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The Rev. Trygve D. Johnson Appointed
Hinga-Boersma Dean of the Chapel

Posted February 24, 2004

HOLLAND – The Rev. Trygve D. Johnson has been appointed the Hinga-Boersma Dean of the Chapel at Hope College.

Johnson, who is currently completing doctoral studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, served most recently as chaplain at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. He will assume his duties at Hope in January of 2005.

“Trygve possesses the full array of skills and gifts that we were seeking,” said Hope College President James E. Bultman. “He is completing his doctorate in theology and homiletics, he has experience as a college chaplain, and he has prepared himself for spiritual life leadership in the academy.”

“We believe he possesses the mind of a scholar, the heart of a pastor and the courage of a leader,” Bultman said. “We on the search committee are unanimous in our belief that we have sought and found the person of God’s choosing, and that the record of history will document that the Reverend Trygve Johnson was a superb choice to lead the spiritual life of the college at this important time in Hope’s history.”

The appointment marks a return to both Holland and Hope for Johnson. He completed his master of divinity at Western Theological Seminary in 1999, serving as a chaplain intern at Hope from 1996 to 1998 and as a pastoral intern at Third Reformed Church during 1998-99.

He noted that he is looking forward to rejoining the community and working with Hope’s students.

“College is a unique season of growth,” he said. “For me there is nothing more satisfying than to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with students as they integrate their faith convictions into a larger vision for life.”

“To be in a community of learning, where one of the fundamental mandates is to explore the big questions—what it means to be human, what is truth, what is justice—is at the heart of Christian discipleship—where faith seeks understanding,” Johnson said. “It is in this action of discernment and integration where lives are put on a trajectory for life. I love being a small part of that process.”

“To be entrusted the honor to proclaim the gospel of Jesus in this unique context and season is more significant than anything else I can think of doing,” he said. “I can’t wait to begin.”

As the dean of the chapel at Hope, Johnson will lead the college’s spiritual life program. His responsibilities will include administering Hope’s thrice-weekly and Sunday evening chapel program, preaching regularly in chapel, speaking and writing, and nurturing relationships with the college’s students, faculty and staff. In addition, he will be supervising the campus ministries program’s six-member professional ministry team.

The deanship was endowed in 1993 by Connie Boersma of Holland and her husband, the late Max Boersma. Connie Boersma is a member of the college’s Class of 1949, and the daughter of the late Milton L. “Bud” Hinga, who was at Hope for 29 years as a professor, coach and dean. Max Boersma was a member of the college’s Class of 1946, and a longtime member of the college’s Board of Trustees.

Johnson served as chaplain at Northwestern College, which like Hope is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA), from 1999 to 2002. His responsibilities included organizing and facilitating a daily chapel program; serving as resident preacher; co-supervising the campus ministry staff and programs; providing pastoral care to students, faculty and staff; and serving as a liaison to community pastors and the RCA.

He has been pursuing his doctorate in theology at St. Andrews since 2002.

His professional activities have included membership in the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA) of St. Mary’s College at the University of St. Andrews, and appointment in 2002 as a General Synod Chaplain by the RCA. His honors have included a 2002 Calvin Worship Institute Fellowship and a 2001 Henry Bast Preaching Scholarship.

Johnson graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern College in 1996 with a major in history. An NAIA Baseball First Team Academic All-American as an undergraduate, he was also an assistant baseball coach at Hope in 1996 and at Northwestern from 2000 to 2002.

His wife, Kristen, is a graduate of the University of Virginia who is also pursuing a doctorate in theology, with a focus on political theory, at the University of St. Andrews, and is also an ITIA member.

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