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First Year Reflections with Chaplain Derek Wadlington
Derek Wadlington

Chaplain Derek Wadlington joined Muskingum University on Aug. 1, 2023.

“I have loved my first year here at Muskingum,” Chaplain Derek reflected. “Everyone is committed to helping students understand who they are growing into and helping them discern their calling and their place in the world. There is such a great energy here, along with a commitment to collaborating across the campus to serve our students.”

Derek Wadlington with Students

“One my goals for this first year has been to model a ministry of presence,” he noted. “It has been a wonderful experience to attend student activities, faculty presentations, athletic contests, and arts events, and to get to know students, faculty, and staff. Supporting each other’s endeavors is how we build community and how we impart a sense of belonging to all.”

During the fall semester, Chaplain Derek led Chapel Walks on Thursdays during Common Hour. Muskies gathered and walked together to a selected building on campus and discussed the Bible verse or other quote inscribed on the cornerstone. “Our campus is embedded in history,” he observed, “and the Chapel Walk is a great way to learn about the cornerstone verses and quotes and why and how they were chosen, along with the history of each building.”

Derek Wadlington leading a Chapel Walk

Throughout the year, Chaplain Derek recorded a weekly worship service that aired on WMCO 90.7 at 11 a.m. on Thursdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays. “I enormously enjoyed working with the WMCO students who produced the show,” he noted. Monthly Chapel Hour worship services were also broadcast live on WMCO during the spring semester.

Chaplain Derek is also Muskingum’s Director of Veteran Services. “Through our Office for Veteran Services we support students, faculty, and staff who are veterans, members of military families, or considering joining a branch of the armed forces. We are proud to hold the State of Ohio’s Collegiate Purple Star Award, which recognizes our commitment to veterans.”

Chaplain Derek is an ordained Minister in the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.). He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio University in Production Design and Technology with an emphasis on lighting design, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College. He and his wife, the Reverend Kim Wadlington, are the parents of three adult children and share their home with a cat named George and a dog named Luna.

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