EXPLORE Institute offers an experienced team of OWU chaplains as well as a strong, collaborative theology faculty team from Ohio Wesleyan, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, and the Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

Meet the Team

The Rev. Jon Powers

Director of the Institute
University Chaplain

Jon has dedicated the past 43 years to serving college students at Ohio Wesleyan University with care and compassion as an ordained elder in full connection from the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

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Mary M. Jeffries

Dean of the Explore Institute
Associate Chaplain for Catholic Community

Mary serves as Associate Chaplain for Catholic Community at Ohio Wesleyan University and is the current Dean of the Explore Institute.

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Becky Swartz

Administrator for the Institute
Assistant to the University Chaplain

As assistant to the University Chaplain, Becky serves as chief-of-staff and “spiritual triage” coordinator for the entire chaplaincy and community service learning staff.

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The Rev. Dr. R. Blake Michael

Institute Faculty
Professor of Religion

Dr. Michael is Swan-Collins-Allen Professor of World Religion at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he has taught since 1978. 

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Fr. Boniface Endorf

Institute Faculty
Parochial Vicar

Fr. Boniface Endorf is currently is a vicar at St. Patrick’s parish in Columbus. 

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Dr. David Eastman

Institute Faculty
Associate Professor of Religion

Dr. Eastman is Associate Professor of Religion at Ohio Wesleyan, where he has taught since 2011.

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Dr. Chad Johns

Institute Advisor
Associate Chaplain

Chad is the Director of the Spring Break Interfaith Service Week Program at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he also advises or co-advises student groups, teaches, and provides pastoral care.

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Lisa Ho

Institute Advisor
Director for the Food Justice Experience and Applied Seminar Presenter

Lisa serves in various capacities at Ohio Wesleyan University including associate chaplain, academic coach, and facilitator of travel-learning experiences related to faith and justice.

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William Hayes

Institute Advisor
Director for the Wilderness Experience and Applied Seminar Presenter

William is an Associate Chaplain and Director of Wilderness Ministry at Ohio Wesleyan University.

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Amanda Jurden

Institute Advisor

Since graduating from Kent State University with her M.Ed. in 2009, Amanda worked in several departments at OWU, including Residential Life, Career Services, First-Year Advising, and the Chaplain's Office.

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April Blaine

Institute Presenter

April Blaine is the Lead Pastor at Hilliard United Methodist Church in Hilliard, Ohio. She is passionate about helping the church be the church that Jesus always dreamed of, a place where all people can hear the incredible message of God’s love and find their lives changed and deeply drawn into the adventure of discipleship.

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Sr. Mary Magdalene

Institute Presenter and Mentor

Sr. Mary Magdalene is currently teaching at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois. She looks forward to bringing the fruits of her travel, studies and contemplation of Christ to her students.

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