Huntington, Ind.—Bill Fisher, Huntington University’s campus pastor and dean of Christian faith and life, is the 2007 recipient of the Dana Walling Award for Excellence in Campus Ministry.
The award was presented to Fisher by the Rev. Rod Reed, dean of the chapel at Fresno Pacific University and chairman of the Campus Ministries Commission for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, at the Campus Ministries Conference held in San Diego, Calif., Feb. 22-24. This is the fourth award given out since 2004.
Fisher feels privileged to be among the men and women serving at campuses across the country.
“To be honored by them,” Fisher said, “some having served in their positions for up to 40 years is not only surprising, but quite humbling.”
Although he expressed the difficulty in taking recognition of any kind, Fisher found a special significance in this particular honor.
“What makes it meaningful to me is that the person whom the award is named after, Dana Walling, was a friend of mine,” Fisher said. “He was a down-to-earth kind of guy who loved God, loved college students, and sought effective ways to bring the two together. If I can be viewed in that kind of light, I’m very happy.”
Walling was a member of the Commission for Campus Ministry Directors and made a great impression on all the campus ministers who knew him, said Richard Gathro, executive vice president of the CCCU. He also served many years as the campus ministry head at Point Loma Nazarene University in California.
“His death was very hard on the whole CCCU campus ministry movement,” Gathro said, “but his testimony in dying changed lives, and the commission wants his memory perpetuated for the young men and women who are joining the ranks of this profession.”
Fisher, who has served at Huntington University since 1993, founded the Commission for Campus Ministry Directors in the mid-1990s and served as chairman for two years.
While in this position, Fisher dealt with issues such as trends in student dynamics, spiritual development of college students and new challenges to Christian higher education. Fisher served as a member of the commission for six years.
Fisher earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, S.D., and a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. He has done post-graduate work at Oxford University in Oxford, England, and Western Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Ore.