My name is Viki Brooks. I am the Campus Protestant Minister at Union College and the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life. I come to this ministry by way of a complex spiritual path.
I was less than eight years old when I was seized by the strong sense of divine presence while standing between two ancient trees in my childhood neighborhood. I felt as one who was loved and cherished to the very core of my being. It was this experience that I have spent my life understanding, assimilating and living into.
That childhood home was in a suburb of Cleveland. My search to understand this claim on my life took me to many communities of faith, until as a ninth grader, I concluded that God's best revelation to the culture in which I was being raised was in Jesus Christ. I spent most of my high school years trying to find a congregation where scripture study was held in equal regard with issues of social justice. I made my confirmation of faith in Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wooster, OH, while attending the College of Wooster, where I majored in Psychology and minored in Religion. I was part of a small group of students who met with our pastor weekly to share our faith and our doubts.
God's call for me to serve in the ordained ministry involved a slow process of exploring several post-college options, including social work with teenagers and community arbitration. In 1985, I graduated with a Masters of Divinity from McCormick Seminary in Chicago and was ordained in October of that year by the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois.
After serving a multiple staff congregation in Illinois for five years, I moved to Schenectady, where I have spent a few years beginning a family and volunteering time to the Presbytery. During that time, I facilitated the resettlement of 40 Ukrainian refugees and worked toward strengthening the peacemaking efforts of area congregations. I have contributed to several Presbyterian Peacemaking publications including Advent devotionals and a publication for use by congregations in conflict. I have served 8 churches in this area as mission consultant and interim pastor.
I was called to serve as Campus Protestant Minister at Union College in the fall of 1998. In 2003, I was appointed Interfaith Chaplain, and in 2009, after receiving my DMin from Hartford Seminary, I was appointed Director of Religious and Spiritual Life. This is by far the most invigorating and challenging ministry I have ever had the pleasure of doing. I really enjoy talking with students, faculty, staff and administration about matters of the spirit or matters of their lives.
I look forward to meeting you.