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President appoints Dr. Wayne Barnard as university dean of spiritual formation

Wayne Barnard
Dr. Wayne Barnard

May 4, 2006

Dr. Wayne Barnard has been appointed ACU’s new university dean of spiritual formation by Dr. Royce Money, ACU president.

Barnard will transition June 1 from his current role as associate provost for student development and dean of Campus Life, Money said.  In his new position, Barnard will report to the president.

“For several years, we’ve been discussing ways to become more intentional in the spiritual formation of our students,” Money said.  “I think Wayne is the ideal person to carry out and further extend this vision, given his background, expertise and heart for ministry.  This work is very important to me and very important to the mission of the university.”

Dr. Dwayne VanRheenen, ACU provost, explained that Barnard will be working in close partnership with academic and student life programs to enhance the connections between faith and learning.  He also will oversee programming for daily Chapel and will work to create broader campus conversations by connecting Chapel topics more closely to other learning and service opportunities.

“This appointment fits well with the 21st-century vision for the university,” VanRheenen said.  “We want our students to ‘think critically, globally, and missionally,’ and this includes their spiritual formation.”

During Barnard’s tenure as dean of Campus Life, many significant achievements have occurred, VanRheenen said, including the establishment of the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, the medical clinic, and the Office of Student Multicultural Enrichment and International Student Affairs. Other advancements include residence life education that includes living-learning communities and peer health education in the residence halls, the growth and development of leadership education, the expansion and professionalism of the ACU Police Department, and the growth in the number of students involved in intramural sports, service-learning, community service, and domestic and international Spring Break Campaigns.

Barnard has also advanced the professionalism of Campus Life through involvement with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Association for Christians in Student Development.  Campus Life professionals have been significantly trained and developed through conversations and presentations at national and international meetings.

VanRheenen said Barnard’s transition to this new, critical role will leave a leadership gap in Campus Life that will need to be filled. Dr. Tom Winter, vice provost, will assume some of the responsibilities normally assigned to the dean and will work with Dr. Jeff Arrington, associate dean, until a search can be undertaken in the fall.

Barnard became dean of students at ACU in 1996 and served as assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the mid-1990s.  A 1980 graduate of Abilene Christian with a B.A. in biblical studies, he joined the ACU staff in 1991 after serving as a minister for Churches of Christ in Universal City, Irving and Abilene.  As campus minister for the University Church of Christ, Barnard started the popular 9 o’clock service for university students.

He earned an M.A. in marriage and family therapy from St. Mary’s University and his Ph.D. in human development and family studies from Texas Woman’s University. As a Texas Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Texas Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NBCC), Barnard has served in several counseling roles, including the ACU Counseling Center.
Barnard also is a member of American and Texas Associations for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Counseling Association, American Association of Christian Counselors, National and Texas Councils on Family Relations, Association of Christians in Student Development, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and the American College Personnel Association.

He has served on the board of Taylor County Child Protective Services and Habitat for Humanity and has been a member of the Rotary Club and the Lions Club. He is a member of Highland Church of Christ, where he serves as worship minister and speaks frequently for churches and other organizations at conferences, workshops and seminars.

He is married to Dr. Mimi (Simons) Barnard, a 1981 graduate of ACU, who currently serves as assistant professor of English and director of residence life education and housing. They have a daughter, Katie, and a son, Colin.


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