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New Chaplain Oversees Campus Spiritual Life Activities

Rev. Andrew Pomerville returns to his alma mater to serve as Alma College chaplain and director of spiritual life.

Rev. Pomerville and family.Rev. Pomerville and family.Rev. Andrew Pomerville, an Alma College graduate with more than a decade of pastoral experience, has been named director of spiritual life at Alma College.

As the college chaplain, he will oversee campus ministries that honor a diversity of faith perspectives. His appointment is effective March 16.

“Many college students explore their spirituality and look for opportunities to live their faith,” says President Jeff Abernathy. “Rev. Pomerville brings a passion for campus ministry and a set of pastoral and leadership experiences that will enable him to build on Alma’s foundations of active worship services, religious life programming and service through such programs as alternative breaks. I welcome Andrew back to Alma and look forward to our partnership.”

Rev. Pomerville comes to Alma following seven years as the senior pastor of the Peoples Church of East Lansing, where he provided strategic leadership, lead preaching, staff development and pastoral care for a 1,200-member congregation. Previously, he was pastor of Church in the Hills in Bellaire and served as the national park chaplain in Denali, Alaska.

After his graduation from Alma College in 2001, he earned his master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and has pursued the Doctor of Ministry degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary/University of Aberdeen, Scotland, with an anticipated graduation in May 2018.

“Returning to Alma is truly a dream come true,” says Rev. Pomerville. “My faith formation was profoundly impacted by my experiences at Alma College, and I welcome the opportunity to be a similar influence and support to the students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

Rev. Pomerville, leading the alumni marriage renewal ceremony at 2017 homecoming.Rev. Pomerville, leading the alumni marriage renewal ceremony at 2017 homecoming.At Alma, he envisions a chapel program that welcomes people of all faiths, provides opportunities for spiritual growth, sponsors activities that are integrated into the life of the campus and embraces “the diversity of creation by seeking reconciliation and peace.”

“Chaplaincy is near and dear to my heart,” he says. “It is more than just being a pastor. As a chaplain, you are serving all people in your organization, regardless of faith tradition or background. You are called to be a spiritual supporter, advisor and encourager, facilitating the needs of all people.

“I first learned about the valuable role of chaplains when I served as the student assistant chaplain at Alma in 2001. During the tragedy of 9/11, I witnessed firsthand the important calling and nature of chaplains to give hope in the midst of grief, to provide safe spaces to explore questions about life, tragedy and spirituality, and to be a confidential ear to all people as a compassionate support.”

The chaplain at Alma College provides leadership and creative vision for a religious life environment that includes worship, study and service to others.

Alma College is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Story published on January 30, 2018