Bryan Rouanzoin, Associate Pastor of the Spiritual Formation Department (SFD), has decided to resign from his full-time position and enter into a part-time transitional period after six years of working for Vanguard.
Although he will no longer work in the same role students have previously seen him in, Rouanzoin will stay in a transitional period until December. Then SFD will reassess his position and consider whether a replacement can be found to fill his role. The length of the transition will be determined by their conclusions.
SFD is addressing the possibility of having the vacancy filled by January 2019 in time for the spring semester. They will be looking to hire an Associate Pastor to focus on worship culture, the various aspects of chapel production, and the mentoring of worship interns within the department, according to Michael Whitford, Associate Dean of SFD and the university pastor.
SFD has been faced with several changes over the last few months—specifically with the creation of Jon Allbaugh’s new position as Dean of Missional Effectiveness and the subsequent addition of Whitford to the staff this March. Despite these changes, the department has not undergone additional stress, according to Whitford.
The departure was first announced to students during the SFD retreat before the semester began. After a year of deliberating, Rouanzoin decided now was the time to make a move.
“My wife and I felt a leading away saying that it was really time for us to take some steps towards what might be next for us. It felt like the right time for us with Michael [Whitford] coming in and it gave me that cover to make the decision,” Rouanzoin said.
However, being called away did not come as a shock for Rouanzoin, who always understood his time at Vanguard would only be for a season. He explained the fast pace of the position and high demand on his time meant this would not be a lifetime role.
Rouanzoin does not plan to step into one full-time position right away. He will spend his time partnering with both local churches and national movements as he explores opportunities to provide pastoral care in the community.
“My wife and I both knew that leaving Vanguard would be leaving a little bit of home and safety…but it would also be more aligned with what God was leading us to,” Rouanzoin said.
Rouanzoin has played an important role in many students’ lives, particularly with those who worked alongside him as Chaplains.
“I’ll miss his availability to have coffee and talk…he just really listens to me and empowers me by helping me think for myself. Bryan is a leader who is more like a servant. He serves us as students, so we can rise up as leaders” said junior Jessica Engler, an SFD chaplain last school year.
More than being the campus’s associate pastor, Rouanzion led students as a worship leader, according to sophomore Giovanni Cueva.
“He knew how to draw people in with that worship aspect. He knew how to bring people in and embrace the Vanguard community,” Cueva said.
As SFD undergoes these changes in staff, students will begin to feel its impact. However, the department has a positive outlook for the future.
“We will feel the loss of his constant presence…Spiritual Formation will continue to go, and as things go I believe the best is yet to come. Not in exclusion of Bryan, but in acceptance of what God has next,” Whitford said.