News Release


Nurturing a sense of community is one of the aspects of his role as Trinity’s chaplain that Rev. Tim Hoekstra will miss most as he steps down from the position he has held for the past seven years. Nurturing community is also the calling that drives him as he seeks God’s guidance along new paths and continues his work as pastor of Suburban Life Community Church in Darien, Illinois.

A mission of the church, which Hoekstra helped plant in 1991, is to form partnerships with urban churches and become involved in city ministry. Hoekstra and his wife Laura, who has worked as a substitute teacher and tutor in Chicago, will be moving with two of their three children from their home in Bolingbrook, Illinois, to Chicago, in order to be more involved with inner city ministry.

“God drew us to African American congregations, and we have benefited so much from walking with them,” said Hoekstra. “Over ten years we have built strong partnerships with three churches and focused on their ministries.”

This passion for building community and forming relationships in order to help others has also been crucial in Hoekstra’s work with Trinity students—as director of church education and as chaplain.

“I try to build community in my classroom,” he said. “I want students to see that we are all co-learners who teach each other.”

Outside of the classroom, Hoekstra has provided students with counsel and mentoring. He visited with an average of five to 10 students each day, some experiencing crisis and others seeking direction.

“I have been blessed by the quality of the relationships I’ve formed with students, as I’ve walked alongside them in the furthering of their spiritual development.”

When asked what kind of person he would like to see take his place, Hoekstra answered that he hopes the next chaplain will encourage student leadership in Campus Ministries and will act as an advocate for the students.

“The role of chaplain has not been about me,” he said, “but about my empowering student leadership.”

Trinity President Steven Timmermans echoed Hoekstra’s words.

“In watching Rev. Hoekstra carry out his calling as chaplain,” said Timmermans, “I’ve appreciated his ability to develop and empower students to move forward in their leadership development, especially in the area of ministry.”

Hoekstra said that his time at Trinity has blessed him with wonderful relationships with students, faculty and staff. As much as he has had to give in his roles as chaplain and educator, he said he has received far more in return.

Hoekstra was born in Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree in speech communication and social psychology from Calvin College and his master’s of divinity degree from Calvin Theological Seminary.

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