Campus Pastor

Capital University

Capital University seeks a dynamic leader for the freshly re-envisioned position of University Pastor. We seek an experienced pastor who is passionate about mission-directed work with undergraduate and graduate students of diverse backgrounds in a vibrant and inclusive residential learning community.

The appointment of Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Paul as Capital University’s 16th president in July 2016 catalyzes a time of vision and energy in celebration of Capital’s transformative educational purpose in communities near and far. Capital’s strategic focus is on being a Purpose University in the dynamic Greater Columbus region as our transformative classroom. Through holistic engagement and development of each student’s purpose, including innovative and extensive experiential learning, we catalyze Purpose Ready graduates who will learn, live, work, and lead – with purpose – for the sake of our world. In doing so, Capital will be appreciated, sought out, and supported as a purposeful learning community, attracting diverse individuals of promise, educating them holistically and deeply, and graduating them with passion and preparation to live their life’s purpose in a world-affirming and -strengthening way.

With President Paul’s arrival, Capital University and Trinity Lutheran Seminary have opened the possibility of reunion, celebrating our shared mission and heritage. The reunification is a recommitment to the ELCA values that define our collaborative learning community and our commitment to brightening our world through purpose-driven education and leadership. It is also a commitment to opening forward-looking and innovative approaches and pathways for inspiring and preparing future Christian leaders and for defining future leadership that works in close relationship with leaders of diverse religious and faith traditions to pursue local and global social justice for all.

Capital University seeks a dynamic, experienced, bold and innovative University Pastor to be an active collaborative leader in advancing the University mission and values in and for our contemporary world. We seek embracing leadership that fosters ecumenical, interreligious, and interfaith engagement and dialogue; our geodemographic location is a prime learning context. We seek a prescient leader to define a Capital-authored approach to youth ministry that answers contemporary wants for free and purposeful inquiry and meaning-seeking for a more just world. We seek a magnetic bridge-builder who will help integrate the University community (including Trinity Lutheran Seminary) around our shared mission, values and vision, and who takes an inclusive team approach to enacting the University pastor function. We seek a pioneer willing to innovate and try new approaches for student and community engagement and transformative holistic vocational learning.

The new University Pastor will report to the Office of the Provost and will be part of the University Senior Leadership Team, comprised of all core University leaders. President Paul is building a strong and diverse leadership team that is dynamic, passionate, professional, forward-thinking, innovative, and strategic. President Paul leads the University with a collective vision and expectation of collaboration, as well as high expectations for and support of each member’s individual professionalism, excellence, and growth. Leadership’s unified focus is on elevating the University so that its mission, strength and impact are sustainable well into our future.

The new University Pastor will:

  • Support and lead conversation about our University mission, vision, values, and goals;
  • Develop and facilitate opportunities in a variety of settings and in collaboration with a variety of offices and individuals to nurture students’ learning, dialogue, worship, meditation, and exploration of personal religious and spirituality expression and practice; help foster a community of wholeness, wellness, and commitment to purpose discernment;
  • Play an integral role in defining and implementing learning goals and learning opportunities for Capital students that facilitate purpose discernment and that ensure our graduates are Purpose Ready;
  • Provide pastoral support to Capital University students, including life transition, crisis, and candidacy support, working collaboratively with the Dean of Students and staff and faculty;
  • Define a University worship program that integrates the University community, catalyzes student involvement in and leadership of worship, and engages students in the study and application of diverse worship pedagogies and expressions;
  • Foster interfaith and intercultural appreciation and competence, including hosting University-community interfaith dialogue forums, observances, and activities;
  • Build partnerships and invite external talent and gifts to enrich the University learning community (including guest worship leaders, scholars, etc.);
  • Cultivate student engagement and leadership of University ministry through contextual learning experiences in University ministry for Trinity Lutheran Seminary students and experiential learning opportunities for any interested students;
  • Lead a team of undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty and area religious leaders in developing summer programming for diverse populations (e.g., a summer program in contemporary innovations in youth ministry; an exploration program for youths, etc.);
  • Promote engagement with social justice issues and advocating for those who are marginalized in our society through vocational exploration and community engagement commitments;
  • Promote inclusive community that welcomes, supports and values all, including those from all religious traditions and those who do not espouse a religious tradition; contribute to a learning community that is open and supportive of students’ exploration of all identities and aspects of personhood;
  • Oversee Campus Ministry and related groups and programs, and engage non-Capital-affiliated ministries to build relationships and community;
  • Share responsibility for maintaining and building relationships with church-related constituencies outside the University and congregations of other denominations and faiths; and
  • Offer or arrange for invocations at key University functions.


