Meet Our Staff
The Rev. Jon Powers
Office: HWCC 308
Sometimes called the “Metho-Catholic-Rabbi” of Ohio Wesleyan, Jon has dedicated the past 43 years to serving college students with care and compassion as an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. When he was a college freshman, two of Jon’s heroes, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., were assassinated. Shortly thereafter, Jon lost his father to suicide. These pivotal events forever marked Jon as someone dedicated to blending social justice with pastoral ministry.
Jon went on to graduate (1971) from James Madison College at Michigan State University with a B.A. in public policy and ethnology, and, in 1974, from the Boston University School of Theology with a Th.M. in Hebraic studies. He did postgraduate work in higher education administration at the School of Education, University of Michigan, D.Min. studies in campus ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and Christian-Muslim studies at Georgetown University in D.C.
As the senior chaplain at OWU, Jon shares numerous joys and responsibilities with his staff:
• pastoral care and counseling • working with student groups • envisioning new programs
• telling the OWU faith story • maintaining and deepening interfaith relationships
Ever a part of the community, Jon and his wife, Susan, live one block from campus. They have two adult daughters, both OWU grads.
Passions Found: Students and their families, Jewish-Christian-Muslim Dialogue, Lakota Spirituality, Groan- or Grin-inducing Puns, five grandchildren, Robertson Davies (my cat and my favorite novelist), and the loving camaraderie of the Chaplaincy staff and colleagues at OWU
Dr. Chad Johns
Associate Chaplain, Director of Spring Break Mission Week
Office: HWCC 308
An alumnus of OWU, Chad graduated with a major in psychology and double minors in physics and astronomy with the class of 2002. He earned the M.Div. from the Boston University School of Theology in 2005 and the D.Min. in narrative theology from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2015, where his research focused on using speculative fiction (fantasy and science fiction) to engage theological and ethical questions.
Chad returned to OWU as a member of the Chaplain's Staff in 2005. As the Director of the Spring Break Mission Week Program, he spends much of his time working closely with the various spring mission teams. Additionally, he advises or co-advises student groups, including PRIDE and the Spectrum Resource Center (supporting the LGBTIQA+ community on campus) and one of OWU’s social fraternities. He has taught UC 160 (The OWU Experience) as well as courses on the theological exploration of both leadership/power and speculative fiction. Beyond these activities, he leads discussion groups, provides pastoral care, and does other miscellaneous chaplaincy things as needed.
Passions Found: Seeking Truth, Good Conversations, and Spending Time with Friends
Office: HWCC 403
Lisa is a 1994 graduate of Ball State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in communications. She then spent 10 years serving with the interdenominational ministry, Young Life, before joining the OWU chaplain's staff in 2004. Lisa is currently working toward a master of arts in higher education through Geneva College.
At OWU, Lisa serves in various capacities. As an associate chaplain, she provides support and guidance to the Christian student groups on campus and she leads several Bible studies. Lisa also partners with other ministry groups, including Ohio Prophetic Voices and Sojourners. Last but definitely not least, she helps facilitate numerous programs and travel-learning experiences related to faith and justice.
Passions Found: Social Justice, Peace and Reconciliation (especially in Northern Ireland), and Jesus (hey…one of us had to say it!)
Associate Chaplain, Director of Wilderness Ministry
Office: HWCC 403
William graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2000 with a B.A. in international studies. After college, he worked in campus ministry for two years including a year with college students at the National University in La Plata, Argentina. As a result of his experiences there, he maintains a love of Hispanic culture and the Spanish language. In 2008, William completed an M.A. in religion, with a concentration in Christian Thought at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
He brings to the OWU chaplaincy his desire to cultivate the intellectual side of faith and a love for the outdoors. William directs the Wilderness Ministry, heading up the Outdoor Ministry Team student group and leading backpacking trips over fall break and spring break. He leads Bible studies and advises the InterFaith House and the Freethinkers Club. He also directs the annual Fresh X pre-orientation program in partnership with the Student Involvement Office. William's work is in partnership with the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach).
Passions Found: My wife and four kids, hiking the Appalachian Trail, loving God with your mind, and traveling anywhere
Associate Chaplain, Catholic Campus Ministry
Office: HWCC 403
Mary joined the Chaplain’s Office in September of 2014. She is a 1987 graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She taught high school art, photography, and computer graphics for Dublin City Schools until she “retired” to raise her five children. During that period, Mary became active in school, parish, and community organizations, serving in leadership and advisory roles. Her draw to the arts was, and continues to be, connected to her faith journey. Mary shares her time, treasure, and creative talents freely as a way of glorifying God and connecting with others. She also believes her native abilities provide an avenue for giving back and paying forward. Mary’s faith, family, and husband are her rocks, inspiration, and joy. She also thoroughly enjoys working with young adults.
As the Associate Chaplain for Catholic Campus Ministry, Mary advises the Newman Student Organization. In addition, she endeavors to teach, learn, and grow with students in their faith development. Mary never misses a chance to participate in interfaith discussions and promote commonalities that will lead our next generations to love and serve the Lord, and each other, with love, respect, and truth.
Passions Found: The ART of GOD in the form of my children, husband, family, friends, nature, gardening, building, painting, music, laughter, and so much more!
Sharon graduated from OWU in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with concentrations in Figure Drawing and Printmaking. One semester of her college experience was spent in New York City, interning at the Whitney Museum of American Art and desperately trying to get Hamilton tickets. During her other semesters on campus, Sharon was an intern in the Chaplain’s Office. Here she came to appreciate the opportunity to learn more about other faith traditions while growing in her own faith. (The staff eventually grew on her too!)
Now an official “townie”, Sharon is looking forward to further exploring Delaware and working with the students, staff, and faculty of OWU. If you have any artsy ideas, she wants to hear them!
Passions Found: Meeting new folks through the Chaplain’s Office!, listening for God’s voice, Art and its relationship to Christian spirituality, and Star Wars and its relationship to anything