University Chaplain and Jessie Ball duPont Chair of the Chaplaincy Search
Dear Members of the University Community,
With great pleasure, I write to share news of the appointment of Rev. Dr. Craig Kocher as University Chaplain and Jessie Ball duPont Chair of the Chaplaincy. He will assume this position on May 15, 2017.
As many of you know, Craig previously served as University Chaplain from 2009–2016, and we are delighted to welcome him back to our campus community. In his prior tenure at Richmond, Craig expanded our religious programming and nurtured a campus culture that encouraged our community to engage in meaningful dialogue across both lines of difference and shared beliefs. Under Craig’s leadership, the Chaplaincy hired its first director of Jewish life and campus rabbi, its first director of Catholic campus ministries, and its first program coordinator for Muslim life. Craig and his Chaplaincy colleagues also created and implemented important new initiatives for students, including the Multifaith Student Council, the Chaplaincy Summer Internship program, and the Pilgrimage program.
Craig currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Oak Ridge United Methodist Church near Greensboro, North Carolina. There he has provided leadership and pastoral care to a congregation of 1700 members and worked with the church community to develop a strategic plan. Earlier he was Associate Dean of the Chapel and Director of Religious Life at Duke University and Methodist Campus Minister at Davidson College. Craig earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree from Duke Divinity School, and his Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary. He is an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Craig will return to the Chaplaincy as it becomes part of the Student Development division, reporting to Vice President Steve Bisese. During his years at Richmond, Craig worked collaboratively with colleagues to ensure the Chaplaincy was a vital part of student life and that Chaplaincy programs supported our efforts to enhance understanding and inclusivity. Craig will bring to Richmond that strong background in student programming, as well as his extensive experience providing pastoral care, and a demonstrated commitment to the University’s mission. I look forward to the contributions that Craig will make in the coming years, leading the remarkable team of professionals in our Chaplaincy.
I appreciate all of you who participated in the campus visits of finalists and provided your input. I am especially grateful to the Search Committee for recruiting such an outstanding group of candidates.
Please join me in welcoming Craig, his wife, Abby, and their daughters, Caroline and Catherine, back to Richmond.
Ronald A. Crutcher