Northwestern names interim dean of spiritual formation

Dr. Susan Heeren Reese, a faculty associate at Bethel Seminary and North American Baptist Seminary, has been named interim dean of spiritual formation and vocation and director of the Lilly Grant at Northwestern College. She will begin her new position Aug. 1.

“Dr. Reese comes with administrative experience, a heart for Christian ministry, and a vision for how students learn and grow,” says Dr. Bruce Murphy, Northwestern’s president. “She cares for people and ideas. She also is familiar with Northwestern, having served as a consultant for our leadership development programs.

“Susan’s own vocational journey will enable her to guide our campus well in the pursuit of the initiatives of the Lilly Grant,” says President Murphy. “She will be a helpful model and mentor to female students. Because of her experience with Northwestern, she will be able to move beyond administrative maintenance to genuine leadership.”

Reese’s career in higher education began in the admissions office at the University of Sioux Falls, where she served for nine years, the last five as director. She also worked as a resident director at Biola University, instructor of educational ministries/student services at North American Baptist Seminary and associate dean of residence life at Bethel College.

“I have a great respect for the people of Northwestern College,” says Reese, a resident of Hartford, S.D. “I have worked with several Northwestern graduates, and I have been impressed by their desire to learn and their commitment to serve God. The Center for Spiritual Formation and Vocation at NWC offers a unique opportunity for students to integrate their academic and personal learning with their spiritual growth and life calling. I am thankful for the current department leadership and the expertise and compassion they bring to their areas.”

Reese says she seeks to engage students in understanding God’s direction for their lives. “I hope to continue designing learning environments that enable students to be transformed into discipled leaders. I am thankful for the resources that are available to continue educating the campus in what it means to listen to the movement of God and to surrender our lives to God’s purposes.”

A frequent speaker at conferences and retreats on such topics as leadership and mentoring, Reese earned a doctorate in adult and higher education at the University of South Dakota, a master’s degree in counseling from North American Baptist Seminary and a bachelor’s in religious studies.

Reese replaces Dr. Keith Anderson, who became the senior vice president of academic affairs and academic dean at Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle in July.