The Office of the Chaplain exists to cultivate an environment in which students, faculty, and staff learn to love Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.
Rev. Timothy Blackmon grew up in The Hague, Netherlands, the second of three sons born to an African-American father and Dutch mother. Much of his childhood revolved around the family's involvement at The American Protestant Church of The Hague (APCH), where, at the age of 17, he first sensed his call to ministry.
While pursuing a Bible and Theology degree at the European Bible Institute in Lamorlaye, France, Rev. Blackmon benefited from the teaching and mentoring of many Wheaton alumni and their families - including Dr. Margaret (Cording) Petty '70 and husband Rev. Thomas Petty, Rev. Kenneth 'Kenny' Dodd '77, M.A. '84 and his wife Mrs. Cathy (Anderson) Dodd '84, and Dr. Stephen Johnston '76 and his wife Ms. Joy (Darling) Johnston '79. Through their influence a seed was planted in his life, as he found himself drawn to their intellectual rigor, spiritual vitality and personal warmth.
Rev. Blackmon initially moved to the United States to attend Calvin Theological Seminary, where he met his wife Betsy. After graduating with a Master of Divinity degree, he was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in North America in 1995. From seminary, the Blackmons moved to California, where Rev. Blackmon served in church plants in Moreno Valley in San Bernardino-Riverside, and Folsom in Sacramento County.
In 2008, the growing Blackmon family returned to the Netherlands to The American Protestant Church of The Hague, for Rev. Blackmon to serve the church where his father had been the Music Director for more than 40 years. As the Senior Pastor and Head of Staff, Rev. Blackmon led an expatriate congregation of people from 55 countries, and an equal number of denominations. In 2015, the Blackmons returned to the States, for Rev. Blackmon to become the sixth Chaplain of Wheaton College.
Chaplain Blackmon is fluent in Dutch, English and French. While he continues to be a frequent camp, retreat, and conference speaker in his spare time, the College community has benefited from the overflow of his gifts as a dynamic speaker and worship leader, a skilled keyboard player, a thoughtful, adept writer (with excellent penmanship and pens) and a voracious reader.
After serving Wheaton College admirably as Interim Chaplain in 2014-15, Rev. Dr. David McDowell was asked to serve permanently as the Chaplain of the Graduate School.
Dr. McDowell graduated from Wheaton College in 1968 with a B.A. in psychology, and then earned a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Master of Sacred Theology from Union Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Theology and History from Trinity Theological Seminary. His ministry of more than 40 years has involved three pastorates, including College Church of Northampton, MA, and serving as Assistant Chaplain at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Most recently, Rev. McDowell completed his ministry as Senior Pastor of Community Fellowship Church in West Chicago, IL. His ministry has been characterized by special care for the spiritual needs of young people. He often speaks of his love for creating an environment where people are challenged to live out the gospel and serve others
Rev. McDowell is ideally suited to work at Wheaton as he, his wife Gloria '70, and two of his five children are Wheaton College graduates. He also serves as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The College is grateful to God for providing someone who brings wisdom, experience, and passion to serve the Graduate School community.
Ray Chang's pastoral role includes working alongside the Chaplain, as well as providing oversight and leadership to the Discipleship Small Group (DSG) ministries on campus.
Though born in Chicago, Ray has had the opportunity to travel widely (40+ countries and counting!), and has lived in various places in the world, including countries in Asia, Europe and Central America. Since his graduation from Wheaton College in 2006, Ray worked with the Peace Corps in Panama as a Community Economic Development Volunteer as a Community Development Volunteer, as a youth pastor in Los Angeles, as a director of two non-profits, and at a real estate technology company based in Seattle. Prior to working at Wheaton, Ray served for three years on the pastoral staff at The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Barrington, IL. He holds a Master of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Ray is happily married to Jessica (Min) Chang, class of 2012, and is pleased to be able to serve at his Alma Mater. You may contact him at email@example.com.
Nikki joins our Chaplain’s Office staff with a wide variety of expertise. Born and raised in Naperville, IL, Nikki attended Wheaton College to pursue studies in both art and theology. Her involvement with the Chaplain’s Office first came through her service as a Fall Show and Chapel Coordinator for Zoe’s Feet Dance Ministry, and then again through her time as Chaplain for this same ministry. Having graduated from Wheaton College in 2017 with a degree in Studio Art—concentrating in digital photography—and a minor in Biblical and Theological Studies, Nikki is now enrolled in Wheaton’s Graduate School pursuing a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Nikki’s warmth and creativity allow her to coordinate chapel attendance with grace and care. You may contact Nikki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raised as a pastor's daughter, Marilyn's model for ministry was born out of her father's heart for pastoral care and her parents' example of faithfulness to the Lord. A graduate of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, with a degree in Religious Studies, and a MA degree in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton's Graduate School, the Lord provided her opportunities to work with Food for the Hungry International in Japan, and later in the International Division of World Relief in Carol Stream, IL, as a means to gain a greater heart and understanding for the needs of the world. The Lord has also gifted her (for the past 21 years) with the privilege of contributing to the spiritual care of the campus community through lending to the planning of chapel and offering pastoral care and prayer. Marilyn enjoys interacting with students, faculty, and staff within the context of everyday life in community at Wheaton. You may contact Marilyn at email@example.com.
Sarah comes to the Chaplain's Office this year, newly minted as a 2017 graduate of Wheaton's Master's program in Christian Formation & Ministry. Having grown up as a missionary kid in South Africa, Sarah first came to Wheaton as an an undergraduate student, majoring in Christian Education and minoring in Bible and Theology. After graduating in 2013, she led missionary trips for churches throughout the U.S., before returning to campus with her husband and fellow Wheaton alum Jake, to serve as Graduate Resident Assistant while completing her Master's program. She comes ably equipped for the work of the Chaplain's Office, as one woven into the life of the campus community, with a full complement of gifts in ministry and administration, combined with rich experience. Sarah is passionate about mentoring, leadership development, and the spiritual disciplines as an avenue for God's work of transformation. Her gentle, gracious spirit, and her love for the campus community, make her a perfect fit for her role and a valued colleague in the Chaplain's Office. You may contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a 2013 graduate of Wheaton College with a major in Psychology, Rebecca went on to complete her Master of Arts in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. As a result of her personal journey, as well as experience as a counselor, she endeavors to encourage students towards the power of the Gospel to bring about healing and transformation. Combining her knowledge of Wheaton as a former student with her love of God’s Word and care for people, Rebecca cherishes walking alongside students as they navigate their years at Wheaton. Through the gift of presence, one-on-one conversations, listening, prayer, campus discussions and careful study of the Bible, her desire is to help students discover their story within God's unfolding story. You may contact Rebecca at email@example.com.