Rev. Dr. Ken J. Walden says he wants to increase community involvement and international mission trips to Claflin University’s rich religious tradition as the institution’s new university chaplain.
“I see my role here as giving spiritual and intellectual advice to the Claflin University family,” Walden said. “We desire to create a space where a dynamic religious experience can occur and thrive while developing partners in ministry worldwide.”
Walden will also serve as an assistant professor of philosophy and religion. Prior to Claflin, he was the first African-American senior pastor of Lakewood First United Methodist Church in the Los Angeles area. He also pastored at Wilshire United Methodist Church between Hollywood and Beverly Hills. In addition, Walden is a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserves attached to Joint Bolling Anacostia Base in Washington, D.C.
His primary goals are to create an exciting worship experience, boost community involvement at the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel and developing worldwide partnerships.
“We are very pleased to have Rev. Walden join the Claflin family,” said Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of the University. “He is experienced in The United Methodist Church tradition and he certainly will be an asset in our efforts to sustain and enhance the spiritual life of the University.”
Walden really wants to implement a program where Claflin faculty, staff, students and alumni embark annually on mission trips. He is already in the process of attempting to set up one in Haiti, where Walden has done mission work in the past. “I want these noble missions to not only allow Claflin to contribute globally but provided our students with an exceptional learning experience,” he said.
Although Walden was born in Brooklyn, New York, he spent most of his childhood living in Dorchester County, S.C.
Walden has a Ph.D. in practical theology from the Claremont School of Theology and Doctor of Ministry degree in ecumenical ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana. He also received a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University, where he met his wife, Michelle. Walden received his bachelor's degree in social sciences in The Citadel Walden has also studied internationally at the Centro Pro Unione in Rome and Oxford University in England.