Catawba College Welcomes New Chaplain

Published: 
Catawba College is pleased to welcome Rev. Kendra Joyner Miller, an alumna of the Class of 2011, back to campus as the new Chaplain and Director of the Lilly Center for Vocation and Values. She will provide strategic leadership and a comprehensive vision to support Catawba’s religious and spiritual life.

Joyner Miller assumes the role on November 7, 2022, succeeding longtime Chaplain Dr. Kenneth Clapp who is retiring after 33 years of service to the Catawba community.

”Through a national search process, Rev. Joyner Miller emerged as the clear fit to succeed Dr. Clapp,” said President David P. Nelson. “As an alumna, she embodies Catawba’s values, and as a minister of the United Church of Christ, she deeply resonates with Catawba’s rich history in that tradition. I’m deeply grateful for her sense of calling to the work of helping students to discover their own sense of vocation. We look forward to welcoming Kendra and her family back into the Catawba community.”   

Joyner Miller is an ordained clergyperson with the United Church of Christ (UCC) and has served as a Moderator Designate and Moderator Elect for the Fox Valley Association of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ from 2018-2020. Since 2014, she has ministered at the First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, first as the Minister of Youth and Families and then as the Associate Minister focusing on adult education, pastoral care, and community engagement.

She graduated from Catawba College with a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy. While at Catawba, she was the 2011 recipient of the Whitener Award, which recognizes a graduating student who exemplifies the values of Catawba College. She also served as Student Government President and ran cross country. Joyner Miller has a Master of Divinity degree from the Yale Divinity School, where she received the Tweedy Award for Promise in Pastoral Ministry in 2014.

“Walking onto Catawba’s campus for the first time in the summer of 2006 was like coming home,” said Joyner Miller. “I am thrilled to be able to once again call Catawba home. I know Catawba, believe in Catawba, and have hopes and dreams for what Catawba will be in the future. Providing presence, care, and support are not only gifts I will bring as chaplain, they are the foundations of Catawba College.”

Joyner Miller will be relocating to Salisbury with her husband Dan, daughters Josephine and Eliza, and their black lab mix, Connie.