through numerous applications, conducting phone interviews with the strongest candidates, and speaking with candidates' references, the committee recommended to Dr. Robert W. Pearigen, president of Millsaps, finalists to be brought to Millsaps for a series of on-campus interviews in November.