As student generations change, and as new student life at Valpo evolves, some things remain in place — especially that first year — like the challenge of living away from home, the challenge of making new friends, and the challenge of making it in college academic life.
The university pastors can help, regardless of your religious tradition – even if you don’t consider yourself "religious."
Valpo's two Lutheran pastors, Rev. Charlene M. Rachuy Cox and Rev. James A. Wetzstein, are committed to providing excellent spiritual care for the entire University community – students, staff and faculty. As chaplains, they are available to meet and talk with you about any issue or situation. They’ll help you clarify the issue, reflect on your own beliefs and think through your options with kindness and grace.
The pastors' offices are in the Helge Center, adjacent to the Chapel.
University Pastor James A. Wetzstein
Phone: 219 464-6794
Cell phone: 219 405-0630
Fax: 219 464-5049
Pastor James Wetzstein is the mentor for the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) and works with the students who plan and implement Celebrate! every Wednesday night, as well as those who lead Morning Prayer. He meets weekly with Valpo’s LCMS-U chapter to discuss current issues in theology and culture. Lessons learned through independent international travel and twelve years of experience in a small, multicultural congregation in Gary, Indiana, are at the root of his commitment to a global vision coupled with gospel-driven, grassroots local action. Pr. Jim and his wife Tracey, an attorney, live in Gary with their 11-year-old son, Gabriel, and a bunch of dogs and cats. He draws a weekly, three-panel comic strip for churches called "Agnus Day."
Pastor Charlene Rachuy Cox is the regular preacher at Candlelight on Sunday nights, and she serves as the pastoral advisor for the Peer Ministry team, ACTS, the Christian Ministry Network, BRO/SIS and serves on the Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Spirituality. She also leads a women’s spiritual discernment group that empowers life reflection through personal storytelling. Influenced by the many and varied people who have crossed her life’s path, Pr. Char believes that everyone has a story, and those stories matter. She is passionately committed to finding creative ways for the gospel narrative to be woven into and throughout the stories of our lives. Pr. Char is the parent of 18-and 17-year-old daughters, Torie and Elianna. She loves walking with her giant schnoodle, Ari, and her Bischon/poodle, Bob, and especially enjoys memoirs and historical fiction.
Have another question or concern? Call (219) 464-5093 to get connected to the right person. Or email one of the pastors!
1600 Chapel Drive,Valparaiso IN 46383
You can also email prayer requests to
The pastors offer answers to Frequently Asked Questions that first-year and incoming students tend to wrestle with. Read more.
The university pastors take turns writing devotions for the chapel's weekly digital newsletter, emailed to all students, staff and faculty during the school year. Read a selection of them from the past school year:
Listen to sermons from the Chapel of the Resurrection.