October 19, 2022
Marion, IN – Indiana Wesleyan University inaugurated Jon S. Kulaga, Ph.D., as its 10th president today. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people, with participation from the IWU Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students. Honored guests include State Senator Andy Zay, State Representative Ann Vermilion, IWU Society of World Changers inductees Bill and Gloria Gaither, and dignitaries from over thirty colleges and universities
The theme of the inauguration was Achieving Through Faith. Dr. Timothy Dalrymple, President and CEO of Christianity Today, delivered the inaugural address.
Dalrymple said, “Faith is a wholehearted rest and trust in the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. It is surrender to His Lordship…Faith in Jesus is inseparable from the imitation of Jesus…So what does it mean to achieve through faith? It certainly doesn’t mean that we pursue all the glittering accomplishments that the world admires; it means that we remember and we rest in who we are, in who God made us to be, that we go forth in humility to do the things that God has given us to do and that we let our faith deepen our imitation of Jesus and let our imitation deepen our faith.”
In the Presidential address, Dr. Kulaga spoke of the duality of faith and works, and asserted that there is a third aspect of this duality: people. “It’s in our initials ‘I-W-U.’ To remove the ‘W’ is to so distort who we are, you might get the impression that we’re a different school with a different mission, a different worldview, a whole different set of values. The ‘I’ is in relationship with the ‘U,’ but the hidden third aspect is the ‘W’ smack dab in the middle of the relationship between the ‘I’ and ‘U.’ I’d like to think that it’s only as we Walk, Wrestle, Work, Worry, Wonder, Weep, in the Word, as we Worship together, that the ‘I’ and ‘U’ come together and start forming a community. It is only as we ‘IWU’ together that we will achieve great things for God through faith.”
“When I was called to come to Indiana Wesleyan University, I accepted the invitation to become a world changer. Not only because it’s our tagline or it’s shorthand for what we do around here…but because it’s a mandate from our master. We can achieve that mandate as we seek to change one heart at a time. And if we change enough hearts, we can change families. And if we change enough families, we can change communities. And if we change enough communities, we can change a nation. And if we change enough nations, we can change the world.”
Carl Shepherd, chairman of the Board of Trustees, led the presidential installation of Dr. Kulaga.
“The leadership of a Christian university is a sacred trust,” Shepherd said, “Dr. Kulaga, you have been called to this important task because the Board of Trustees has confidence in your leadership, in your ability, in your Christian integrity, and in your consecration to the sacred task before you. God has been preparing you for a long time for a moment such as this, and we are honored to have you here.”
Dr. Kulaga took office on August 8, 2021, and was formally installed as president during the inauguration ceremony. He is an innovative and strategic leader and has held a variety of leadership roles before coming to IWU, including President and CEO of Ohio Christian University, Chief Academic Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Asbury University, and in academics, advancement, and student life development roles at Spring Arbor University.