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Hillsdale College’s new chaplain Adam Rick and his wife Katherine Rick (photo: Adam Rick / Courtesy).
Hillsdale College’s new chaplain Adam Rick and his wife Katherine Rick (photo: Adam Rick / Courtesy).

“I got dumped by a girl,” Father Adam Rick said with a candid smile. It was the turning point in his college career that steered him towards sem­inary. “When you’re a junior in college, man, it’s dev­as­tating … I started to read the Bible with fresh eyes.”

Now, Rick will serve as Hillsdale College’s chaplain after Bishop Peter Beckwith con­cluded his six years as chaplain with his retirement in the end of July.

The second born, between two sisters, Rick spent the first 12 years of his life in Cal­i­fornia where his father prac­ticed law. He moved to Concord, Michigan, when his father took a job with a Free Methodist church in Spring Arbor, Michigan, where he and his family also attended church. Being a member of an intel­lectual and reli­gious family, Rick’s parents, par­tic­u­larly his father, were instru­mental in his spir­itual devel­opment. He began serious study of the word of God in high school.

As his faith grew throughout his col­le­giate career at Spring Arbor Uni­versity, Rick thought he would follow his father’s path toward law school. Fol­lowing his junior year break-up, Rick returned to Spring Arbor with a broken heart for his final year of under­graduate edu­cation. The event was so life-altering that it drew him away from the law and drove him toward the cloth.

“As I was wrestling with the Scrip­tures with new eyes, I realized that I didn’t know how to read it, and that I needed to go to sem­inary,” Rick said.

Rick entered Gordon-Conwell The­o­logical Sem­inary in Hamilton, Mass­a­chu­setts, as “a blind slave” to the will of God.

“I wanted to meet Jesus at the right hand of God,” Rick said.

At Gordon-Conwell, his studies empha­sized Bib­lical inter­pre­tation and expo­sition. During Rick’s graduate career, he became a Pierce Fellow for Dis­ciple-Building which trans­formed his spir­itual life and directed his efforts to spir­itual lead­ership. Upon his grad­u­ation, he took a job with Gordon-Conwell designing an online cur­riculum, during which time he decided to plunge into pas­toral min­istry. Three years later, in August 2012, he was ordained a deacon in the Anglican church.

Rick met his wife, Katherine Harris, while she was vis­iting a mutual friend at Gordon- Conwell around the same time as his ordi­nation. She had just com­pleted her second year in her doc­torate in piano per­for­mance at Peabody Con­ser­vatory, a part of Johns Hopkins Uni­versity in Bal­timore, Maryland. Through countless flights and hours of Skype dates, they carried out a long-dis­tance rela­tionship for the next 11 months, until they married.

“I wanted to marry someone that was incredibly intel­ligent, and that’s what I got,” she said. “I remember one of the first things I asked for was a paper he had written, and I was really attracted by the bib­li­og­raphy.”

The paper was on the Trini­tarian the­ology of the Cap­padocian fathers.

Katherine Rick said her husband will be a good resource for any and all Christian stu­dents and faculty.

“I thought that he would be a good fit for this job because he could keep up with anyone on this campus, whether it be stu­dents or pro­fessors,” she said.

Head of Inter­varsity Christian Fel­lowship Griffith Brown agreed.

“He will help facil­itate more unity within the student groups on campus,” Brown said.

The Ricks moved to Hillsdale in early August, and said they are filled with joy to call this their new home.