Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Former OU-C student the Rev. Joseph Barker to deliver keynote address at Recognition of Graduation event

The Rev. Joseph Ryan Barker, a former Chillicothe Campus student, will deliver the keynote address at Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Recognition of Graduation event at 7:30 p.m. on April 29 in the Shoemaker Center on campus. The event, which is free and open to the public, honors Chillicothe Campus students who have earned their associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University during the 2015-16 academic year.

A pinning ceremony for graduates of OU-C’s nursing program will be held at 6 p.m. on April 28 in the Shoemaker Center. Formal commencement activities are held on the Athens campus.

Barker is currently resident pastor at Peace United Methodist Church in Pickerington, Ohio.

A graduate of Southeastern High School, Barker attended OU-C and earned a bachelor’s of specialized studies degree in psychology and political science in 2006. He then served as a teaching assistant on campus while earning his master’s degree in higher education from Ohio University. While a teaching assistant, he helped to develop a peer mentoring program on campus.

“My undergraduate experience at OU-C was nothing short of fantastic, as I found the room to explore my interests and questions within the framework of dedicated and authentic faculty and staff members,” Barker said. “Being someone who was naturally inquisitive and curious, OU-C gave me the space to seek my academic passions. The encouragement I received from my professors, as well as the genuine approach to learning beyond gaining knowledge for knowledge’s sake, were just a few of the things that originally drew me to OU-C.”

Barker pursued his seminary education at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and served three rural churches in southern Ohio while completing his theological studies. He was appointed to his current position in 2013.

Barker, an advocate of justice and non-violence, has led cultural immersion trips to the Middle East for seminary students and others interested in increasing their understanding of the intersection between the past and present.

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