UST names new campus ministry director, assistant director

UST names new campus ministry director, assistant director

With the approval of Father Dennis Dease, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Father Erich Rutten as director of campus ministry and of Donald J. Beyers to a one-year term position as assistant director of campus ministry. Both appointments were effective as of Saturday, Sept 1. 

Rutten brings to his position as director six years of campus ministry experience in higher education, including four years at St. Thomas and two years at St. John’s University. He received a Master of Divinity degree from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, a Master of Arts in systematic theology from St. John’s University, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was selected after a national search from a competitive pool of candidates.

In addition to his years in Campus Ministry, Rutten has served as an adjunct faculty member at St. Thomas in the Department of Theology and in the Justice and Peace Studies program. Most recently he has served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace in Edina. Rutten comes with an excellent working knowledge of our campus community, the archdiocese, and the broader Twin Cities area. He is committed to serving the spiritual growth of the whole St. Thomas community: faculty, staff and students – both undergraduate and graduate.

In his cover letter to our search committee, he stated: “… the quality and character of campus life is critical for the health of the university, for the formation and learning of the students, and for the future of the broader community and the Church.”

Beyers received his M.A. in systematic theology at St. Thomas. He also has worked here, both as an adjunct instructor of theology and as a reference librarian. In addition, he served as a high school theology teacher and campus minister. Most recently he has been the coordinator of learning at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, where he worked primarily with youth and young adults.

He notes in his letter of application that his vision of ministry is “… to walk with each person as they discover and grow more deeply in their relationship with God and their neighbor … . I seek always to collaborate with others in sharing the Good News of our faith with whom I minister and to seek ways to offer meaningful connections with God and each other.”

As chair of both search committees I was privileged to review all of the feedback from the staff interviews, the open sessions and the search committee meetings. In both cases it was uniformly enthusiastic about the gifts that these two men will bring to their positions and our community. We are most fortunate to have them!

I want to give special thanks to the search committees for the long and thoughtful hours they spent reviewing résumés and interviewing candidates.

Please join me in welcoming Rutten and Beyers to our community!