While MVNU continues it search for a full-time chaplain, Dr. Doug VanNest, professor of pastoral ministries, is serving as interim chaplain.
The University was left without a chaplain following Rev. Joe Noonen’s resignation in the spring.
“We are doing the interim, because we want to do the search well,” VanNest said. “This is too important of a decision to rush.”
The process of finding a new chaplain is extensive, requiring a large search and review of candidates.
“We want to find a chaplain who can be a pastoral presence on this campus, not just to student’s, but to faculty and staff as well,” VanNest said.
The job opening will be re-opened in the spring.
“We want to find the right person to fill the hole,” VanNest said. “We all want to be praying for the future and what that looks like.”
Until then, VanNest is making plans for the current semester.
“We want to look at everything we do; are there things we could be doing better in developing spiritual lives of students?” he asked.
VanNest is looking forward to the upcoming semester.
“I’m excited to be in chapel more. It’s a reflection of who we are,” he said. “I’m also excited just working with the chaplain staff.”
The chaplain staff runs most of the daily operations, which allows more time for his other responsibilities.
This year, VanNest has been promoted to dean of the MVNU School of Theology and Philosophy.
“It’s a rough start; a lot happens at the beginning of the year,” VanNest said.
Dr. VanNest joined the faculty of MVNU as a professor of pastoral ministries in the fall of 2016.
“I really believed that I wanted to spend the rest of my ministry preparing people for their ministry, he said.
VanNest served as a pastor for 17 years and was the district superintendent of the Southwestern Ohio District for nine years.
VanNest is from Cincinnati, OH. He is a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary and United Theological seminary.