The Rev. Christopher M. Lee, associate pastor at Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson, Texas, will visit University of the Ozarks during the week of March 9-13 as part of the University’s Pastoral Study Leave Program.
Lee will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10, in Munger-Wilson Memorial Chapel.
Born in Charlotte, N.C., and was raised in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Lee is married to his college sweetheart, Brandy, who serves as the AVID Program Coordinator at South Garland (Texas) High School. They have two daughters, Erin and Jordyn.
He is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, earning a bachelor’s degree with Cum Laude honors in communications. In 2012, he earned a master of divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary. He also holds a certification in executive leadership from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Ill.
Lee was ordained as a minister of word and sacrament in August of 2013. Prior to ordination, he served five other churches in the areas of mission, outreach and youth ministry.
Lee has, each time, been the first African-American minister to serve in the history of each congregation. His passion for social justice, outreach and community engagement is lived out in his involvement with local schools, non-profit organizations, community panels, radio contributions and various community organizations.
The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development.
The Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, a long-time national advocate for children, will speak at University of the Ozarks on Monday, Feb. 10, as part of the Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Chapel Guest Speakers Series.
Lindner’s talk is titled, “Is Childhood an Endangered Species?” and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
The Presbyterian pastor has worked on behalf of children for most of her professional life. She served as the director of the Child Advocacy Office for the National Council of Churches of Christ in the 1970s and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as U.S. Commissioner for the International Year of the Child where she worked closely with the White House on child welfare policy during the Carter administration. In 2006, she wrote the book, “Thus Far on the Way: Toward a Theology of Child Advocacy.”
In her talk on the U of O campus, she will discuss how we can help ensure the wellbeing of children in today’s society.
“Today throughout the world children are subject to economic exploitation, trafficked for purposes of sexual abuse or as child soldiers and are subjected to rates of poverty and neglect that are unprecedented,” Lindner said. “Even in affluent countries, children today are often oversubscribed to tutoring, sports, drama, music and martial arts training leaving little time or opportunity for the essential developmental task of being children. As we increase our awareness and concern for the natural environment we might do well to consider the circumstances of the youngest cohort of humans and reconsider our priorities. Poet John Donne long ago lamented the plight of children who are “...weeping in the playtime of others.” We will look together at the plight of children asking ourselves how we can best enable today's children to live the lives for which they were created.”
Lindner, who earned her Ph.D. in church history from Union Theological Seminary, was ordained in the Philadelphia Presbytery in 1975. She has served in churches throughout the country, most recently as senior pastor at Presbyterian Church at Tenafly in New Jersey from 2009 to 2018. She currently serves as a consultant for the Presbyterian Foundation and Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Lindner served as the Deputy General Secretary for the National Council of Churches from 1986-2007. She also served as the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of the Palisades from 2007-2009.
The Rev. Matt Bussell, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jonesboro, Ark., will visit University of the Ozarks on the week of Nov. 18 as part of the University’s Pastoral Study Leave Program.
Bussell will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 19 in Munger-Wilson Chapel.
A lifelong Presbyterian, Bussell is a native of western Michigan and attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he majored in history with a minor in German. After college, Bussell earned his Master of Divinity at Columbia Theological Seminar in Decatur, Ga. At Columbia, Matt met his wife Bekah and they married a month after graduating seminary. Instead of immediately entering ordained ministry following seminary, Bussell pursued his love of theology at Duke University Divinity School, where he earned a Master of Theology degree. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. in theology at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif.
His dissertation looks at how Jesus’ summary of the law as loving God and neighbor is used as a guide to the Christian life in the theologies of Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Serene Jones. While working on his dissertation, the Bussells welcomed their daughter, Meier, and Matt was called to congregational ministry. He was ordained in Pittsburgh, Penn., where he served as pastor in a small church before being called to serve as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jonesboro in September of 2018.
When Bussell is not working at the church or on his dissertation, he enjoys playing games and going for walks with his family. He is also an avid sports fan, closely following Michigan State football and basketball, the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Red Wings, and particularly Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund in European soccer.
