Alumnus returns to campus to lead Thiel College’s religious and spiritual life programs

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College’s new campus pastor Brian Riddle ’07 is focused on new initiatives and goals for the religious and spiritual life at the College.

Riddle followed an unconventional path back to his alma mater and comes to the College from St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cambridge Springs, Pa. Riddle attended culinary school in Scottsdale, Ariz., but after feeling a call to ministry, he returned to his home state of Pennsylvania to attend Thiel College in 2004. Upon graduation, he went to Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus, Ohio) and earned a Masters in Divinity in 2012. Riddle served through parish work until his return to Thiel this fall. 

“Thiel provides a home, direction, and purpose,” said Riddle.

As campus pastor, Riddle oversees campus worship, advises campus ministry groups, provides pastoral care to members of the Thiel community and facilitates spiritual growth. He also offers support in the College’s effort to identify, attract and enroll Lutheran students. Likewise, he nurtures relationships with congregations in Greenville and the surrounding areas. Riddle will also teach in the Department of Religion.

Riddle said he wants to explain and strengthen Thiel’s connection as a Lutheran College and discuss vocation. Riddle has been working with Clarissa Arbuckle ’11 and the Career Development Center to intentionally talk about career and life balance—the intersection of meaning and purpose.

There are three chapel services each week: a traditional Lutheran service at 4 p.m. Sunday, a nondenominational service during Community Hour at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday and an interfaith prayer service at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“Chapel is my laboratory and the students’ laboratory… We aren’t going to do the same thing every week,” Riddle said.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 25 varsity sports, and a 10:1 student-faculty ratio to more than 900 students. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation as it celebrates 150 years.