Rev. Kara Baylor called to be campus pastor
Carthage has hired the Rev. Kara Baylor, who has more than 20 years of experience in youth ministry, as its new campus pastor. She is scheduled to begin Jan. 7.
Rev. Baylor has been associate pastor at Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church in nearby Racine, Wis., since 2000. There, she focused largely on confirmation, high school, and social justice ministries. Before that, she worked for four years with congregations in Minnesota and North Dakota.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as campus pastor at Carthage and to walk with the students on their journey of faith,” she said. “During my time on campus, I was very impressed by the students’ desire to create a community of faith across denomination and religion lines. It is truly an honor to answer God’s call to serve in this way.”
In her new role, Rev. Baylor will provide direction for campus ministry, work with the Office of Student Life to develop spiritual programs and service activities, and assist with crisis intervention and grief support. She will report to President Gregory Woodward.
“I am so pleased that Pastor Baylor will become a member of the Carthage family. She and I have had several far-ranging conversations about the nature of a Lutheran education, the value and presence of religious education and spiritual experience on campus, and on the many ways that her full-time engagement with us can benefit the entire College community,” President Woodward said. “Her warm and fun personality and deeply felt spiritual calling will bring so much to our College, and on a daily basis.”
Carthage leaders selected Rev. Baylor after a nationwide search. She succeeds the Rev. Ross H. Larson, who is retiring from his second stint as dean of A. F. Siebert Chapel. He will continue to teach courses in the spring semester and will assist Rev. Baylor during the transition.
“Pastor Baylor impressed all of us with her genuine love of our students and her commitment to Lutheran higher education,” said Paul Hegland, executive director of church and professional relations. “The search committee was firmly convinced that she felt called to serve as pastor to this community. As we observed her interacting with students, faculty, and staff, we knew that she was the right person to call to Carthage.”
Originally from Chippewa Falls, Wis., Rev. Baylor has a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Her husband, Trenton, is a tenured faculty member in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. They have two daughters: Thea, 9, and Tova, 6.