To A Student At Graduation Time: An Open Letter From The University Chaplain

Photo Courtesy of Hagerstown Community College

Photo Courtesy of Hagerstown Community College

Dear Student,

You are leaving this place for new adventures and new responsibilities. Some of that is exciting and some of it is scary. Some of it is just unknown.

But you can be certain of one thing. The relationships that have been so meaningful for you while you have been here are about to change radically.  [Read more…]

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Meet the 2014 Lantz Center Commissioning Class

The Lantz Center for Christian Vocation and Formation is one of the programs of great depth in the Christian faith at the University of Indianapolis. UIndy, as we refer to the university, is not a “Christian university” in the way that many persons think of them. We don’t require chapel or a commitment to Christianity to attend. But we have always been affiliated with the United Methodist Church and its predecessor denominations and we take seriously our opportunity and responsibility to prepare our students (United Methodist and otherwise) for religious leadership. In the Lantz Center we do that by way of a two year program in ecumenical spiritual formation, where we teach prayer practices, study a theology of vocation and the place of God’s call in the students’ lives, and we form a small covenanted community of followers of the Way. The students that go through the program are of the minority of students that grow deeply in the Christian faith while in college, even while so many are walking away from their religious commitments.

[Read more…]

An “Affirmative Action” Proposal For The Free Churches

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I have heard from many women ministers over the last couple months. Overwhelmingly, the message is this: “Even though I’m in a denomination that ordains women, no one will hire me.” I am beginning to wonder if we don’t need an affirmative action program for the church.

[Read more…]

3 Things To Look For In A Mentor: A Tribute To My Own Mentors

20140111-225324.jpgIn my work as a University Chaplain, I talk a lot with students about having a good mentor and becoming a good mentor to another. One of the findings of the National Study of Youth and Religion is that only committed religious parents can have more impact on the religious faithfulness of young people than adult mentors. Mentors matter.

[Read more…]

4 Reasons Why Ordaining Women Is No Longer An Option

jen ordination

Left to Right: Rev. Renee Perkins, Rev. Jenifer Stuelpe Gibbs, Rev. Jill Moffett Howard
Three Indiana United Methodist clergy on their ordination day.

When I was a 23 year old theology student, I nominated the first woman to be elder in the life of our conservative church. The response: “We don’t feel called to challenge the church constitution at this time.”

[Read more…]

You Don’t Have To Save The World


Most of us are pulled in lots of different directions. Sometimes we come to church and are challenged to do more: more prayer, more missions, more giving and so on. Our university students at University of Indianapolis’s McCleary Chapel are no different. This is my call to the students to “Do Only What You Are Called To Do.”

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How N.T. Wright Saved My Faith: A Call for Theological Complexity

nt-wrightAfter a couple of years of diving into the depths of theology, it had become clear that the “Sunday school faith” I had absorbed from my local congregation would not be enough to answer my difficult questions. At the same time, the deeply liberal theology of my college professors projected a God that was too weak and too far from the Jesus of Scripture for me to accept. Was I going to have to choose between being faithful to the God that I loved and having intellectual integrity?

[Read more…]