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McPherson College Hires New Campus Minister

posted Feb 22, 2012 in ACADEMICS

McPherson College has chosen a new campus minister with deep roots in both the spiritual and the scientific – Dr. Steve Crain.

The campus minister is responsible for the spiritual life of the McPherson College campus; among the responsibilities are creating spiritual formation programs, supporting students of faith, and connecting students in need to available resources. The campus minister helps create the connection between the intellectual and spiritual at the college.

“With a passion for both ministry and teaching, I consider myself a ‘bridge person’,” Dr. Crain said. “Serving both the Church and in Higher Education, with one foot in the sciences, the other in the humanities, I find that following Christ brings all the pieces of my vocation together.”

Dr. Crain comes to McPherson College from Fort Wayne, Ind., where he has served as director of Christian formation at Trinity Episcopal Church, co-chaplain for Timbercrest Senior Living Community and adjunct faculty at the Department of Philosophy and Theology at the University of Saint Francis. He also has previous experience as a campus pastor at Manchester College.

Ordained in the Church of the Brethren, Dr. Crain holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Stanford, a master’s in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a master’s in history and philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame – from which he also received his doctorate in theology.

His academic focus has been on the relationship between theology and natural science; in his spare time, he’s a passionate reader and outdoorsman.

“I’m looking forward to bring out my telescope under the dark skies of Kansas,” he said.

Dr. Kent Eaton, provost, said it was wonderful to have Dr. Crain joining the staff and that he was a great match for the college.

“I have never met someone who possesses the gifts of theologian and pastor in such balance as does Steve,” Dr. Eaton said. “Campus ministries and the department of philosophy and religion will flourish under his leadership.”

Sonja Griffith, executive minister of the Western Plains District of the Church of the Brethren, said that Dr. Crain offered an excellent mix of gifts to bring to the college’s spiritual life.

“Dr. Crain seemed very comfortable with both imaginative teaching and interacting in a compassionate, wise, and eager manner with students,” she said. “He was mentioned to me by a colleague with high praise, and clearly that high praise was merited.”

Sarah Neher, senior, Rochester, Minn., was the student representative on the search committee and saw Dr. Crain’s hiring as an opportunity for McPherson College students.

“I’m really excited for the campus ministry possibilities that Steve brings to McPherson,” Neher said. “He has a way of opening conversation so that everyone feels safe to share and grow.”

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