Tucked away in the back of the Ehinger Center, the new Drew University Chaplain Taylor Bean has a barren office. However, it is certainly not a reflection of her vibrant and enthusiastic personality. Bean has big plans for the future with her new position. Growing up in Hartsville, Alabama, her father was a minister and her mother played the organ in the church she attended. Faith has always been a huge part of her life. Bean pursued an undergraduate degree at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. After obtaining her degree in Music and Worship Leadership, she pursued her masters in Divinity at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, which she graduated from in 2017.
Bean served at a small church in southern Alabama before making Drew her home. Although Bean enjoyed the fellowship there, she wanted to have a more unique experience in her ministry and immerse herself in a more diverse community. For Bean, Drew University was the perfect place for her to flourish, considering her passion is working with students and developing a deep and personal ministry.
The chaplain position has been vacant for two years, and Bean is excited to bring passion and life to her new job. She hopes to revamp the religious life council and get students represented from every faith tradition. She stresses inter-faith dialogue, saying, “Now, in a time where there is such turmoil going on, all of humanity is looking for connection and community and some hope.” She wants a place where students from all walks of life can openly discuss their faith, traditions, worldviews and different points-of-view on social issues.
Before pursuing her big plans, Bean is taking the time this semester to connect with students. Since she is relatively young, Bean is very familiar with modern college student struggles. She invites all students from all faith traditions, as well as students with no faith traditions, to visit her office in the Ehinger Center. “If things are hard, whether you’re a person of faith like my own or a person of no faith, you’re totally welcome to come into my office and just talk and let it out. That’s what I’m here for,” said Bean.
Additionally, Drew’s new chaplain leads worship at the Madison United Methodist Church on the corner of campus at 5 p.m. every Sunday night. If you are unable to make it to that, Bean is available to just get coffee or her favorite food: pizza.