Trinity Western University Welcomes New Chaplain and Director of Student Ministries

Langley, B.C.: On September 16, 2019, Trinity Western University welcomed Rev. James Ellis III as its new University Chaplain and Director of Student Ministries. James and his wife, Renata, are relocating to Canada from Holland, Mich., where he served as chaplain of discipleship at Hope College.

An educated theologian, published author, and an experienced community pastor and college chaplain, Rev. Ellis is especially passionate about helping students flourish as whole and effective followers of Christ. 

Rev. Ellis’s commitment to higher education and enthusiasm for Christian theology, and the life of the mind, is evident in his own academic journey. He earned a BA in African American Studies from the University of Maryland, a Master of Theological Studies from Baylor University, a Master of Sacred Theology from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and is currently completing a Doctor of Ministry through Western Theological Seminary. Ellis is as much a gifted writer as he is a preacher; he is a published author and is currently working on multiple book projects.

“I first met James in Washington, D.C., where he was a pastor of a multiethnic church,” says Dr. Mark Husbands, President of Trinity Western University. “Every spring I would take my students to Washington to learn about integral mission and racial reconciliation. I wanted them to encounter people whose faith in Christ led them to make a meaningful difference in D.C.; James and his wife, Renata, fit the bill perfectly. James’s ability to preach was one of the most attractive things about his ministry. As the late John Webster said, ‘Preaching is one of the principal ways in which the God of the gospel has dealings with us. … He does not remain locked in silence, but speaks.’ I am excited to see what God will do through Rev. Ellis’s ministry.”

This academic year is a time for new beginnings at Trinity Western University, with Dr. Mark Husbands entering a five-year term as the new president. Rev. James Ellis’s arrival on campus as the new chaplain underscores the university’s commitment to provide a remarkable education marked by academic excellence, spiritual vitality, and transformative opportunities for leadership in service to the kingdom of God.

“At Trinity Western University we place a high priority on spiritual formation and faith integration for our students. We are a diverse community and are excited about the opportunity to develop godly Christian leaders from around the world. Rev. Ellis shares this passion and will help us reach every student with the hope, truth, and reconciliation of Jesus’ love,” says Richard Taylor, Vice-President of Student Life at Trinity Western University.

Rev. Ellis wholeheartedly looks forward to using his rich ministry experience, excellent leadership skills, and heart of compassion to ignite and support students in their faith. Trinity Western University is excited for the unique contribution he will make to the campus.

A special chapel service on September 23, held at the Langley campus in the David E. Enarson Gymnasium at 11 a.m., will be Ellis’s first public event on campus. All community members are encouraged and welcome to attend. Rev. Ellis looks forward to connecting with students, staff, faculty, and the community in an authentic, memorable, and uplifting way.


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