Otterbein Partners with Church of the Master to Support Faith and Spiritual Life

Posted Feb 12, 2024

A new partnership will strengthen the long-held ties between Otterbein University and Church of the Master, as Rev. Lucy Kelly has agreed to serve in a shared position as associate pastor for the church, as well as Otterbein’s part-time director of faith and spiritual life. In addition to the shared role, the new structure of the partnership creates innovative opportunities to share mutual resources such as campus ministry funding and facilities use.

Pastor Lucy Kelly
Rev. Lucy Kelly

Dean of Students Julie Saker said the new partnership is a natural union between two institutions that have a long, shared history. “Church of the Master has done outreach programming to our students for many years, including their popular spaghetti dinners and morning coffees. This partnership builds upon that to more intentionally make the Church part of our campus community and support the spiritual needs of our students, faculty, and staff.”

Kelly shares many of the values of the Otterbein community. “I am passionate about social justice and spreading the love of God. I respect the variety of ways spirituality can be practiced and understood and I am always ready to engage in conversations of curiosity,” she wrote.

“I am confident that love is love and everyone is welcome at the table. My home, office, and heart are inclusive and affirming,” she added.

Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the College of Wooster with an emphasis on primate studies, and a master of divinity degree from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio with a specialization in ecology and justice.

As director of faith and spiritual life, Kelly will be responsible for, among other things: facilitating spiritual programming inclusive of a variety of faiths; bridging Otterbein, Church of the Master, and the larger community in meaningful ways; advising an inter-faith student organization and providing support for faith-based student organizations; and providing pastoral care, regardless of faith background, and spiritually inclusive spaces on campus.

“We are looking forward to the many opportunities that Rev. Kelly, and our new partnership with Church of the Master, will create for our students to learn, reflect, serve, and worship,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Fox, Ed.D. “It’s important for every member of the Otterbein community to have access to a welcoming, inclusive environment to grow spiritually, and Rev. Kelly is excited to work with us to foster that on campus.”