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Bishop Peter Beckwith retired this summer after serving six years as Hillsdale Col­lege’s chaplain. His wife is Melinda. (Photo: Peter Beckwith / Courtesy)

Bishop Peter Beckwith, Hillsdale College’s chaplain, retired at the end of July, honored as chaplain emeritus. Hillsdale’s new chaplain is Father Adam Rick, the new pastor at Holy Trinity Anglican Parish in Hillsdale.

“I’ve had won­derful jobs in my life,” Beckwith said. “I’ve served four con­gre­ga­tions and the diocese of Spring­field, and they’ve all been chal­lenging, all a blessing — and this is at least as good, if not the best, job.”

When Pres­ident Larry Arnn first asked Beckwith to take the chap­laincy position at Hillsdale College, Beckwith protested that at 70, he was already too old for the job.

“‘I told him, ‘I’m old enough to be a grand­father to most of these kids,’” Beckwith said. “And he said, ‘Well, there’s a place for grand­fa­thers.’ Dr. Arnn is really a hard person to say ‘no’ to.”

Now Beckwith, who turns 77 next month, has held the position for six years. During that time, he also served as faculty adviser to the Delta Tau Delta fra­ternity and taught several classes on Angli­canism and lead­ership.

Beckwith is a 1961 Hillsdale graduate. Before becoming chaplain, he served in many roles, including as a chaplain for the U.S. Navy. He said his phi­losophy as Hillsdale chaplain was similar to that of his min­istry in the Navy: to provide for your own, facil­itate for others, and to care for all.

As chaplain, he said the most dif­ficult part was getting to know the stu­dents and faculty — a chal­lenge he com­batted by making a point of auditing classes and attending lec­tures and other social events in order to meet people.

“The Navy had a couple of sayings,” he said. “One was ‘deck­plate min­istry.’ When you’re on a ship, you can choose. You can be on the deck­plates meeting people, or you can sit in your office. If you sit in your office, you’re not going to be very busy.”

When Holy Trinity’s longtime pastor Father Duane Beauchamp retired, Rick was called as pastor — and simul­ta­ne­ously hired as chaplain at Hillsdale. Although he has served since 2013 at Christ Church Anglican in Wayne, Penn­syl­vania, he is familiar with the Michigan area. Rick grew up in Concord, Michigan, and did his under­graduate studies at Spring Arbor Uni­versity. He attended the evan­gelical Gordon-Conwell The­o­logical Sem­inary in Hamilton, Mass­a­chu­setts, and only later joined the Anglican Church to which he was ordained in 2012.

“I’m looking forward to being able to get to know the Lord better,” Rick said of his new role. “My objective is to help people see Christ in their lives and be better dis­ciples in Jesus.”

His wife, Katherine, is also working for Hillsdale as a piano instructor and staff accom­panist in the music department. Katherine Rick lived in Russia for 10 years as a child while her parents were mis­sion­aries and attended several pres­ti­gious music con­ser­va­tories.

“Since I grew up in Russia, I tend to really love Russian com­posers: Rach­maninoff, Shostakovich, Prokofiev,” she said. “I did my doc­torate on Rach­maninoff, but probably my favorite Western com­poser is J.S. Bach.”

As chaplain emeritus, Beckwith will con­tinue to visit the school reg­u­larly — sup­porting, assisting, and filling in where he can for Rick.

“This is one of the few col­leges that pro­vides a reli­gious resource in the office of the chaplain,” Beckwith said. “Take advantage of it.”