Winter 2010: Of Note
Candler alumnus helps students find their own paths as Oxford’s new chaplain
By Mary J. Loftus
After graduating from Candler School of Theology, the Reverend Lyn Pace 02T served five small churches on the Isle of Wight. The scenic island is known for its sailing, its holiday festivities, and as the home of poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
“One of the downs where Tennyson used to walk had a Celtic cross with his name on it placed there by the U.S. and England,” Pace recalls. “I used it as a devotional spot to pray and meditate.”
Pace, who was there for a year through a Candler/British Methodist Internship partnership, also became involved with the Churches Together program, in which Roman Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Reformists, and Anglicans all worshipped together at least once a month.
These ecumenical services proved to be good training for his new job as Oxford College chaplain, ministering to students from a range of religious backgrounds, including Hindu, Jewish, Methodist, and Southern Baptist. Pace works with the Interfaith Council to host programs and bring speakers to campus, activities that are funded through the Pierce Institute for Leadership and Community Engagement. He serves as adviser to Voices of Praise, the college’s gospel choir. And he assists Oxford students, families, and staff who are in crisis or facing tragedy.
Pace originally planned to be a history teacher. “Really it was through mentors, such as my stepfather, who was a United Methodist minister, and the Reverend Susan Henry-Crowe here at Emory, that I decided on my specific calling of campus ministry and chaplaincy,” he says.
A lifelong United Methodist, Pace moved into the chaplain’s residence at Oxford in summer 2009 with his wife, Ami Hernandez. Prior to coming to Oxford, he was associate chaplain at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, his undergraduate alma mater.
Pace leads weekly services in the historic Oxford chapel, which was built in 1875, counsels students, coteaches a freshman seminar, and helps to coordinate Journeys trips and Global Connections seminars with the Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life at Emory.
“I like the idea of being in an ongoing educational environment, helping students to discern their own vocations and to find the places they will make meaning in their lives,” he says. “A lot of times, students will simply stop by to chat and it will turn into a deeper moment.”