The Rev. Khristi Adams will become The Hill School’s Firestone Endowment Chaplain with the start of the 2018-19 academic year. In addition to her role as Chaplain, the Rev. Adams will serve as an instructor of religious studies and philosophy.
The Rev. Adams will succeed the Rev. Dr. John Houghton, Dean of the Alumni Chapel, upon his retirement in June after 10 years of devoted service to Hill’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as to the greater Pottstown community.
A Ph.D. student in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University, the Rev. Adams earned her B.A. at Temple University and, in 2008, her M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary. The Rev. Adams previously worked as a chaplain and campus pastor at both Georgetown University and Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) and currently serves as a program administrator for the Center for Black Church Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary; a counselor for adolescents and young adults at the Christian Wellness Center of New Jersey, and as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (Somerset, N.J.).
Along with acquiring accolades for compelling preaching, she has extensive experience in providing students with pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance; organizing student life programs, conferences, and service opportunities; partnering with community groups; and using mediums including the dramatic arts and film to teach and engage a variety of audiences. She is a published author and a regular contributor to national news outlets, and one of her short documentary projects, Chivalry is Dead, won Best Directorial Debut of a Documentary at the New York International Film Festival, among other honors.
The Rev. Adams shared her excitement at joining The Hill, noting that she found herself drawn to “Hill’s endearing sense of community among the students, faculty, and staff.”
"I am optimistic about the School’s direction,” she added, “as The Hill wants to be a model for nurturing students and encouraging them to become change agents in a society that desperately needs such leadership."
“During her visit to Hill, Reverend Adams made excellent connections with our students,” said Associate Headmaster Len Miller, noting that her selection follows an exhaustive search process led by a committee including Miller; Assistant Headmaster for Student Life Jennifer Lagor; Director of Information and Technology Services David Allain and adviser to Hill’s Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools (FOCUS) group; Modern Languages Department Chair Yassine Benzinane; Amy Wolf P ’19; and Amelia Sniffin ’19. The committee was assisted by the Rev. George Andrews II of G.E. Andrews & Associates, consultants who specialize in chaplaincy searches and placements.
“Everything we learned about her in person and through speaking with her former colleagues reinforced our highly positive impressions of her spiritual leadership, empathy, authenticity, and emotional intelligence – especially in her work with young people,” Miller continued. “She is passionate about empowering youths to respond to timely cultural and social justice-related concerns.”
The Rev. Kermit Moss, interim director of the Center for Black Church Studies, describes the Rev. Adams as “a leader of leaders.” Moss said her work highlighted her skill in training students to be leaders within their individual communities, a sentiment echoed by other references. Other former colleagues observed that the Rev. Adams is at her best in environments that are both theologically and socio-economically diverse.
“We are absolutely confident that Reverend Adams will be an inspirational and devoted Chaplain for our students,” said Headmaster Zack Lehman. “She will be a very welcome addition to our faculty and the entire Hill community.”