Would You Rather…?

Would You Rather...?

by Alicia CarloStaff Writer

Chris Waddle, chaplain and director of church relations, always knew that he wanted to be a campus minister.

His experience in campus ministry at the University of Southern Mississippi, along with a class on campus ministry he took while in seminary at Duke University, led him to find his calling as a campus minister.

Before coming to Simpson, Waddle was a United Methodist Pastor on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The opportunity to come to Simpson came when the chaplain before him died while leading students on a May Term trip.

“I remember hearing about it, looking up Simpson on the web, and saying a prayer for the students,” Waddle said. “I had no clue that in three months I would be moving to Iowa to be the next chaplain at Simpson.”

Someone who worked with him on the Board of Higher Education and Ministry for the United Methodist Church in Mississippi had called him and said that the president of Simpson had asked for a recommendation. His recommendation was Waddle.

Waddle then came to Simpson in Fall 2001.

“I find the kind of questions raised here exciting,” he said. “I like helping people integrate faith and reason.”

He also likes helping people discern how they are called out to live their faith vocationally. Another important part of campus ministry is the ability to laugh and have fun, according to Waddle.

Waddle said that Simpson is an exceptional place to be in ministry and it is one of the strongest campus ministries of its type.

“A large part of what makes this ministry strong is the commitment and gifts of our students,” Waddle said.

He has tried to help increase vocational reflection and conversation about calling across campus through the Lilly Initiative for Vocational Exploration and the religion department.

“I will miss Simpson deeply when I leave at the end of this semester,” Waddle said. “The students, faculty and staff here have been a great blessing.”