Oct. 18, 2021 – Valparaiso, Indiana – The Rev. Brian A.F. Beckstrom will join Valparaiso University as assistant vice president for mission, church and ministry effective Jan. 17, 2022. Most recently, Beckstrom has served at Wartburg College as dean of spiritual life and campus pastor.
In his role as assistant vice president for mission, church and ministry, Beckstrom will be responsible for promoting, supporting and advancing the University’s Lutheran mission, both internally and externally, including fostering ongoing relationships with various Lutheran denominations and other entities. He will also oversee the administrative management of all programs housed in the Helge Center for Mission and Ministry, including chapel and student ministries, the Allen Scholars program, the Institute of Liturgical Studies and the Institute for Leadership and Service.
Beckstrom’s career experience brings together pastoral ministry and higher education administration, covering a wide range that includes campus ministry, administrative management, student life, recruitment, financial aid and church relations. He has championed the faith mission at Wartburg College while overseeing spiritual life and campus ministry, creating new discipleship processes and encouraging faith exploration and development both in and out of the classroom.
“I am thrilled to welcome Pastor Beckstrom to lead mission, church and ministry at Valparaiso University and look forward to working closely with him to develop and support curricular and co-curricular programs that encourage vocational discernment, religious education, spiritual life and a commitment to serve others,” said Eric W. Johnson ’87, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Our Lutheran identity informs every aspect of the Valpo experience, and Pastor Beckstrom’s passion for transformative Lutheran higher education will be a true asset to our campus community.
Valparaiso University is currently undergoing a campuswide strategic planning process to shape its future, and Beckstrom’s experience leading the vocation group for strategic planning at Wartburg College will help prepare him for this work.
“I am grateful that God has called me to this new role at Valparaiso University. My vocational journey has had twists and turns that seemed to have no discernible connection. Yet somehow the Spirit has woven my passions and experiences together in this position. After visiting campus and meeting the community I knew that I was called to this opportunity. I look forward to working at Valpo to discern how God is calling us to reflect the light of Christ now and in the future,” Beckstrom said.
Beckstrom is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and received his doctor of ministry in congregational mission and leadership from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He recently completed the LECNA fellows program, a year-long leadership development experience that is part of the pan-Lutheran organization Lutheran Education Conference in North America.