Executive Director and University Chaplain Religious and Spiritual Life - Northwestern University

  • 13 May 2020 12:55 PM
    Message # 8966211

    Executive Director and University Chaplain

    Religious and Spiritual Life

    Northwestern University

    Northwestern University, recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative teaching and pioneering research, invites nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director and University Chaplain for Religious and Spiritual Life. The new Executive Director and University Chaplain will bring energy, vision, and focus to the work of situating the chaplaincy and the department in a way that advances the university pillars: Discover, Integrate, Connect and Engage; and upholds the division of Student Affairs’ vision, mission, values and strategic themes.

    The Opportunity

    Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and serving as a member of the Student Engagement Leadership Team, the Executive Director and University Chaplain will be responsible for:

    Providing Leadership for the Department of Religious and Spiritual Life:

    • ·       Lead the creation and implementation of the strategic vision for the department through program review implementation, goal-setting and execution, assessment of outcomes, and the daily activities of Religious and Spiritual Life
    • ·       Bring management expertise to the unit and identify and implement strategies to ensurea collaborative working environment for staff, strengthen morale, and foster a culture of teamwork and mutual support
    • ·       Actively cultivate strong and effective partnerships with:
    • o   Campus Religious Centers (Canterbury House, Hillel, Lutheran Campus Ministry, Sheil Catholic Center, and University Christian Ministry);
    • o   Departments within Student Engagement: Campus Life (Fraternity and Sorority Life, Leadership Development and Community Engagement, and Student Organizations and Activities), Campus Inclusion and Community (Multicultural Student Affairs, Social Justice Education, and Student Enrichment Services).
    • o   Departments within Student Affairs, on campus, and in the Evanston and Chicago communities: Dean of Students, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Promotion and Wellness, the academic units, and ministries in the communities.
    • To be successful, these relationships, and others across the University, will require establishing clear expectations, effective communication, active engagement, and mutually beneficial alliances.

    Overseeing Program Development, Implementation and Administration:

    • ·       Working with the Religious and Spiritual Life team, develop interfaith, multi-faith, and spiritual programming, and implement a full range of community worship experiences for those who are religious, non-religious, and seeking meaning through spiritual exploration and practice.
    • ·       Establish and maintain effective collaborative working relationships with student leaders, religious student organization advisors (of over 40 registered students clubs and organizations), Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and campus service departments in order to provide a holistic and balanced student activity and involvement program that complements and supplements the mission of Student Engagement while advancing the mission of Religious and Spiritual Life.
    • ·       Work collaboratively with units across campus to develop activities and programs that effectively engage student, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. The successful candidate will build upon the success of existing, well-regarded programs such as the worship services, the Alice Millar Choir, 40 Days, the Spirituality Reading Series, and Northwestern University Interfaith Initiatives to generate vibrant student engagement.

    Providing Pastoral Care:

    • ·       Provide pastoral care, support, and guidance to those who are in crisis or in need and serve as the primary after-hours on-call liaison for the University’s community of students, faculty, and staff. Coordination of, and participation in, on-call crisis response is expected.
    • ·       Oversee the delivery of programming of worship services in Millar and Vail Chapels, and for Jumu’ah, Friday prayers for the Muslim community. This includes the writing and performing of weekly worship services, assisting with music coordination, and, as needed, performing life events for congregation members, alumni, and campus community members.
    • ·       Officiate in, and provide support for, university-wide events, such as Convocations, Baccalaureate, and Commencement, and represents Religious and Spiritual Life on divisional and campus initiatives where appropriate, such as the Martin Luther King Commemoration and One Book One Northwestern planning committees.


    The successful candidate will have strong knowledge of and evidence of success in utilizing principles and practices that contribute to and develop a sense of community, purpose, and meaning among students. This individual must demonstrate a broad understanding of the roles these areas of responsibility play in supporting the pillars of Northwestern University’s strategic plan and Student Affairs’ strategic plan; connection, engagement and integration, through the learning vehicles of student organizations, worship, programming, leadership, and crisis intervention.

    Additionally, the individual selected will have an understanding of the local, national, and global landscape regarding interfaith, multifaith, non-religious spiritual and mindfulness practices, and have an understanding of the impact these issues and affiliations have on the student learning experience.

    The Executive Director and University Chaplain will bring to the University the gravitas to provide leadership in moments that span celebration and crisis to the community, while also having the interpersonal skills to be sensitive to highly emotional personal situations where discretion, empathy, education, and good judgment are required.

    The successful candidate will possess excellent supervisory skills, strong fiscal management experience, communication skills, strategic planning experience, organizational advising, and innovative use of technology. Candidates will have a commitment to outstanding community development and support in a student affairs setting in higher education, and a proven record of staff development and a demonstrated ability to foster teamwork.

    The Executive Director and University Chaplain must possess a passion for the development of college students, as well as faculty and staff in a campus environment, exhibited in the day-to-day operations of the facilities and the varied work schedule requirements including on-call, nights, and weekends. The successful candidate must be dynamic, energetic, creative, forward-thinking, a problem-solver, committed to a collaborative team approach in order to accomplish the missions of Religious and Spiritual Life as well that of the division of Student Affairs.

    Specific Qualities and Experiences

    The successful candidate will have a Master of Divinity degree from a member seminary or divinity school recognized by the Association of Theological Schools or an equivalent advanced degree related to diversity of religious expression from an accredited college/university. APhD specialization in theology or related course of study related to diversity of religious expression is preferred. Ordination, or equivalent, in a recognized denomination and experience leading a religiously diverse community and/or campus ministry are also preferred.

    In addition, the ideal candidate will have:

    ·       A minimum of five years of relevant experience in an academic community and/or relevant experience working with young adults to nurture communities of faith

    • Strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills, along with an ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of constituencies within the university and beyond
    • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with college students and with individuals of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds while encouraging inclusion and working toward equity
    • Strong leadership skills and ability to be an effective community builder
    • Skills in counseling, crisis management, conflict resolution
    • Knowledge of diverse religious, spiritual, and mindfulness traditions

    ·       Experience supervising professional staff at varying levels, including students

    ·       Demonstrated experience in program development, including contract negotiations with outside vendors, speakers, and programming groups

    ·       Demonstrated experience with student organization advising and development, training and financial management

    ·       Excellent written and oral communication skills and demonstrated strategic planning experience

    ·       Demonstrated ability to function in a way that is intentional and reflective

    ·       Proven competence in managing multiple tasks and competing priorities

    ·       Demonstrated commitment to continued personal and professional development

    ·       Understanding of educational environments at highly selective institutions like Northwestern University is preferred

    ·       Available to serve in an on-call capacity, and to work some evenings and weekends

    Preferred Professional Affiliations

    Involvement with: ACURA, NACUC, NASPA, ACPA

    Position Details

    Status: Full Time

    Salary: Compensation commensurate with experience

    Application and Nomination

    Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, please send all confidential nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest to Sage Search Partners: Paula Fazli, Managing Partner, and Kate Salop, Partner, at: northwesternchaplain@sagesearch.com Application materials should include a letter of interest, a CV, and a list of three (3) references. No references will be contacted without the candidate’s permission.

    Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

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