Campus Minister

 Rev. Rachel Penmore

Rachel Penmore is from Jacksonville, Florida but loves calling Tennessee home! She grew up in the Presbyterian Church, and spent every summer working at camp and conference centers. She received her B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Queens University in Charlotte, NC and her M.Div from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA.

Rachel has served in many different ministry contexts including Yellowstone National Park, Travis Air Force Base, hospital chaplaincy, and traditional parish ministry. Rachel is married to John, an elementary school teacher, and they have a beautiful daughter named Faye. Rachel and her family love any chance to be out in God’s creation, hiking, climbing, kayaking and throwing the Frisbee for their dog, Frank.

Rachel feels called to live her life welcoming others into this messy beautiful journey of faith. She hopes to create spaces where we can explore how God is moving in this world, and the challenging, hopeful, and grace filled ways we are called to be Christ’s body in the world.

Communications Coordinator

 Jaclyn Beeler

Jaclyn Beeler is a native of Smyrna, Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Bachelor of Science in Christian Leadership and Ministry from Williamson College. Jaclyn is a lifelong Presbyterian, she grew up attending First Presbyterian Church of Smyrna in Middle Tennessee. She was the Director of Youth Ministries there for three years after graduating from WC.

Jaclyn currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. Upon her arrival to Knoxville she began working at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville, TN where she was the Children’s Ministries Coordinator for three years. She and her wife, Katherine, are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Knoxville.

Jaclyn has been a part of the community here at UKirk since moving to Knoxville in 2014 and considers this place and the people in it, past and present, family. She has a passion for this ministry, sharing it with others and helping it make its mark on campus.

Student Interns for 2021 – 2022

Seth Reynolds, Carolyn Gahan, and Nolan Ragland

Each year we have three student interns; Missions, Hospitality and Worship. The Missions Intern oversees UGrow, our community garden, and plans other mission opportunities for the students. The Hospitality Intern works directly with the Communications Coordinator and helps to oversee UPerk, our coffee shop, planning events, keeping it clean and fully stocked and making sure everyone feels welcome and right at home. Our Worship Intern works directly with our Campus Minister, writing liturgy as well as planning and playing music for worship. These three interns also serve as the officers to our Student Leadership Board, planning events for students and making sure all students voices are heard.

The Board of Directors for 2021-2022 

UKirk, the Presbyterian Campus Ministry is governed by a Board of Directors (instead of a Session, as in a PC(USA) church). The Board of Directors, along with the pastor/director meet once every month, either as a full board or in committee. The Board of Directors is made up of pastors and lay persons from Knoxville, Maryville, and Oak Ridge PC(USA) churches who feel called to serve on the college campus.

Being a mission of the Presbytery of East Tennessee means that UKirk UTK is the college ministry of each of the churches in the PET. We count on the support of each of the churches in the PET to reach out to college students and further the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on the UT campus.

Emily Sweetland
Chairperson
Farragut Presbyterian Church

Penny Tschantz
Vice Chairperson

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Melinda Kelley
Treasurer
Lake Forest Presbyterian Church

Rachel Patton-McCord
Academic Advisor
First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville

Sue Clark
New Providence Presbyterian Church

William Owen
Second Presbyterian Church, Knoxville

Rev. Mark Curtis
First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville

Rev. Matthew Benz-Whittington
Highland Presbyterian Church

Don Grogan
Fountain City Presbyterian Church, Knoxville

Brian Child
Lake Hills Presbyterian Church

Jennifer Gahan
Erin Presbyterian Church

Seth Reynolds
Intern Representative

Ella Hunter
Student Representative

Nolan Ragland
Resident Representative