Trygve Johnson, former chaplain at Northwestern, has been appointed Dean of the Chapel at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
Like NW, Hope is a four-year institution focused on the liberal arts tradition, situated in a primarily Dutch community and affiliated with the Reformed Church in America.
After being contacted by a search committee last winter, Johnson and his wife Kristen decided to apply for the position. Several months and many interviews later, Johnson was presented with an invitation to become a dean at Hope.
Although he claims to have been hired mainly on account of his wife, Johnson said that one of the reasons for his appointment is his “ability to navigate lots of different groups that make up a campus.”
He is excited about finishing his current studies and transitioning back into full time ministry.
“I am looking forward to being a pastor again…I love the relationships. I love the preaching,” said Johnson.
His former experiences at NW have laid the groundwork for his new position.
“[As chaplain], I think that my season in the community gave me a profound confidence in grace. God is working all the time, whether I am or not,” said Johnson. As a student here, Johnson learned that “discipleship is not a one person show. It takes a community.”
Johnson’s new ministry at Hope will closely echo the responsibilities he had as the NW chaplain from 1999-2002. He will be leading the college’s spiritual life program and supervising the campus ministries professional team. Johnson will also be speaking at weekly chapel services.
Most importantly, Johnson will spend time connecting with students, staff and faculty—building community on the Hope campus. “Hope is a community who needs a pastor that loves and speaks to the entire community. It is a community that has experienced some difficult fragmentation. NW has, I pray, helped to prepare me to love the whole,” said Johnson.
After he finishes his doctorate at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Johnson will begin serving at Hope in January of 2005.