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Knox College
Galesburg, Illinois
Posted Date
Jun 28, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Student Affairs, Religious Affairs & Ministry
Employment Type
Full Time
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Knox College

Galesburg, IL




Following the inauguration of a new President and the appointment of a new Vice President of Student Development, Knox College, academically the most distinguished national liberal arts college in Illinois and a paradigmatic College That Changes Lives, is re-opening its search for a new Director of Spiritual Life for a twelve-month, full-time appointment. Located midway between Chicago and St. Louis in Galesburg, IL, the College seeks candidates from all faith traditions.


Knox’s enduring hallmarks, dating from its founding in 1837 by abolitionists, are academic rigor; student access without regard to gender, race or financial circumstances; a social justice ethos and a supportive, richly elaborated student culture that inspires high affinity and loyal, active alumni devotion. The word alumni use most often in describing their Knox experience is “transformational.” The Director of Spiritual Life will shape the transformational nature of a Knox education by encouraging spiritual exploration, creating space for contemplation and promoting vibrant multi-faith dialogue among members of the greater College and Galesburg communities.


The Director leads Knox’s Office of Spiritual Life, which is housed in a new student-named facility, the House of Peace and Equity, also known as the HOPE Center ( The building that is now the HOPE Center was an active church until its congregation relocated elsewhere in Galesburg. Thoughtfully renovated by donors, the HOPE Center welcomes the Knox community to use its many open spaces available for contemplation, reflection or worship. The Office of Spiritual Life shares the HOPE Center with Knox’s Office for Intercultural Life and the Office of International Student Support Services, two other resources that demonstrate the College’s commitment to a welcoming and inclusive campus. The new Director will have considerable flexibility and discretion in defining the role, shaping the growth of the HOPE Center, determining its programming and guiding spiritual life on campus.


The Director will now report to Vice President for Student Development Marquita Barker Development Marquita Barker ( lawn/marquita-barker). The new Director will have the opportunity to work with Knox’s new President, C. Andrew McGadney (, in extending the College’s story afresh.


Knox has the most diverse enrollment among Associated Colleges of the Midwest institutions: some 40% are domestic students of color and almost 30% identify as LGBTQ. A member of the American Talent Initiative, Knox is among the most successful colleges in retaining and graduating students who are first-generation. The College ranks in the top four percent of liberal- arts-college producers of PhDs. The new Director of Spiritual Life will come to know and advise a notably diverse, academically driven, civic-minded and compassionate student body.


As spiritual leader of Knox College, the new Director will:

  1. Act as a community leader for students, faculty, staff and other members.
  2. Develop educational initiatives and programming around spiritual issues, justice, ethics and values, in both formal and informal settings.
  3. Directly advise student Interfaith Ambassadors and provide support to a range of religious and spiritual student organizations.
  4. Conduct and participate in multi-faith services and academic ceremonies.
  5. Act as a moral and spiritual leader to the community by writing, speaking and keeping current on social justice issues of concern to members of the Knox and Galesburg communities and society as a whole.
  6. Collaborate with staff and faculty colleagues including Intercultural Life, International Student Services, Campus Life and others to deliver a holistic co-curricular education.

As head of the Office of Spiritual Life, the new Director will:

    Coordinate with other spiritual leaders both on and off campus. Make the resources and services of the Office of Spiritual Life available to all of the College’s religious groups, and to lead this office such that it serves the needs of the campus and Galesburg community. Supervise programming throughout the office.

Knox is the anchor institution of its hometown of Galesburg in Northwest Illinois. Galesburg, the seat of Knox County, is 45 miles northwest of Peoria, IL and 55 miles southeast of Davenport, IA and the Quad Cities, with their combined population of 474,937. The city is approximately 50 miles east of the Mississippi River. Galesburg’s economic prosperity grew with the railroads, which arrived in 1854. Today, Amtrak provides service from Chicago on four trains daily, a journey as short as two hours, 38 minutes, and with a one-way fare as little as $21.


The Knox-Galesburg Symphony brings metropolitan-level performance standards, world-class artists and a plentiful spectrum of education opportunities for all ages in Galesburg. The Prairie

Players Civic Theatre, founded in 1915, continues to create quality productions and enrich the community through educational and entertainment opportunities. The Galesburg Civic Arts Center and the Galesburg Railroad Museum offer both permanent and special exhibits, as well as educational programming. The Orpheum Theatre celebrated its centennial in 2016. Built as a vaudeville theatre and later a movie house, the Orpheum is now a not-for profit venue for the performing arts. The Galesburg Farmers Market operates May to October. Galesburg has an extensive public park system, including the Hawthorne Center Recreational Complex, the Bunker Links Golf Course, Lake Storey Beach and its Pavilion.


Qualifications. Candidates from all faith traditions are encouraged to apply. A master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling, Divinity, Theology, Religious Studies or an equivalent is required. Candidates must be ordained or otherwise credentialed by a recognized religious order and qualified to officiate religious/spiritual services and rites. Previous formal experience with young adult ministry and demonstrated enthusiasm for supporting diversity of religious/spiritual identities and intersectional identities are essential. Candidates must be intentionally open and thoughtful in working with those of faiths other than their own, those who claim no faith tradition and those who are questioning. Candidates must have an interest in community engagement and working directly with students of diverse cultural, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds, as well as engaging and partnering formally and informally with local spiritual leaders. Candidates should manifest an appreciation for the holistic student experience in a residential college setting with a respect and understanding of shifting demographics as it relates to the intersectionality of lived experiences, especially those pertaining to racial identities, gender identities and sexual orientations. Candidates should have the ability and readiness to accommodate extended work hours, including evening and weekend professional obligations.


Review of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment. A complete application will include a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae or résumé and contact information for five professional references who can speak about the candidate’s qualifications for this appointment. Named referees will not be contacted without the candidate’s prior consent. Chuck O’Boyle of C. V. O’Boyle, Jr. LLC is leading the search. Expressions of interest, applications, nominations and inquiries should be directed to Mr. O’Boyle at

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