On Wednesday, the news became official that Northwestern will begin searching for a new dean of students for the 2013-2014 school year. Dr. John Brogan accepted the position as dean of formation for Ministry at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich.
“As I examined the position, I saw it as a continuation of my work forming students,” Brogan said. “This one being a little more specific with preparation of seminary students for ministry.”
Western contacted Brogan when the position opened up, and he pursued the opportunity by applying. He was the only candidate selected to travel to Western this past weekend to do an on-campus interview, during which he met with seminary students and local ministers to get better acquainted with the seminary community. Brogan said the whole day was long but not competitive or nerve-wracking.
Western’s selection committee unanimously decided to bring their recommendation of Brogan’s hire to the Board of Trustees and President Tim Brown. On Wednesday, Brogan was offered the position and accepted.
Brogan said the visit was an affirmation of his pursuit of the opportunity, but his wife, Kathy, and he had to “process the decision with friends and colleagues who know us well.”
Another benefit that Brogan saw in the move is to be closer to family. Both his and Kathy’s parents live in Michigan.
For NW, a hole now has to be filled.
Provost Jasper Lesage outlined the process that will take place in finding Brogan’s replacement, although no details have been finalized.
Lesage said a search committee will be formed out of representatives from residence life, the counseling center, campus ministry and the international affairs office. The committee will approve an advertisement that will be released to various outlets to garner applicants.
The committee will screen applications, conduct phone interviews and eventually bring two or three candidates onto campus. On the applicants visits, there will be an opportunity for students and community members to meet the hopefuls.
Lesage said the committee will “look for someone who resonates with the mission of the college.” A master’s degree and experience in residence life will also be required of the applicants.
During his time at NW, Brogan developed skills such as versatility and built up his list of credentials. His first eight years were spent as a professor in the religion department, where he won the Teaching Excellence Award in 2000. He spent the past eight years as dean
According to NW’s website, “Brogan has a doctorate in New Testament and Christian Origins from Duke University, a Master of Divinity degree from Bethel Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts in Modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the University of Michigan.” These are high honors for any dean of students.
“He has a really good understanding of our mission as a college,” Lesage said. “He has a real pastoral heart for students.”