Dr. Cheryl Rude

Dr. Cheryl Rude

Dr. Cheryl Rude will join the administrative team of the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship on July 1, 2023, transitioning from a distinguished academic career that has made her a national leader in service learning studies.

Rude will become the Institute’s director of campus programming and operations following her retirement from the Southwestern College faculty at the conclusion of this academic year. She joined the college in 1991, and was professor of leadership studies and academic director of leadership. Leadership Southwestern, a service learning curricular activity developed under Rude’s guidance, was named the top leadership program in the nation in 1997.

Dr. Steve Wilke, executive director of the Institute for Discipleship, announced Rude’s appointment.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Rude join our Institute leadership team,” Wilke says. “Cheryl is a proven outstanding administrator and has a wonderful grasp of the ministry-related programs in which the Institute partners with Southwestern College.”

In her new position Rude will coordinate the Institute’s on-campus programs, serving as liaison with campus personnel and alumni groups. This will include oversight of the Visiting Scholars, Bishops Scholars, Summit Youth Academy, Builders in Ministry, and Bridges to the Future conference. She also will work with college faculty and staff in areas of collaboration, as well as supporting church relations efforts with the United Methodist Church and its clergy,

“Joining the Institute team is an ideal fit for my interests and abilities,” Rude says. “I’ve deeply appreciated and enjoyed my years at Southwestern and see that work as foundational to my new role in helping the Institute toward its goal of building disciples and strengthening ministries.”

A graduate of the University of Kansas, Rude earned her Ph.D. in leadership education from Union Institute and University. She received top teaching and leadership awards at Southwestern, including the United Methodist Exemplary Educator, the Kopke Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Student Government Faculty Member of the Year Award. She also was the Kansas Campus Compact Community Engagement Professional of the Year.

She was co-editor for ‘Disciple Bible Study for Youth,’ which is used worldwide as part of the ‘Disciple Bible Study’ series.