The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development. Since its inception, nearly 30 pastors have taken part in the program.The University of the Ozarks Chamber Singers will kick off their 2019 concert tour with their annual Spring Concert on the U of O campus on Thursday, April 25. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Munger-Wilson Chapel. There is no cost for attendance and the public is invited. The Spring Concert is a prelude to the Chamber Singers’ five-event spring tour, which runs from May 19-24 at churches in Arkansas and Tennessee. The theme for this year’s concert tour is “E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One,” and will feature a wide variety of music that celebrates the diversity of the United States. “Diversity has always been a part of our country and this land has always been home to immigrants,” said Dr. Jonathan Ledger, choral director at U of O. “Embedded within this message is a prayer for world peace. The program will be heard in its entirety for the first time at our spring concert on Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Munger-Wilson Memorial Chapel.” The concert program will include the works, “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners,” by Williametta Spencer; “Cherokee Traveler’s Greeting,” by Kevin A. Memley; “Chester,” by William Billings; “Shenandoah,” by James Erb; “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” by Irving Berlin; “Paper Crane,” by J. Reese Norris; “Homeland,” by Gustav Holst; and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” by J. Rosamond Johnson. Adjunct music instructor Bethany Qualls will serve as the collaborative pianist during the Spring Concert as well as the tour. Ledger said the tour is the highlight of the academic year for the Chamber Singers. “We are excited to head east on tour for the first time this year, as we strive to strengthen relationships with potential students, churches, and alumni in central and eastern Arkansas and throughout Tennessee,” he said. The tour will include a May 19 (3 p.m.) concert at Kirk in the Pines Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas; a May 20 (7 p.m.) concert at First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Arkansas; a May 21 (7 p.m.) concert at Second Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee; a May 22 (7 p.m.) concert at Logan’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Maryville, Tennessee; and a May 24 (7 p.m.) concert at Holy Trinity Community Church in Nashville, Tennessee. The Rev. Ian McMullen of First Presbyterian Church in Maxwell, Iowa, will visit University of the Ozarks the week of April 1, 2019, as part of the University’s Pastoral Study Leave Program. He will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2. McMullen is a second-career pastor who attended seminary after 15 years as a computer network engineer. A single father of 3 grown daughters, he has served the same Presbyterian church for 10 years. McMullen believes that Christianity is all about relationships and as such, leads his congregation in inviting people to know Christ rather than just attend worship. He has held most leadership positions in his regional governing body and also serves as a leadership development mentor for clergy and churches of many denominations in his home state of Iowa. The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development Bruce Reyes-Chow, an author, pastor, consultant and coach, will present a public lecture titled, “Making a Difference in the World,” at University of the Ozarks on Thursday, Feb. 28. The event, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center, is made possible by the Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Chapel Guest Speakers/Artists Endowment and the Struthers Pastoral Leave Program. There is no cost for admission and the public is invited. Reyes-Chow is a third-generation Chinese/Filipino who calls himself an armchair sociologist and technology enthusiast. He speaks and teaches on faith, race, parenting and technology in a variety of contexts from seminaries to conferences to congregations to pre-schools. While he speaks to both religious and secular audiences, he is committed to living and expressing “a Christian faith that is beautifully complex, unimaginably just and excruciatingly gracious.” Reyes-Chow said his talk will focus on his belief that most people want to make a positive difference in the world. “The trouble is that we often get hung up on the tactics and strategies of making that difference,” he said. “Some hit the streets, others dive into history, others create, and still others think the most effective way to make change is gathering communities together. In our time together we'll look at the need to understand our personal ways of engaging in difference-making as well as value the ways in which others approach change.” He is the author of four books: “The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church,” “But I Don't See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race,” “40 Days, 40, Prayers, 40 Words: Lenten Reflections for Everyday Life” and “Rule #2: Don't Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children.” Reyes-Chow has been a Presbyterian pastor for more than 20 years and served as the founding pastor of Mission Bay Community Church in San Francisco from 2000-2012, a church of young, multicultural and progressive Presbyterians. He also served California congregations in Portola Valley, Daly City and San Francisco. In 2008 he was the youngest person ever elected as moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the highest elected office of the then 1.8 million member denomination. He earned his undergraduate degree in Asian American studies, philosophy and sociology from San Francisco State University, his master’s degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Austin College. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, three daughters and two canines. Reyes-Chow will spend the week of Feb. 25 on the U of O campus as part of the Struthers Pastoral Leave Program. He will be the guest speaker during the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Munger-Wilson Chapel. The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development. For all of Reyes-Chow’s social media links and contact info visit: www.reyes-chow.com
When University of the Ozarks senior Emily Autry gave the sermon at the University’s weekly Chapel service in December, she shared a message of endurance that’s been in the works for the past three and a half years.
