New Chaplain Oversees Campus Spiritual Life Activities
Rev. Alissa Davis returns to her alma mater to serve as campus chaplain
ALMA — The Rev. Alissa Davis, an Alma College graduate with more than a decade of pastoral experience, has been named the college chaplain at Alma College.
As chaplain, Davis provides leadership and creative vision for a religious life environment that includes worship, study and service to others. Her appointment was made effective Nov. 3.
“Many students use their time at college to seek opportunities to live their faith and explore their spirituality,” President Jeff Abernathy said. “Rev. Davis offers a passion for campus ministry and years of experience that will allow her to build on Alma’s foundation of faith practice in a safe, encouraging and uplifting environment. I welcome Alissa back to Alma and look forward to our partnership together.”
Davis most recently served as worship pastor for the Midland Reformed Church, where she served in various roles for seven years. Previously, she served as a family and youth pastor at Bridgeport Community Church and as a campus minister at Northwood University and Saginaw Valley State University.
Davis graduated from Alma College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2011. While she was at Alma, she participated in a number of student activities, including Choir, Chapel, Bible Study and New Life Campus Ministries. She also met her future husband, Matthew Davis ’11, on campus, and was later married at Dunning Memorial Chapel.
In addition to her bachelor’s degree, Davis holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Western Theological Seminary, in Holland, Michigan.
Davis said she was drawn to come back to her alma mater for its “people-centered mission,” including an increased emphasis in recent years on interfaith worship. She added that she is pleased to work with students, for the “fresh perspective” they can offer on timeless questions about religious identity and spiritual exploration.
“We want to be a place that cares about people — where they’re going and what they’re passionate about. We want to empower and cultivate that, to help them move further down the road they are going,” Davis said. “We are not afraid of learning, which really excites me about coming back here. We’re always going to strive to learn more.”
“Students are wondering, learning, asking questions,” she continued. “Sometimes they are small questions, sometimes they’re huge questions, but they’re always good questions. Students just aren’t afraid of those kinds of things. In this role, I expect to be challenged constantly and I’m really excited about that.”
At Alma, Davis envisions a chapel program that welcomes people of all faiths, provides opportunities for spiritual growth and sponsors activities that are integrated into the life of the college.
“In general, my baseline goal is to care for the people of this community,” Davis said. “I love to see the way the chapel program specifically has expanded its view of saying, ‘Whoever you are, whatever your background is, we want to help care for you.’ Sometimes that’s messy and sometimes that’s hard, but we’re always going to strive to do better.”
Alma College is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).