Adam Kelchner (left) with his Bailey Scholars cohort at R-MC
As an R-MC student, Adam Kelchner '09 never slowed down. A
Bailey Scholar and a religious studies
major with minors in philosophy,
musicology, and ethics, Adam completed
the honors program and graduated magna cum laude while also keeping up an active
life on campus with intramural sports, the campus choir, and three different honor
Learning through serving
While at R-MC Adam also took part in volunteer and service-learning opportunities.
He spent his freshman year J-term providing disaster relief in New Orleans following
“We were gutting homes that had been flooded. It was an intense learning experience,
but it was also a tremendous community-building effort, because I and 25 other students
were working together, with our professors, in terrible conditions. at all hours
of the day and night, for two weeks.”
During his junior year J-term, he completed mission work in Atlanta, followed by
a two-week mission trip to Russia; both experiences were supported by the Bailey
Program. And during his senior year, Adam interned with the Virginia Annual Conference
offices of the United Methodist Church in Richmond.
A career and a calling
Following graduation from R-MC, Adam completed a master’s of divinity at Vanderbilt
University Divinity School.
“This was something I knew since I was twelve, that I wanted to go into the ministry,”
says Adam. “The reason I came to Randolph-Macon was specifically that I wanted to
pursue ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church, and the Bailey Program
provided tremendous support for that goal.”
From liberal arts to a life of service
Adam is now the pastor for mission and outreach at Belmont United Methodist Church
in Nashville, where he serves not only his church community but also the students
at Belmont University, where he started a campus ministry. And Adam’s R-MC experience
continues to support him in his career.
“I work with a very diverse group of people, from college students to a large, intergenerational
urban population,” says Adam. “In the ministry I do both at the church and with
the students at Belmont University, I often rely on the interdisciplinary training
in different fields of knowledge from my liberal arts education. The liberal arts
gave me a foundation to draw upon so many areas of human knowledge and experience.”
To keep balance in his busy life, Adam pursues long-distance cycling. “I’ve completed
multiple milestones, including 62-mile and 100-mile rides with local riders from
Nashville,” he says.
His ministry, however, will take him even further. “In July of this coming year
I will be heading to Malawi as part of a mission team,” he says. “Travel to rural
communities in developing countries—it’s a significant highlight of my work.”
Paving the Way for Success
Rather than prepare students for one career, Randolph-Macon College prepares students
for a lifetime of careers in an ever-changing world. Exceptional faculty work with
students to cultivate their ability to think critically and analytically and to
find creative solutions for solving problems. R-MC graduates are well-prepared for
successful careers, often far outside of their areas of study.
The Randolph-Macon EDGE,
the cornerstone of the Center for Personal and
Career Development, helps Randolph-Macon students lead the pack when competing
for jobs and top graduate schools. Students have the support of faculty, career
coaches, alumni and staff as they focus on their personal and academic ambitions.
Students may choose to pursue paid or volunteer internships in a wide variety of
settings. The Bassett Internship Program
has been successfully placing students in academic internships both in the U.S.
and around the globe for 30 years. Coordinated with the Center for Personal and
Career Development, the program helps students identify their interests and matches
them with an appropriate internship opportunity. Randolph-Macon’s alumni provide
a strong network of support for students throughout their time at the college or
in assisting them after graduation with career direction and opportunities.
The college’s Four-Year Degree
Guarantee guarantees in writing that freshmen who meet the Four-Year Degree
Guarantee requirements will graduate within four calendar years. If not, Randolph-Macon
will waive tuition costs for courses needed to complete the degree. Currently, 95
percent of R-MC graduates complete their degree in four years or less—an important
value-added benefit for parents to consider when visiting colleges with their students.
Study Abroad programs offer students
a beyond-the-classroom global perspective and opportunities to immerse themselves
in other cultures. Students can choose from a host of travel courses during January
Term and semester-abroad programs.
The Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
program gives students the opportunity to conduct 10 weeks of original research
under the guidance of faculty mentors. Many students present their findings at national
and international conferences.
Read more Alumni Success stories.