The senior religion and political science major from Hot Springs, Ark., gave the sermon to the campus community on Dec. 4, the final Chapel service of the semester. Her message, titled “Joy and Perseverance,” focused on overcoming trials and hardships and how to embracer obstacles that might come your way.
For Autry, who will graduate in May, giving the sermon was one of the capstones to her college experience. It was also an opportunity to let her classmates and professors know how much she has grown as a person since walking on campus as a freshman in 2015.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to do a Chapel sermon,” she said. “I have been a regular attender of Chapel since my freshman year and I’ve seen amazing speakers come through. I’ve heard and loved so many of our chaplain’s sermons and I knew that I wanted the opportunity to share in the same place that all that had come before me had done as well. I saw it as a way that I could leave my mark on our University.”
Autry said numerous conversations with the University Chaplain, Rev. Jeremy Wilhelmi, over the last few years helped her in preparing the message.
“We’ve spent hours talking about different challenges or questions that I was having about my personal life and discussing the meaning of life,” she said. “This specific message came to me before Thanksgiving, but it was many years in the making. It was appropriate for the season, but also something that I needed to hear from God as well.”
The combination of religion and political science majors might seem strange to some people, but it was a natural match for Autry.
“When I toured Ozarks my senior year of high school, I met with [Religion Professor] Dr. Dave Daily and after our visit I was very excited to major in religion,” she said. “During the spring semester of my freshman year, I took my first political science class, American national government with Dr. Mark Scully, and I fell in love with his teaching style and the content. I found out that I loved them both, so I soon declared a double major.”
With a double major and so many career options, Autry said she’s not sure where her future career path might lead.
“After graduation, I am planning to find a job working for a church or non-profit for a year while I apply for seminary school,” she said. “I am honestly not sure what my dream job would be. I love preaching. I love leadership. I am very interested in community spiritual development and political engagement. I guess my dream job would be to continue my education for the rest of my life. I want to do a lot of things. I would love to be a professor one day to share everything that I’ve learned.”
Just months away from graduating, Autry said she’s thankful for the professors at Ozarks for pushing and challenging her.
“The most beneficial part of my Ozark education is the deep questions about calling and purpose that have come from my professors,” she said. “They have always challenged me to learn with intention to do good with the knowledge that I acquire. This has probably been one of the hardest things about my education so far, but I know it has made it so much more meaningful. We have the best professors in the world. No one can ever take away all that I have learned and gained from them. I cherish my education greatly.”
Joy and Perseverance
James 1: 2-4: “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
If there is anything that I have learned in my time here at Ozarks from my beloved Political Science Professor, Dr. Stewart Dippel, it is this: “There is no finish line in our walk with Jesus.” And that’s the only credit I’m giving to the political science department for this sermon because obviously the religion department, aka Dr. Daily, prepared me for this day the most.
All jokes aside. The phrase, “There is no finish line in our walk with Jesus,” does speak a lot of truth to me especially when thinking about my time at Ozarks and this verse found in this letter written by James. Life will not be easy. Life will come with many struggles and hardships. This is normal. This is what it means to be alive. However, we have the ability to look at trials positively. They should be evidence of our perseverance of faith.
When asked to speak in Chapel, I knew that I wanted to talk about how my time at Ozarks has shaped my life over the past four years. Since I walked on this campus for the first time my senior year of high school until today, so much has taken place.
I have attended every Study Night Breakfast. I have run wild across campus in ugly sweaters in order to take pictures by the Christmas tree lights. I have endured too many Dr. Scully classes. I have been a part of the history-making cheer team. I have pulled multiple all-nighters. I have made some of the best friends in the whole world. I have participated in Interfaith work and spiritual life. I have written more pages than I ever thought possible. I’ve encountered heartache and sadness. I have laughed until I have cried. And, I’ve grown more in self-confidence than I would have never expected. Ozarks has taught me how to learn. Ozarks has taught me how to love. Ozarks has taught me how to be my best self.
