Chaplain Miller leaves a legacy of service and commitment

Portrait of Chaplain, Robbie Miller with books in the background

The Rev. Dr. Robbie Miller ’79 has overseen Bridgewater College’s spiritual life program and provided support to members of the campus community for 33 years as College Chaplain.

Miller, who is retiring at the end of the 2022-23 academic year, graduated from Bridgewater with his B.A. in philosophy and religion. He went on to earn his master of divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary in 1983 and his doctor of ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2006. He is married to Terri Gladwell Miller ’80 and has two children, Rebekah Miller Stovall ’12 and Stephen Miller ’15.

He says, “While I never imagined serving here for 33 years, I shouldn’t be surprised, as my father Lowell [Miller ’40, Business Manager and Treasurer, emeritus] was here for 25 years and my brother Dustyn [Miller ’77, Director of Intramurals] for 35. I guess we Millers really do bleed crimson and gold.”

Before coming to Bridgewater College as Chaplain in 1990, Miller served as pastor at Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va., from 1983-1986, pastor at Richmond Mennonite Fellowship from 1987-1988 and campus pastor at Eastern Mennonite University from 1988-1990.

At Bridgewater College, Miller organized regular worship gatherings and various opportunities for study and service and helped found and advise several spiritual life clubs and organizations. In addition, he taught courses in religion, including a “Lands of the Bible” travel course to the Near East, and helped lead the College chapter of Habitat for Humanity’s alternative spring break trip for 25 years.

In 2002, Miller introduced the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility to the College, a voluntary pledge in which graduating seniors promise to “explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job” and “try to improve these aspects of any organizations” where they work.

The Shenandoah District Pastors for Peace recognized Miller in 2021 with the Living Peace Award, which is given to a member of the Church of the Brethren within the Shenandoah District who has contributed to making peace in their own time and who inspires others to embrace this calling in a similar fashion. He received the inaugural James O. and Sylvia Kline Bowman Peace and Justice Award on April 4 for his significant service in promoting the building of peace.

“While my name will never appear on a building here, my legacy, if I leave one, is the students, faculty and staff I have been honored to serve. If I have made some small contribution to their lives and the good they give to this world, those 33 years will have been time well spent,” Miller says.

— By Olivia Shifflett