Duties include chapter-wide mental health and wellness support and diversity and inclusion education
The chaplain of the Fraternity, and each chaplain at their respective school, help implement the comprehensive wellness programming for our members, specifically focused on spiritual and mental wellbeing. Furthermore, with the addition of strategic initiatives to further the diversity and inclusion work of the Fraternity, each chaplain will work with the diversity and inclusion commissioner. This relationship will ensure that chapters are open and inclusive to members regardless of their race, religion, background, and many other things that members identify as part of their identity.
The online educational tool known as the Ihlenfeld PDT University (PDT U) now includes an education module specifically for chaplains to learn ways to better serve the diverse needs of their chapter brothers. In addition, the July 2022 Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute included chaplains from our over 190 chapters for a specific educational track designed to help them become effective and compassionate leaders of their chapter’s spiritual and mental wellness. Universities also provide many programs and activities to support these critical initiatives.
The General Council has appointed Michael Schulte, Westminster ’14, to the international role of chaplain. Originally from Edwardsville, Illinois, Michael is currently a student at Vanderbilt Divinity School, where he is pursuing a master’s of divinity with a concentration in religion, gender, and sexuality. He is also a candidate for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Before pursuing pastoral ministry, Michael served as a high school English teacher at KIPP: St. Louis High School in St. Louis, Missouri, and Melrose High School in Memphis, Tennessee.
Thanks to a generous donation made by Gary and Amy Norcross through their family foundation, this vital education is robust and ready for implementation in fall 2022. Our deepest thanks to the Norcross family for its support to help make the Phi Delta Theta experience open and accessible to so many.
Chaplain Position Description
The Chaplain shall serve as the representative of the Fraternity and provide guidance in their respective focus area. Through a collaborative effort with the General Headquarters staff, it is his duty to help provide a strategic course for the comprehensive wellness programming for our members, including spiritual and mental wellbeing. Further, the Chaplain should work with the Diversity and Inclusion Commissioner to ensure programming for that topic is congruent with the aforementioned topics. The Chaplain shall strive to fulfill the following objectives:
- Serve as ambassador for Phi Delta Theta by promoting, supporting and communicating initiatives, programs, and policies of the General Fraternity through in-person meetings and remote contact.
- Present non-denominational services at in-person conferences.
- Lead prayers at meals and other appropriate times at in-person events.
- Perform the role of Chaplain when Ritual is being performed.
- Offer condolences on behalf of the Fraternity when appropriate.
- Contact chapters to offer condolences and grief services when an undergraduate brother passes away.
- Advise on the Fraternity’s mental health and wellness programming, including suicide prevention efforts.
- Collaborate with the Education Committee on personal development programming.
- Work with the Diversity and Inclusion Commissioner to ensure spiritual, mental health and wellness, and diversity and inclusion programming are in alignment.
- Attend convention and other in-person events as appropriate.