Chief Executive Officer for Residential Education Dr. Keith Newman announced the appointment of Reverend Dr. John Bray as dean of the Chapel, IWU Residential Education. Bray has been serving as Interim dean of the Chapel since September 2015 providing spiritual leadership to more than 3,000 students.
“I could not have asked for anything more in the energy, enthusiasm, passion and leadership that John Bray brought to the assignment of serving as our interim dean of the Chapel,” said Newman. “As an IWU alum, experienced pastor, and IWU Board of Trustees member, John knew us well and was able to step right into his role. His love for students and the IWU community became apparent very quickly.”
Bray graduated from Marion College in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, was ordained by The Wesleyan Church in 1974, and earned a Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership from IWU in 2007. He has 43 years of ministerial experience. While serving as pastor of Heritage Wesleyan Church, in Rock Island, Illinois, membership increased from 24 in 1974 to 3,000 in 2014. Bray has been a member of the IWU Board of Trustees since 1999 serving as chair of the Student Life, Trustees and Advancement committees.
“John Bray has a contagious enthusiasm for life, for the Lord, and for students,” said Newman. “He and his wonderful wife, Patty, have captured the hearts of our students, staff, and faculty, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of spiritual development on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University.” “We want a world-class chapel experience that enhances the transformational education offered for our students, and I am confident John will lead us to new heights.”
The Dean of the Chapel search committee was comprised of faculty, staff, students, and administrators. More than 60 applications were received. Bray’s appointment is effectively immediately.
“I am honored to serve Indiana Wesleyan University as Dean of the Chapel,” Bray said. “Patty and I are thrilled to devote the next season of our lives to making a difference in the lives of students at a place which has made such a difference in our own. Our prayer is that God continues to make his presence known in a profound way.”
“One of the distinctive elements that makes IWU a truly great Christian university is the way our academic community unapologetically lives out our faith in Jesus Christ,” said IWU President Dr. David Wright. “IWU has been blessed with outstanding leadership provided by our deans of the Chapel. John Bray will continue that legacy of outstanding spiritual leadership. I value his warm heart, spiritual maturity, and professional creativity. It is a personal delight to welcome Rev. Bray to this important leadership position.”
Bray is the third person to hold the dean of the Chapel title. Dr. Jim Lo served from 2008 to 2015, and Dr. Stephen Lennox served from 2005 to 2008. The position title was changed in 2005 from university chaplain to dean of the Chapel.