Rodney James Lynch T’14, ’15

Pastor and Executive Director
Baptist Student Foundation at Purdue University

“I pastor college age young adults through offering spiritual counseling, creating and facilitating sacred space for interracial, intercultural, intergenerational, ecumenical and interfaith dialogues and fellowship amongst a richly diverse community.”

What led you to seminary, specifically Drew Theological School?
“I choose Drew Theological School for a multitude of reasons. My pastor at the time was in a Drew Theological School PhD program and encouraged me to go back to school. In addition, some friends and preaching peers of mine had all went to Drew as well. During my visit to Drew where two major things stood out that helped me to choose Drew over other theological schools in the area; the cost/scholarship with a stipend Drew offered me and the diversity of the faculty, staff and students; particularly the diversity amongst the faculty.”

How did Drew prepare you for your current role as a chaplain?
“First, Drew prepared me by stressing the importance of inclusivity, particularly through the lens of language, sexuality, gender, culture, ethnicity/race and age. My Theological training at Drew was very liberative, in that I was liberated from a dogmatic religiosity—that is everything but inclusive. Therefore, I was prepared and understood the importance of cross-cultural collaborations. As a chaplain/campus minister, it is vital that I see the image of God in all humanity, regardless of language, sexuality, gender, culture, ethnicity/race, age, etc.

“Second, Drew also taught me the importance of self-care—burn-out is not a recipe for success. Finally, it was in the walls of Drew Theological School where my voice was valued, which has helped me overcome the challenge of diminishing myself and what I contribute to the educational community and abroad. I began to understand and accept who I am—my prophetic witness as a liberationist.”

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