The 2021-22 school year has brought about many changes—especially new faculty and staff members. Among them is AU alumnus Josh Tandy, who has assumed the long-vacant position of campus pastor.
Tandy graduated from AU in 2006 with a degree in Bible and religion. After graduating, he worked in youth ministry at a small church in Illinois. He came back to Central Indiana and worked at a church in Noblesville, then planted a church in Newport, Ky.
After nearly a decade, Tandy made the decision to apply for the campus pastor opening at his alma mater and leave the church he planted.
“I think 2020 exposed a lot of things in society…it kind of accelerated timelines and accelerated changes and transitions,” Tandy explained. “One of the things exposed in me was that how I was leading as a functional solo pastor and doing a lot of different things wasn’t the best for me or the church.”
Tandy continued, explaining that he was excited to hear about the opening at AU because of the opportunity to work closely with students.
“I think, ‘Can I be somebody who walks with a student as they are processing and making their faith their own? Can I help point them back to Jesus?’” Tandy continued, stating that “one of the things that was exposed in the church in 2020 was that we need Generation Z.”
As campus pastor, Tandy is largely responsible for Chapel.
“I will speak three to five times a semester and then I do all the scheduling—I will bring the speakers in,” Tandy said. “I think there should be at least one Chapel, at least once a semester…that kind of rattles your cage a little bit. It’s challenging, and I think that’s good.”
Tandy is also a member of student life staff and is responsible for pastoral care. “I’m here to support, encourage and build relationships,” he said. “I’m here to respond when there’s need.”
Tandy explained that one of his first main goals is to focus on the gospel, asking questions important to him in his life and leadership.
“How am I speaking the truth of the gospel, speaking the truth of grace and love and speaking the truth that Jesus is the full expression of God on earth?”
Tandy went on to explain how he measures success and what he values most as a campus pastor.
“I’ve got to build relationships with people who have different experiences and backgrounds,” he said. “I don’t have any hard and fast goals like boosting Chapel attendance…that’s not how I’m measuring success.” He went on to explain that one of the ways he wants to measure success is “if at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday I walk across the valley, and it takes me a long time to get across, that is a marker of success—if you know a number of names.”
He concluded with his hopes in his new position.
“I’d love to connect with students, I’d love to find ways to serve them,” he said. “I hope no one ever feels like I’m too far removed.”