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Valparaiso University Announces Lutheran World Relief CEO to Join Faculty

Valparaiso University announces that the Rev. John Arthur Nunes, who served as keynote speaker at the University’s May 19 commencement ceremony, will join its faculty as the Jochum Professor and Chair. Since 2007, Nunes has served as president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, a $49 million global organization, leading staff in 17 countries in working to end poverty, injustice, and human suffering worldwide.

The Emil and Elfriede Jochum Chair, a University professorship established through a gift from Emil Jochum, supports the study of Christian values in public and professional life.

“As an international Lutheran university, Valpo is concerned with both the intellectual and spiritual development of our graduates,” said Mark R. Schwehn, PhD, University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Pastor Nunes’ career is a model for those seeking to become leaders who will be informed by their faith and who will tirelessly strive for justice in the world. As Jochum Chair, Pastor Nunes will hold this University to its highest ideals of scholarship and faith.”

In his role, Nunes will work closely with several areas of campus, including Christ College — The Honors College, the English Department, the Theology Department, the International Studies Department, and the Campus Ministries Division. He will also teach and partake in other pedagogical activities throughout the academic year.

“I am honored by this opportunity to join such a dynamic community of learning with a tradition of excellence,” Nunes said. “Valparaiso University uniquely prepares students to engage the world with critical and self-critical reflection, especially from a Lutheran Christian framework. I’m simply elated to occupy this chair.”

Nunes will continue the work of Walter Wangerin Jr., who occupied the Jochum Chair from its inception in 1991 until 2009. Wangerin continues to serve on Valpo’s faculty in both the Department of English and the Department of Theology. Wangerin is also a contributing writer for The Lutheran magazine and a frequent speaker throughout the nation on topics of faith, storytelling, and writing.

Prior to joining Lutheran World Relief, Nunes served on the faculty of Concordia University Chicago as a professor of theology. He has also served as a management consultant and as an urban parish pastor and community organizer in Dallas and Detroit.

Nunes holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Mich.; a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada; and both a Master of Theology and a Doctor of Philosophy with an emphasis in postcolonial identity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He has also received honorary doctorates from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, and Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis.

“As we think about our identity and mission as an independent Lutheran University, John’s presence as a pastor, a theologian, and a steward of the important issues of justice, leadership, and service will enable him to broaden international perspectives as campus ministries is called to more actively pursue the nexus between faith and learning,” said Rev. Brian Johnson, Executive Director of Campus Ministries. “John will also enhance our International Studies program with his teaching and relationships around the world.”

He currently serves as treasurer on the board of directors of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations. Nunes is the author of “Voices from the City: Issues and Images of Urban Preaching” and, with his wife Monique Nunes, “Little Things Make Big Differences: A Story About Malaria.”

A frequent speaker and performer, Monique will join the staff in the fall as Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs.

“Monique will be a bridge builder from her position in the Office of Multicultural programs and efforts to deepen the faith life of our students,” Johnson said. “Campus Ministries looks forward to John and Monique joining Valpo this summer and we pray for their new work among and with us.”

Monique holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Development from Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Mich., and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Administration from Webster University in St. Louis. Most recently, she has served as Director of Student Development at Concordia University in Nebraska.