Just right: A reflection by PC’s first Chaplaincy Resident


Photograph by Alex Barrus.

by Rev. Beatrix Weil | Guest Writer

“You are right, it is certainly a small school. PC is small enough to wrap your arms around!”

With these words during my interview, Rev. Rachel Parsons-Wells sealed the deal for me. I knew right then and there that if she offered me the position (which she eventually did), I would take it. A few months have passed since my interview and acceptance of the position, and I can now say that it is my honor and pleasure to serve as the inaugural Chaplaincy Resident here at Presbyterian College. I started on August 1, 2017, and I will continue to serve here until May 2018. Rev. Parsons-Wells’ words have proven true: PC is just the right size to love and to love well, or, as she says, ”small enough to wrap your arms around.”

The best part of my job is when students find their way into my office to chat, vent, cry, laugh, or just plain say hello. I like to think of my office as a place to multiply joys and divide sorrows, and it all takes place in the heart of campus, Springs Student Center. (Shameless plug: Stop by my office in Springs 108!)

Reverend Beatrix Weil.

I find so much joy in celebrating with my students, I find my heart stretched in commiserating with them, and I feel immensely proud when I watch them grow. It is my greatest privilege to walk with these emerging adults and get to know them on their journeys. It was through these treasured one-on-one interactions that I formed enough of a working relationship with students to invite a few of them to join me on an adventure.

I recently had the simply delightful experience of driving a total of 16 hours in a car with two students to and from Louisville to meet with representatives of the the Presbyterian Church (USA) for a seminar on gun use and misuse. This adventure of ours involved loud road trip music, a mechanical bull ride, and an unfortunate run-in with a mouse, not to mention an entire day dedicated to talking about a sensitive topic.

Ms. Sarah Logemann, under the supervision of Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens and Rev. Dr. Jason Brian Santos, developed a curriculum for college chaplains to teach about gun use and misuse. My two students and I made up part of a focus group with which Ms. Logemann practiced her curriculum. It was a fantastic experience to learn about engaging conversation about guns from Ms. Logemann’s well-developed curriculum.

A greater treat still was to hear my students offer thoughtful, creative, and constructive feedback to help Ms. Logemann further improve her work. I am grateful for these two students because their thoughts will contribute to this gun use and misuse curriculum that will eventually be taught by UKirk Presbyterian Campus Ministry groups all over the United States.

PC is just the right size to have these kinds of opportunities with students but also to have an effect on the school at large as we return to campus with this valuable training. Once again, PC proves to be just the right size. Working at PC has given me the invaluable experience of both one-on-one student interaction and wider program management. I am grateful to have had this opportunity, and I can only hope that my next college chaplaincy placement brings the same level of joy and fulfillment as my time here at Presbyterian College.