D&E Names New Benfield-Vick Chaplain

Date Posted: 

Friday, July 7, 2017

ELKINS – The Rev. Laura K. Brekke has been appointed Benfield-Vick Chaplain at Davis & Elkins College, a position that encompasses multiple areas of the College to provide vision and leadership for spiritual development on campus. She will assume her duties on July 24.

A minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Brekke was ordained in August 2014 and has a background in working with young adults of multi-faiths. As Benfield-Vick Chaplain, Brekke will guide the student-led Chapel Leadership Team, facilitate religious services, organize community engagement projects, and oversee the 1001 New Worshipping Community, a movement in the PC(USA) to take on new and varied forms of church for our changing culture. She also will serve as a member of the President’s Management Team.

“The Benfield-Vick Chaplain is the spiritual leader of the campus community. Rev. Brekke brings a unique set of gifts and graces to Davis & Elkins College that will serve us well,” said D&E President Chris A. Wood. “I am particularly pleased with her desire to build relationships with our students, meeting them where they are on their spiritual journeys."

An endowed chair established and supported by the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston, the Benfield-Vick Chaplaincy honors two of its former pastors, Dr. William A. Benfield and Dr. George Vick, who also served as trustees of Davis & Elkins College. A nationwide search was initiated to fill the position.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rev. Laura Brekke as the Benfield-Vick Chaplain at D&E,” said Tina Vial, assistant director of development support and coordinator of church relations, who served as chair of the search committee. “Laura brings an infectious energy and a background that is ideally suited to the needs of the College. The Spirit was definitely at work in this search process, and there is no doubt in our hearts and minds that God has called Laura and D&E to take this journey together.”

Brekke comes to D&E from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., where she has served as director of religious diversity since 2013. In that capacity, she facilitated and organized multi-faith discussions and celebrations, led a weekly ecumenical Bible study, provided pastoral counseling and co-taught a service learning class on civic engagement and interfaith leadership.

She also served as interim supply pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Livingston, Ala., from 2012 to 2013. There, she was the solo pastor of the church and was responsible for building campus ministry at the University of West Alabama.

Brekke completed Clinical Pastoral Education, Unit I in 2012 at Covenant Counseling and Resource Center in Snellville, Ga. She earned a Master of Divinity: Society, Personality and World Religion from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., in 2012, and a Certificate of Theology and Ministry from Wesley House at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, in 2011. Brekke also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and English writing with a minor in religion from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., where she graduated magna cum laude in 2007.

She is a member of the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations PC(USA) and the Committee on Ministry for the Presbytery of San Jose, PC(USA).

Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.

Rev. Laura Brekke