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Foundation names new Presbyterian pastor for WVU

Recent seminary graduate begins duties Wednesday

 Samantha Lowery Coggins, a recent graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, was  named the latest Presbyterian campus pastor at West Virginia University.

“We are thrilled that Samantha has accepted our call to this important work in Morgantown, and indeed the state,” said Tina Vial, president of the Westminster Foundation, which provides full-time Presbyterian campus ministry at WVU and Marshall.

“Our search was a long one, but we have no doubt that Samantha is the person God has chosen to lead this ministry,” Vial said.

Coggins, a native of Fredericksburg, Va., where she attended First Presbyterian Church, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English language and literature from the University of Virginia, a Master of Arts in arts journalism from Syracuse University and a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

She will begin her duties Wednesday.

“As 2021 begins, I’m moved by the opportunity to walk alongside students and those in the WVU community spiritually, as a Presbyterian pastor,” Coggins said. “While we continue dealing with our context of coronavirus, and ponder what it means to do so as people of faith, I’m eager to begin forging strong connections with students and pastor colleagues in Morgantown.” 

Coggins will be ordained as a minister of Word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.) at a time to be set later. 

She and her husband, Joel, are expecting their first child in February.

Westminster Foundation also supports other campus ministries at Shepherd University, West Liberty University, Fairmont State University, West Virginia Institute of Technology, Concord University and Glenville State College, as well as a collaborative relationship with Davis & Elkins College, the only Presbyterian-affiliated college in the state.

For more than a century, the foundation has provided or supported faith communities for college and university students on or near campuses in West Virginia; helped congregations fulfill their baptismal covenant with college and university students; and given witness on campuses to the Christian faith grounded in the Reformed tradition, while respecting and building ecumenical and interfaith relationships.

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