Ronna Fisher, Assistant and Content Editor
This is the second and final part in a series about the personnel changes within Spiritual Development.
This fall, SNU welcomes newcomers Banning Dawson and Joel Mullen to the Spiritual Development Team. After a year of learning about the community at SNU and his role here, Blair Spindle, SNU Chaplain, looks forward to the years to come, changes within Spiritual Development and working with Dawson and Mullen.
The roles and positions of the staff members have been shifted and adjusted. Spindle, desiring to become “an office of pastors engaged in pastoral ministry,” shares Spiritual Development’s new title and Mission Statement:
“The Office of University Pastors is seeking to create Christ centered community by: 1) Initiating and nurturing authentic relationships with Christ and others 2) Discipling students toward Holiness and maturity 3) Gathering students for corporate worship 4) Involving students in compassionate service to others.”
Spindle is excited to see the “staff coming together and just building real friendships with each other and with students.”
Each staff member now focuses on particular areas of ministry. Mullen, a missionary who has served abroad for almost fifteen years, will be arriving in September from Italy. “His first charge is to build relationships with students and disciple them,” Spindle said, “His primary job tasks will be to organize the mission trips and service opportunities. He is perfect for this position, and I have no doubt that God orchestrated this for the good of all of us.”
Dawson’s role will focus on worship and chapel experiences, as well as building relationships with students. “This includes everything from organizing worship bands to technology teams and many things in between. He will be a blessing to our community,” said Spindle.
A 2012 SNU graduate, Dawson has a degree in Music Business. He has since been working for Cole Community Impact Organization. “I believe because I’ve only been out of ‘college life’ for a little over a year, I still understand the mindset and thought process of a college student. I believe that to benefit me as I get to know our students [and] plan chapels and events,” said Dawson.
Excited about the relational aspect of his new position, Dawson said, “The cool part about [the position] is the mentoring and discipleship that will happen in working with student musical worship leaders.”
Chapel often has a theme each semester. In the past, themes have included “Divine Mosaic” and “Redeeming Grace.” This semester’s theme is Community. Spindle explains, “We’ve played on those words to call it ‘common’ ‘unity’—We believe that, despite our differences, Christ is the common thing that brings us to unity as [we] work towards a Kingdom Vision.”
Along with chapel services, Spindle shares that the Office of University Pastors looks forward to other opportunities to develop their faith. “We have over twenty small groups with forty leaders. We have some amazing trips tentatively scheduled. We are working on our Faith and Film offerings as well as our Solace prayer and sacrament services, which this year will include a baptism service as well as our communion services.”