Growing up marginally involved in church, I never knew the world of school chaplaincy existed. Even after coming to faith and working for a decade in youth and college ministry, I only knew Episcopal schools existed. I did not know what went on within them. But while working as a Diocesan College Missioner, a dear mentor who was a school chaplain showed me around her school. A few months later a family at the large Dallas Parish where I served came up to me after service and said “We happen to know of a school in San Antonio that is looking for a chaplain, and we think you would be a great fit. Would you consider applying?” I bought a pair of black cowboy boots and took the trip down I-35, and the rest, as they say, is history. I spent the next 11 years falling in love with school chaplaincy at TMI Episcopal. It utilized my favorite skills and passions: Preaching regularly to a lively crowd; Teaching college prep religion and philosophy; Pastoral care with teens and families; Lunchroom conversations with talented faculty; Creating liturgies that connect Episcopal tradition with lived experience; Developing school systems to shape and nurture the whole child: Physically, spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. But after 11 years as a “lone ranger” chaplain in San Antonio, the same mentor who showed me her school 12 years earlier called to tell me she was retiring, and asked if I would be willing to apply to become the senior chaplain at the Episcopal School of Dallas. I bought another pair of black cowboy boots and drove back up I-35. That opened the door to join the amazing team here at ESD, and allowed me to build an amazing chaplaincy team so I am no longer a “lone ranger”!
The Rev. Nathan L. Bostian is Senior Chaplain at The Episcopal School of Dallas.