The successful candidate will:

  • Demonstrate and promote transparency, integrity, and high ethical standards, garnering the respect and confidence of the Board of Trustees, President, senior leadership, University partners, and other constituencies;
  • Contribute to the development of a collaborative and engaged culture with internal constituents to advance the University’s goals;
  • Commit deeply to the advancement of an inclusive learning and working environment, supporting the learning and advancement of all students and the professional development of staff and faculty, supporting an environment of respect and civility for all, thoughtfully planning and facilitating positive organizational change, and encouraging teamwork, collaboration, and a sense of community across the University;
  • Bring “outside-in” best practices and innovations from higher education and other sectors in ways that sharpen and advance Capital’s purpose in our world;
  • Collaborate with other entities and organizations to advance the University’s mission, position, and effectiveness;
  • Inspire responsible creative thinking and foster proactive problem solving;
  • Function productively and with agility in a complex, high-demand environment, managing multiple priorities simultaneously while setting and achieving goals;
  • Ability to define goals and learning outcomes, and track, assess and report on outcomes;
  • Proactively understand the University mission, vision, goals, activities, and achievements as well as pertinent higher education issues; and
  • Understand and appreciate the complexity of Capital University, a private comprehensive university with a strong liberal learning core and a broad array of undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in – and at the intersections of – arts and sciences and professional disciplines.



  • Master’s degree (M.Div. or equivalent) from an accredited institution of higher education required;
  • Ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and call to serve at Capital University approved by the Southern Ohio Synod of the ELCA is required;
  • Experience working or serving in a higher education context, campus ministry, and/or youth ministry strongly preferred;
  • Passion for Capital’s mission and the vital importance of transformational ELCA education in today’s and tomorrow’s society;
  • Ability to relate to contemporary student interests, challenges, and concerns;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the value of diversity and the proactive practice of inclusion;
  • Demonstrated commitment to ecumenical, interfaith, and interreligious engagement, dialogue, understanding, and cooperation;
  • A significant track record of visionary, proactive, and ethical approaches to community-building and facilitating campus-community partnerships.
  • A respected, ethical and results-oriented team player with the presence to inspire and the ability to develop a collaborative culture to work toward our shared University goals;
  • Emotional intelligence and agile interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent written, oral, and presentation skills, including proficiency in social media as a tool for engaging students and creating and enhancing community; and
  • Ability to lead and implement change positively and proactively.


  • Energetic and magnetic leader;
  • Creative, collaborative, positive and proactive;
  • Skilled facilitator of free and critical thought and dialogue;
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills;
  • Self-reliant, results oriented;
  • Ability to lead and make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs;
  • Skilled at balancing short-term objectives and long-term vision;
  • Strong character, ethics and integrity; and
  • Bilingual, in support of intercultural religious facilitation and leadership.


Capital University is a mid-sized, four-year undergraduate institution and graduate school whose main residential campus is located in the Central Ohio community of Bexley, and whose Law School is located four miles west in the heart of Downtown Columbus.

Capital University serves a diverse student body of nearly 3,500, including traditional undergraduates, full- and part-time law students, students who have come back to college to complete their bachelor’s degree or get a second one, graduate students, and those seeking a specific license or certification. The University delivers undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, sciences, humanities and professions, including graduate degrees in law, nursing, business, and music education. Reunion with Trinity Lutheran Seminary is underway, incorporating various master’s degrees and programs in theology into the University.

Capital leverages the timeless advantages of the liberal arts core education, and the focused development of specialized skills and experience from rigorous professional programs, all taught by a faculty that champions high-impact teaching and learning, scholarship and service. The values of our academic community – Diversity and Inclusion, Freedom of Inquiry, Calling and Vocation, Democracy and Dissent, and Discovery and Engagement – inform our conduct, guide our decision making, and serve as an unassailable foundation for future plans. They set us apart. The results are graduates who are confident in what they know, eager and adaptable to apply their knowledge and solve problems, well connected, and motivated to be a force for good in the world.

Located in Columbus, the 15th largest city in the nation and the fastest growing city in the Midwest, Capital’s ability to incorporate the resources available in this dynamic urban region is uncommonly attractive. Engaging in the area’s rich ecumenical, interfaith and interreligious community and initiatives, the new University Pastor will have the opportunity to make a measurable difference in the life of Capital University.



Nominations and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with candidate review beginning July 1, and continuing until a new University Pastor is selected. Application materials should be submitted to: Materials should include a letter of candidacy that responds to the position prospectus, a CV or résumé, and the names and contact information (email and phone) for three references, none of whom will be contacted until a later stage of the search and not without the formal permission of the candidate. All inquiries and applications will be received and evaluated in full confidence.


Capital University is an equal opportunity employer, and supports a diverse and inclusive campus community. Capital University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion, sex, gender, age, disability, veteran status, or other characteristics protected by the law.


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