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Meet Chaplain Robinson 

Baccalaureate 2008Ron Robinson is Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and Professor of Religion at Wofford College. Previously, he served Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte for 15 years.  He has also been a campus minister at Duke University. His writings include two books that connect servant leadership with the spiritual life. 

A 1978 Wofford graduate, Robinson earned two postgraduate degrees from Duke University, an M.Div. and Th.M.  He earned the doctor of ministry degree (D.Min.) at Southern Methodist University and also received a certificate in church management from the Babcock School of Management at Wake Forest University.  He has done graduate study in folklore at UNC-CH, and spent a summer in an Oxbridge program (Oxford and Cambridge Universities) studying theology, fiction and physics. He received Charlotte’s Keeper of the Dream Award for his leadership in race relations.  He was a recipient of the Communicator of The Year Award in Western North Carolina.  His interests include popular film and music, sports, travel, fly-fishing, and swapping stories. 

As chaplain, Robinson, known to many as "Rev. Ron," leads several types of religious services, including services that utilize music, film and art.  He presents weekly homilies and offers pastoral care, spiritual direction, service opportunities and vocational exploration for the Wofford community.  In addition to offering a pastoral presence to the campus, Dr. Robinson directs the Center for Global and Community Engagement, teaches classes, and is a member of the President's Cabinet.

Dr. Robinson's research interests include religion in the American South and spirituality in higher education.  He received a Templeton Foundation Grant enabling Wofford to participate in UCLA Study on Spirituality in Higher Education.  He has participated in the Conference on College Student Values at Florida State University and is the College’s representative to the Lilly Fellows. He serves on the Ministry Fellows National Selection Committee for the Fund for Theological Education.  He has reviewed A Way of Life in the World: Spiritual Practices for United Methodists for Abingdon Press, Sermons from A Great Towering Church for Duke University Press, and Touchdown Jesus: The Mixing of Sacred and Secular in American History, Blood Done Sign My Name and Credo, all for Circuit Rider.  He is the organizer of South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light, an inter-faith group that addresses environmental issues. He recently led the college's participation in the Teagle Foundation's Reconceiving the Secular program sessions at Wofford and Vassar, and is currently involved in a Teagle Foundation assessment grant in which Wofford College and Elon University are partnering.  He directs the college's work with the President's Interfaith Service Challenge and Interfaith Youth Core's Better Together program. 

Robinson delivered the keynote address, “Four Factors Influencing Faith Formation on Campus: Cohorts, Religious Preferences, Spiritual Sensibilities and Marketing” for the United Methodist gathering of the National Association of College and University Chaplains.   He delivered a lecture on “Positive Psychology and Spiritual Formation” at the International Association of Chaplains in Higher Education in Tampere, Finland.  He presented "Social Service or Social Change?" at the National Association of College and University Chaplains  2011 conference.  He will keynote the United Methodist Higher Education Institute in Santa Fe, and will speak on "Church, Campus and Community: Partners in Sustainability." He has recently lectured, preached and led events in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arizona and New York.  He was the Staley Distinguished Christian Lecturer at Union College in Kentucky. He is the annual baccalaureate speaker at Wofford, and recently delivered the baccalaureate address at Huntingdon College.

Robinson has led students on trips to China, Botswana and Namibia, Mexico, the Bahamas, and England as well as to numerous domestic locations. An activist who is involved with issues related to poverty, the environment and justice, he annually leads students on the Alternative Spring Break, and recently participated in a Borderlinks Project on the US-Mexico border.  Following his own expedition to Antarctica, he was the faculty sponsor of two students who completed an Antarctic expedition with National Geographic.

Robinson says his greatest joy in life is helping students discover their talents and strengths.  He is known throughout the Wofford community for his ability to connect students with meaningful experiences that help them discover their calling in life.  He articulates the Christian faith in a welcoming and credible manner within an increasingly diverse environment. He offers counseling and coaching for individual students and faculty and leads workshops for small groups.  

Chaplain Robinson's personal website: http://sites.wofford.edu/robinsonrr/