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Willamette University announces incoming chaplain

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Kathleen Forrest


Willamette University announced today that Rev. Ineda Adesanya will become the next university chaplain and director of religious and spiritual life. Adesanya will officially assume the role on August 1st, following the departure of current Chaplain Karen Wood in late July.

Photo provided by Ineda Adesanya

Adesanya received her Masters in Divinity from San Francisco Theology Seminary, with a particular focus on Women’s Studies. She has done her doctoral work at the Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of multiple theological schools and organizations. Adesanya has experience both as a campus pastor and an academic, and since 2017 has been a Pastoral Counselor at California Lutheran University, as well as teaching there.

The university chose Adesanya from a pool of over sixty applicants, according to Rachel Urner (‘22), a student representative on the hiring committee. “We wanted someone who could provide strong, present pastoral care to students across the university and in the graduate schools, as well as faculty and staff... As well as someone who would advocate for students in higher levels of the university. Who could hold their own in discussions with faculty, and ideally someone who could also teach,” said Urner. With these things in mind, the committee unanimously supported Adesanya for the position. “I’m really excited about her! I think that she is going to shape the position in important ways, and she will be able to step into Karen’s shoes and come into that space," said Urner.

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