As senior year has come, so has my stress and anxiety about the future. In some ways I have almost shut down at the thought of leaving this beloved stage in my life. I have learned that all of the trials of college, all the all-nighters, arguments, disagreements, brutal cheer practices, difficult concepts and exhausting days, I can look back at and smile. I genuinely have pure joy thinking about how God has used me and molded me in the past four years.
I am stronger because of these trials. I am more confident in myself and who am because of these hard days. I am more prepared for the world because of the time I have given to learning and devoting myself to this place. These are pure joy moments. These times are what have given me endurance to continue this journey to graduation and to what life will bring me next. Ozarks has taught me most that there is no finish line in our personal growth, just like there is no finish line in our walk with Jesus. We must continue every day to learn and grow and find joy even in the midst of our trials.
When I think about what it really means to journey with Jesus continually, it’s hard not to think of times when I got distracted or walked off the path. It’s not just our good times that shape our understanding of being in a relationship with Jesus, but it’s the bad times too. It’s the times when we get mad at God for our suffering. Or when we are put in a tough situation. It’s the times of worry and guilt. It’s even the times when we fall flat on our face. When we think our mistakes are too big to be forgiven. These times make up our walk with Jesus too.
Think back on a time in your life when you were facing a trial. What did it feel like to have your faith tested? Often times we fall back into old bad habits. Or we distract ourselves and act like nothing is wrong. It’s much more difficult to stand firm in our faith during these times. But that’s what God asks us to do. We are called to lean on God even more during these hard time. It is when we push God away that we often struggle the most. Pure joy comes when we put all our trust and faith in God. The text is asking us to look at our trials and consider them pure joy. James says that “the testing of our faith produces endurance.” We literally can’t continue on our walk with Jesus without endurance when faced with hard times.
So what is endurance? The first definition of endurance is “the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.” The second definition, which is the one that I love, is “the capacity of something to last or withstand wear and tear.”
The evidence of our faith often comes with how we face our trials. This is where we can begin to talk about enduring with intention. We want to be able to have faith that lasts or withstands wear and tear.
I read an article recently titled, “One Thing that Wholeheartedly Happy People Have in Common,” by David Baumrind. His marriage was failing and he found himself in a time of complete dissatisfaction with his himself and his life, wanted to re-evaluate what it meant to be happy. What Baumrind found is that “consistently practicing gratitude can actually rewire our brains to search for the positive first instead of the negative.” He goes on to explain that “When we begin to see the positive we are able to learn from our experiences, even the bad ones.” I think Baumrind is right. Practicing gratitude is one way that we can endure trials well. It gives us the ability to withstand. It doesn’t make the problem go away. It doesn’t allow us to avoid the problem. Rather, gratitude can be the remedy we need that helps us endure the tests of life.
There’s a really great story that my mom tells about this idea. The story is titled, “Grateful for the Thorns,” and in the story a young woman named Sandra loses her pregnancy due to a minor automobile accident. As if that weren’t enough her husband’s company threatened a transfer. Then her sister called saying she could not make it to Thanksgiving that year. How could she even think of being thankful for anything this holiday season?
Sandra is in a flower shop looking for an arrangement for Thanksgiving. The clerk asks Sandra in conversation if she is looking for something that conveys gratitude this Thanksgiving?
Sandra responds with, “not exactly,” and goes on to explain that everything that could go wrong in the past few months has gone wrong. The clerk insists that she has the perfect arrangement for Sandra. The clerk suggests a customer’s favorite called the “Thanksgiving Special.” She brings out an arrangement of 12 thorny long-stemmed stems with no roses on them. Sandra was puzzled. The clerk goes on to explain that three years earlier she too felt like everything was going wrong. She had lost her husband, assumed complete responsibility for the flower shop and for the first time spent the holidays alone. The clerk said, “I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel.”
