Thursday May 26, 2011

A Woman of Faith

Crystal Sullivan will be the first lay leader and woman to lead campus ministry as director starting July 1. Fr. David McGuigan will become chaplain.

Crystal Sullivan, a pastoral minister for 17 years, has been promoted to director of campus ministry at the University of Dayton. Sullivan is the first lay leader — and the only woman -- to hold the position.

The Rev. David McGuigan, S.M., campus minister for graduate students, will take on additional responsibilities as University chaplain.

Both start their new positions July 1.

"Crystal has shown herself as a competent, caring and able campus minister who understands the Catholic and Marianist mission of the University. She has the vision and the skills to competently lead our campus ministry efforts at the University into the future," said the Rev. James Fitz, S.M., vice president for mission and rector. "Father Dave brings wonderful liturgical and pastoral skills to his expanded role."

Since 2004, Sullivan has served as associate director of campus ministry for residence life ministry and the graduate assistant program. She succeeds the Rev. Christopher Wittmann, S.M., who will become director of novices for the Marianist Province of the United States. 

With 30 campus ministers and support staff, the University of Dayton boasts one of the largest campus ministries in the country.

"The way campus ministry at the University of Dayton expresses the Catholic and Marianist identity excites me," said Sullivan, who also teaches graduate courses for the master of pastoral ministry program. "We are committed to justice and service, the development of student leaders for ministry, and educating students in the understanding and practice of faith while inspiring them to transform the world. We want our students to recognize they have a responsibility for social change."

At the University of Dayton, more than 1,000 students participate in 30 service clubs that range from mentoring at-risk youth to working with the people of Appalachia during the summers. Others give up their fall and spring breaks to participate in intercultural immersion experiences or to do volunteer service with those most in need, and many explore their faith through popular retreats offered throughout the year. Campus ministers live in and minister to students in the residence halls and the student neighborhoods, coordinate faith-sharing groups, and arrange discussions between students and faculty through the Perspectives on Faith and Life series. Masses are offered in residence halls and the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, and a full-time campus minister of interdenominational ministry nurtures the spiritual needs of students from other Christian traditions.

Sullivan enjoys a national reputation in the campus ministry field. In 2008, she chaired a national team that developed a symposium for campus ministers at Catholic universities and colleges across the nation. For six years, she served on the staff, then directed, the Campus Ministry Leadership Institute, a ministry training experience for campus ministry leaders sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A certified campus minister, she double-majored in religion and biology at Kalamazoo College and earned a master's degree in theological studies from Weston Jesuit School of Theology. A Detroit native, she resides in Kettering, Ohio, with her husband and two children.

For more information, contact Crystal Sullivan at 937-229-2574.