Rev. Tiffany Steinwert begins tenure as sixth dean of Hendricks Chapel
The Rev. Tiffany Steinwert begins her tenure as the sixth dean of Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel on March 1, and she is eagerly looking forward to becoming better acquainted with the members of the SU and greater Syracuse communities.
Steinwert, an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, was named dean of Hendricks Chapel in December, following a nationwide search. She succeeds Thomas V. Wolfe, who was appointed senior vice president and dean of SU’s Division of Student Affairs in June 2008. Steinwert is the first female dean in the chapel’s 80-year history.
Her first priority, Steinwert says, is to build on the relationships she started to make during her visits to campus over the past three months. “I have met some truly wonderful people during the time I have spent in Syracuse, and I am really looking forward to deepening those relationships,” she says.
Even though she is new to the SU campus, Steinwert’s new role has a sense of familiarity. She has always combined her work with higher education and community organizing. “I have never left the university setting—for me, there has always been a seamless connection between practice and scholarship,” she says.
She has been a teaching fellow at Boston and Harvard universities, and has lectured and led courses on various topics, including moral leadership, community organizing and practical theology. A graduate of Williams College and Boston University, Steinwert holds degrees in psychology, women’s studies, divinity and practical theology.
Steinwert sees the chapel as the center of campus life— an anchor for students and a place where outreach to the broader community happens. “The university is a community constantly in flux, with students moving through life’s transitions,” Steinwert says. “Hendricks is a place to help students connect with something larger than themselves and to help them to answer life’s big questions.”
Steinwert plans to use reverse hospitality—visiting members of the SU community in their offices and other campus locations—to further familiarize herself with the University. She also plans to reserve an afternoon on her schedule each week to meet with students. Steinwert encourages students, faculty and staff who are interested in meeting with her to contact the Hendricks Chapel Dean’s Office to arrange an appointment.
With her extensive experience in community organizing, Steinwert is also anxious to explore creative ways the chapel can work with the greater Syracuse community, building upon the University’s Scholarship in Action vision. During her recent visits to Syracuse, Steinwert also began conversations with local faith-based leaders to explore possible collaborations.
Steinwert most recently served as a senior pastor with Cambridge Welcoming Ministries in Massachusetts. There, she worked closely with different faith groups to foster dialogue and build understanding. Steinwert has worked in rural Nicaragua and has extensive experience engaging communities of faith in projects that address issues such as urban renewal, global poverty, racism and discrimination against LGBT persons.
Steinwert and her husband, Joshua Arrowood, are the parents of an 8-month-old son, Grady Steinwert-Arrowood.