Alumnus Now Has ‘Best Job in the World’

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Amelia Pavlik
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When Steven Fazenbaker was a student at Georgia Tech in the 1980s, he was introduced to a career path that he’d eventually travel down — and it wasn’t engineering.

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When Steven Fazenbaker was a student at Georgia Tech in the 1980s, he was introduced to a career path that he’d eventually travel down — and it wasn’t engineering. 

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When Steven Fazenbaker was a student at Georgia Tech in the 1980s, he was introduced to a career path that he’d eventually travel down — and it wasn’t engineering.  

“I spent a lot of time at the Wesley Foundation as a student and often thought to myself, ‘My campus minister has the best job in the world,’” Fazenbaker said.

But his journey down the path to becoming a campus minister didn’t start immediately. After graduation, Fazenbaker worked for several years in research support at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Decatur.

“While I was there, I began taking theology classes at Emory University and eventually decided to pursue ordained ministry,” he added.

Since then, Fazenbaker has been a campus chaplain or minister at Reinhardt College in Georgia, the University of Hartford in Connecticut and San Francisco State University in California. In 2000, he returned to Tech to accept a position as director of the Wesley Foundation, where he also serves as United Methodist campus minister.

Recently, The Whistle sat down with Fazenbaker to learn more about him and his time at Tech. Here’s what we learned:

What does your job entail?
I like to tell people that my job description is to sit in my office, read books and wait for someone to come and talk to me — and there is an element of truth to that.  Preparing for weekly programs and counseling are the two major aspects of my job. We have a worship service on Sunday mornings, a fellowship dinner on Monday evenings, a Bible study on Tuesday mornings, an Options class on Thursday evenings and two communion services each week. I also supervise several seminary students from Emory, who facilitate a number of weekly small group meetings. Most of my counseling experiences involve reconciling an inherited faith tradition with a new understanding of science and technology, or rethinking a faith tradition while dealing with questions of sexual and gender identity. I do quite a bit of premarital counseling, mostly for students but sometimes for faculty and staff members.

What are a few things that most people don’t know about your job?    
My job includes caring for the entire campus community — not just United Methodists or students. And since there are no religious studies courses at Tech, I try to make sure the programming at the Wesley Foundation is academically on par with religious studies courses at other universities.    

What are three things that everyone should do while working at Tech?
Come by my office and visit me. Invite me to visit you in your office. Attend at least one Wesley Foundation event.

What is the best place to grab lunch (on or off campus), and what do you order?
Toscano & Sons is a little Italian market located where Howell Mill Road dead-ends onto Marietta Street. They have an incredible selection of panini sandwiches. What Kool Korners was to Cuban sandwiches, Toscano & Sons is to panini sandwiches.  The Caprese is my favorite — but they are all good.  

What piece of technology could you not live without?
It’s a toss-up between my iPhone and my electronic guitar tuner.  

Where is your favorite place to go in the city on the weekend and why?
I live in Virginia-Highlands with my wife and two kids, and I can easily call that my favorite place to go in the city. We can walk to the park, the library, the drug store, the coffee shop, the ice cream shop and any number of restaurants; plus I am only three miles east of Tech and three miles west of Emory.  It’s the perfect place for us to live.

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Institute and Campus
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campus minister, Steven Fazenbaker
Status
  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 8, 2011 - 11:05am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:08pm