April 18, 2018

After seven years as University Pastor at the Chapel of the Resurrection, Pastor Charlene M. Rachuy Cox, D.Min., will step down at the end of the 2017–2018 academic year to become the director of contextual education at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, one of seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Pastor Char will teach the contextual education classes and oversee all internship, field work, and clinical pastoral education.

Pastor Char was installed as pastor of Valparaiso University on Aug. 28, 2011 and has worked alongside Pastor James A. Wetzstein in service to our campus. Together they have alternated preaching and presiding at Sunday morning worship. She dedicated herself to her role as University Pastor, immersing herself in the University community. Pastor Char was the regular preacher at Valpo’s Sunday evening Candlelight service. She also served as the pastoral advisor for the Peer Ministry team, the student Sacristy Staff, the Candlelight worship team, Activating Community Through Service, the Christian Ministry Network, Brothers Reaching Out / Sisters in Spirit, and LuMin, the newly established ELCA student ministry. Pastor Char also pursued and completed her Doctor of Ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (May 2017).

While at Valpo, Pastor Char also led a women’s spiritual discernment group that empowers life reflection through personal storytelling. Influenced by the numerous, diverse people she has encountered through her life, Pastor Char has found that everyone has their own unique story that holds meaning. She passionately commits herself to uncovering creative ways to weave the gospel narrative into and throughout the stories of our lives.

Upon her arrival at Valpo, Pastor Char had extensive experience in higher education. She joined the Valparaiso University community after serving as campus pastor at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa; and University Lutheran Ministry in Normal, Illinois. Pastor Char has also served in various parish settings.

Pastor Char is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving as pastor since 1991. Her specialties include preaching; worship; spirituality and meditation; spiritual direction; and postmodernity.

The leadership, spiritual guidance, and faithful service, especially to Valpo’s student body, that Pastor Char has offered for seven years has been invaluable and will truly be missed. Please join me in congratulating Pastor Char as she pursues her next calling and accepts this new position of ministry and service. Let us pray for the Lord’s continued blessings upon her and her family.

To celebrate Pastor Char’s years of leadership and service, a farewell reception in her honor will be held on May 9, from 2–4 p.m. in the Helge Center Multi-purpose Room with brief comments at 3:30 p.m.

Information regarding the interim ELCA ministry leadership for the 2018—2019 academic year will be forthcoming.


Pastor Brian T. Johnson
Assistant Vice President for Mission and Ministry


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