Buckhannon, W.Va.—The President of West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) and the Resident Bishop of the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church announced today that Reverend Jonathan Acord will be appointed to serve as Wesleyan’s Director of Religious and Spiritual Life (Campus Chaplain) effective July 1, 2021.
“Wesleyan has a strong foundational history with the United Methodist Church,” said Dr. Joel Thierstein, WVWC President. “Reverend Acord will build on those traditions and serve to develop and strengthen all spiritual life in our campus community.”
Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, who has served as Resident Bishop for the WV United Methodist Conference since July of 2012, outlined the importance of Acord’s role on Wesleyan’s campus.
“Along with coordinating spiritual and religious life on campus, Rev. Acord will act as the liaison between the College and the United Methodist Church of West Virginia,” Steiner Ball said. “He will have responsibility for connecting United Methodist congregations with the College on a variety of levels.”
“President Thierstein and I agree that an active and engaged spiritual and religious life presence on campus is vital to students’ Wesleyan experience,” Steiner Ball continued.
Currently, Acord serves as the pastor of the Hoyes-McHenry United Methodist Church Charge, where he has served both churches and the community. He is involved with campus ministry at Garrett College, in partnership with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and other organizations that focus on developing relationships with the students, engaging church members in new outreach to the Garrett College campus and serving as the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach. Additionally, Acord is a licensed physical therapist.
“I am grateful for the love and grace the Hoyes-McHenry charge has shown me and my family while we have served in ministry with them,” Acord said. “I look forward to learning about and facilitating relationships that lead to the growth of spiritual life, mission, and ministry in and with the Wesleyan campus, students, faculty, staff and administration.”
Acord was licensed as a United Methodist pastor in 2019 and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership. Previously, Acord earned a Master of Physical Therapy from West Virginia University in August 2004 and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Performance and Health from West Virginia University in May 2003.
Acord arrives on the Wesleyan Campus following a year of intentional work on a strategic plan for religious and spiritual life. He and his wife Dara have two sons, Grant and Owen.