UKirk SMU is in the process of moving through a change in leadership and we, the UKirk SMU community, are grateful for the opportunity to come around one another and our students to show how caring can thrive in moments like these. We hope this page provides clarity as we move through our transition.
Interested in learning more about serving UKirk SMU? Don't miss important info below!
A LETTER FROM JESSIE
November 6, 2023
Dear members of the UKirk SMU Community:
It is after a great deal of discernment and with a lot of bittersweetness that I share this news: the 2023-2024 school year will be my last as the Campus Minister & Executive Director of UKirk SMU. I intend to complete my service at the end of this academic year.
From UKirk SMU’s humble and fragile beginnings to our robust and joyful present, it has been the honor of a lifetime to shepherd this organization into being. I could never have imagined all the incredible people that this organization would bring together and all the joy and transformation that would be born through our sharing of life together.
In UKirk’s nearly five years of ministry, I have been able to witness the fulfillment of a dream, and I thank God for calling me to this deeply meaningful ministry. You all mean the world to me. Thank you for all that ways you’ve shown up, cared for each other, and loved Zach and me. You have made UKirk what it is: a home, and you will continue to make this a place where all belong.
I recognize that you will receive this with a vast array of emotions, and I hope that you will take the time and the space to feel all of them fully. Change and transition are difficult, and this season ahead will be one of endings and new beginnings.
I have faith that UKirk SMU will find a successor who brings incredible gifts to share with this community: gifts that will augment, sustain, and continue the transformative work we’ve done together, and gifts that will likely differ from my own. The Board of Directors looks forward to beginning the search for that person very soon. The future of this ministry is so bright, and I am excited to continue to be the biggest cheerleader for all things UKirk SMU.
We believe in a God who is constantly creating possibility, creating anew. This God calls us to keep going, to keep hoping, and to keep dreaming about a world where all know the love and grace of God. All of us are co-creators with God, and I am forever grateful for the moments in which we’ve shared in this ministry together.
Rev. Jessie Light-Wells
A LETTER FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
November 9, 2023
Dear members of the UKirk SMU Community:
On behalf of the UKirk SMU Board of Directors, I want to express our deep gratitude for Jessie and the work she has done in founding and building UKirk SMU. Jessie heard God’s call and dreamed of a place where all belong. She bravely responded and worked diligently to build a vibrant community at SMU where students are offered refuge and respite and are accompanied through their wonderings and curiosity. Jessie’s abilities to connect with people, set strategy and follow God’s lead made her the right person to begin this special ministry.
The UKirk SMU community extends far beyond SMU’s campus. Your partnership has been instrumental in the success of UKirk SMU. Your involvement, from sharing meals with students to contributing financially, has played a vital role in our journey. We are immensely thankful for your presence and contributions.
As we navigate this transition together, we want to keep you well-informed about our immediate next steps:
Continue to Support our Students: We continue to care for our students through weekly worship and other opportunities for discipleship and fellowship. Our three interns continue to step into leadership and grow in their roles. They will continue to provide pastoral care to students and manage administrative tasks throughout the spring semester. Additionally, the Board is also taking action to have an ordained pastor present every Sunday night, who will also provide pastoral care and support the interns throughout the week.
Begin our Search for a New Campus Minister & Executive Director: We have initiated the search process for our next Campus Minister & Executive Director. Scroll down to see that job posting and share with others. We hope to have the search committee identified in the next few weeks.
Save the Date: Join us on Tuesday, December 5th, for a thank you lunch to express our appreciation for your continuous support. RSVP here!
Throughout this transitional season, we are committed to keeping you updated. Your involvement has been and will continue to be crucial and we value your presence in the UKirk SMU community. If you have any thoughts or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.
Thank you for your continued support, and please be in touch at any point with any ideas or concerns.
Rev. Rosy Robson McCreary
UKirk SMU Seeks a New Campus Minister & Executive Director!
Are you creative, passionate, and excited about guiding young adults on their spiritual journeys? We are seeking a new campus minister and executive director with an adventurous and kind spirit, someone who is present, inclusive, and supportive. In this role, you will lead vibrant worship experiences, nurture deep connections through discipleship, and provide compassionate pastoral care. Your call will be to create a space where students flourish, explore, and grow in their faith. We are seeking an energetic and dedicated leader to engage students personally and collectively in discipleship, discussion, and fellowship.
Worship Leadership: Lead diverse on-campus worship services with inclusive liturgy, and a spirit of welcome and wonder.
Supportive Discipleship: Foster a nurturing environment, empowering students to explore spirituality, ask questions, and deepen their faith through small group opportunities, retreats, and other experiences that foster meaningful spirituality. Prioritize the emotional and spiritual well-being of marginalized communities.
Compassionate Pastoral Care: Prioritize one-on-one connections, offering empathetic support and guidance to students navigating not only their faith path, but big questions and life in general.
Empower Student Leadership: Develop and mentor student leaders, encouraging their personal growth and active engagement in the community.
Effective Fundraising: Collaborate with the Board of Directors and external partners to secure financial resources through ongoing initiatives, donor appreciation events, and building relationships with alumni, individual supporters, and local churches, ensuring the continuous growth and sustainability of our ministry.
Drive Impactful Advocacy: Champion the organization's mission through compelling storytelling, engaging diverse audiences, and raising awareness about key challenges, as well as leverage multimedia across various platforms to amplify our mission.
Nurture Your Well-being: Embrace the importance of self-care, maintaining healthy boundaries, and ensuring your own well-being.
Your Gifts and Skills:
Must be ordained (or qualified to be ordained) in the PC(USA).
Show proven experience in leading worship, discipleship, and pastoral care.
Demonstrate a passion for empowering students, exploring spirituality, and building inclusive communities.
Have experience with cultivating donor relationships, year-round fundraising, writing grants, etc.
Use exceptional communication skills to inspire and engage diverse communities.
Your Support in this Calling:
Full time PC(USA) affiliated position
Salary range (commensurate with experience) $65,000- $70,000
Full benefits through Minister’s Choice of Board of Pensions of PC (USA)
4 weeks of vacation leave
2 weeks study leave
Start date negotiable!
A Board of Directors eager to celebrate and collaborate with you in your vital ministry.
How to apply:
Please submit your resume and a cover letter detailing your passion for this role to Rosy Robson McCreary at firstname.lastname@example.org
UKirk SMU is committed to diversity and welcomes candidates from all backgrounds.
Who we are:
UKirk SMU, a PC (USA)-affiliated ministry at Southern Methodist University, is a welcoming and affirming community for people from diverse backgrounds. It serves as a vibrant, inclusive space where faith is not just practiced but lived. Over the last five years, the ministry has thrived, providing support amid challenges like the aftermath of COVID-19, mental health struggles, family tensions, and questions around gender and sexuality.
We stand against this culture of overcommitment by prioritizing rest and weaving sabbath practices into our gatherings. We recognize the exhaustion students carry and adapt our approach accordingly. UKirk SMU offers a safe space, free of judgment, providing solace for those who have opted out of traditional religious settings.
At UKirk SMU, students don't just find a space; they discover a family. Join us in shaping the next transformative chapter of this supportive ministry.