Sandra said, “what did you do?” and the clerk’s response was, “I learned to be thankful for thorns.” The clerk goes on to explain that it takes thorns to show the beauty of God’s comfort. It takes having our own thorns to begin to ask how we can comfort others during their thorns. Even Jesus wore thorns so that we might know His love. We can’t spend time resenting our thorns. Instead, we must embrace and be thankful for our thorns. Sandra resisted the thorny stemmed arrangement at first, but by the end of her time spent talking with the clerk she walked out of the store with 12 long-stemmed thorns. And attached to the arrangement was this prayer:
“My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorns! I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear. Teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow.” — George Matheson
So be thankful for the trial. Be thankful for the ability to go through the struggle or circumstance in life that you have been given. I know some of my greatest struggles in the past four years have been due to being in college. But thank God I have the opportunity to go to college. Thank God I had the ability to be a college cheerleader. Thank God I have a bed to sleep in, even if it was with a roommate that got on my nerves. Saying thank you sounds so simple. But like Baumrind explains, it reminds us of the positive. It takes us out of the mindset of selfishness, pity, and sadness. It opens our eyes to the possibility of seeing the world differently. In the midst of this spiritual practice, I believe we begin to see God more fully. We mature in our faith. We begin to endure intentionally.
So if you’re having a hard time finding God in the midst of your trial, then what if you just start with saying thank you? This practice may begin to cultivate endurance with intention; Intention to live into the trial, to embrace the trial. And you might even decide to do something about the trial. That is endurance with intention.
God wants us to find joy. God wants us to act in faith and to face life with endurance. I truly believe that we will be joyful when we choose to live more deeply into our faith in Jesus. I believe we’re called to be thankful for our thorns and truly reflect on them with God. I believe this is what God wants from us all the days of our life.
So don’t wait until you’re a senior to learn these things. Don’t rush to the end. Don’t wake up halfway through your senior year and realize all the joy that’s been there all along, even in the trials. Stay planted firmly in the journey. Don’t give up. Actually engage in each opportunity that you have every day. This is where real life happens. Living a full life isn’t marked when your life is over. It’s not about checking off the boxes.
Be aware and fight for the maturing of your faith right now.
Stay engaged right now.
Find joy right now.
Be thankful for the thorns.
And, remember, there is no finish line, but there’s plenty of joy on the journey.
AmenThe Rev. Mike Ulasewich, the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Conway, will visit University of the Ozarks on the week of Oct. 22 as a visiting pastor in the University’s Pastoral Study Leave Program. He will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Ulasewich’s personal mission is to encourage and nurture others to a deeper faith in Christ through preaching, teaching, coaching and pastoral presence. He graduated with a master of divinity degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2005. He also has master and bachelor degrees in literature from the University of Florida, where he focused on southern literature. Ulasewich served as solo pastor of The First Presbyterian Church of Apopka, Fla,, from 2006 to 2014 and was a resident CPE Chaplain at Tampa General Hospital before that. Most recently, he served as an English teacher at Lake Minneola High School, near Clermont, Fla. He has been married to his wife, Selena, since 1999 and they have three children: Rebekah, Glendon and Lena. He enjoys reading, listening to music and being outside and is an avid runner and cyclist. The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development. More than 25 pastors have participated in the program since it was established.
The Rev. Jessica Dixon, interim associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Norman, Okla., will visit University of the Ozarks during the week of Oct. 1 as a visiting pastor in the University’s Pastoral Study Leave Program.
She will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Dixon studied at St. John's College in Santa Fe, N.M., earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. She then went on to earn a master of divinity degree at the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Ordained in the PC (USA) in 2015, Dixon has served as an interim pastor in Chicago and Oklahoma. She enjoys science fiction, comic con, TV and movies, knitting, food from all cultures, art, reading, social justice and people.
The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development.
More than 25 pastors have participated in the program since it was established.The Rev. Lisa Reece, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, in Bonham, Texas, will visit University of the Ozarks during the week of Sept. 24 as a visiting pastor in the University’s Pastoral Study Leave Program. She will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Reece has served at First Presbyterian Church in Bonham since Oct. 1, 2017. Before that, she spent 28 years serving as a Christian educator in seven PCUSA churches throughout Grace Presbytery in Texas. She also was a chaplain in the Baylor Scott & White Healthcare System in Dallas for three years. Reece is a PCUSA-certified Christian educator and has served as a ruling elder. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Texas Tech University and a master of divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She was ordained as a PCUSA teaching elder, minister of word and sacrament, on Oct. 8, 2017. She and her husband, Jerry, have two adult children, Marshall and Michelle. She enjoys knitting prayer shawls, making jewelry, reading, movies, and relaxing on her screened-in porch with her dogs. The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development. Reece is the 24th visiting pastor to take part in the program.