President Frederick G. Slabach has named Gladys A. Childs, associate professor of religion, as Texas Wesleyan University’s interim chaplain. She will serve through fall 2016, while the search for a permanent chaplain continues.
This is not Childs’ first time to fill this role. She previously served as chaplain from fall 2003 to the summer 2009 while teaching part-time in the religion and humanities department. She stepped down from the position to start teaching full-time.
Childs first act as the interim chaplain is to continue the weekly Common Meal at Polytechnic United Methodist Church. Starting Jan. 19, Common Meal will take place every Tuesday. Students of any and all faith backgrounds are invited to eat lunch and join in an open discussion about religion.
Childs is also planning weekly chapel services at Polytechnic United Methodist church. She will be partnering with Trinity Methodist Church to organize music for the service and prepare the meal afterwards. The nondenominational service will be open to all students of any religious background.
“The goal is to create an open environment for spiritual dialogue so students can ask any questions they may have,” Childs said.
Childs is still lining up several programs for future semesters. There are discussions about organizing student service projects and retreats.
Childs has received her Doctorate in Foundations of Education and Master of Arts in Religious Education from Southwestern Seminary. She also has a Master of Divinity Degree from Brite Divinity School and is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.
Childs is the department chair for religion, humanities and interdisciplinary studies.