UKirk Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Virginia Tech is a community of students seeking to follow Christ with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. Together, we eat, pray, play, worship, learn, laugh, serve, wrestle with big questions, and work for a more just world.
The name UKirk means “university church.” It is a reminder that, though we come from all over the world and from all walks of life, God has brought us together through faith and made us family to one another. To learn from and care for each other is part of our calling – a challenge sometimes, but more often a deep and abiding joy.
We are a community where everyone is encouraged to bring their whole selves. We delight in folks with doubts and hard questions. We explicitly celebrate the LGBTQIA+ members of our community. We are committed to the work of anti-racism, and we seek to dismantle the systems, practices, and beliefs that underlie the oppression of people of color. We strive to be a welcoming and affirming community for students from all racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, physical and mental abilities, socioeconomic circumstances, documentation statuses, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Whoever you are, we'd love to welcome you.
Formerly called “Cooper House,” we are a shared ministry of four partner churches – Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, Christiansburg Presbyterian Church, Northside Presbyterian Church, and Roanoke Valley Presbyterian Church – as well as the Presbytery of the Peaks. We are governed by a Board of Directors made up of representatives from each of these covenant congregations. Because of these partnerships, our students benefit from the generous support and prayers of Presbyterians throughout the New River Valley and beyond.
We aspire to be faithful to God, to love others as Christ loves us, and to trust the leading of the Holy Spirit in our life together.
Meet Our Pastor:
Rev. Emily Rhodes Hunter (she/her)
Emily is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA), and she began serving as the UKirk campus minister in 2023. She is particularly passionate about working with young adults who are asking questions about their faith. She loves hearing people's stories, bringing communities together over meals, engaging in faith-based activism and advocacy, and discovering the unexpected ways God is working in the world around us. In her free time, Emily enjoys working in her garden, watching college basketball, and hanging out with her husband and two young children.
Emily holds a Masters of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary and a Masters of Patient Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in English from Sewanee: The University of the South, where she played NCAA basketball and softball. She is also a Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains. She has served as a chaplain, bereavement counselor, and a pastor in numerous churches, hospices, and hospitals throughout Virginia, Maryland, and DC.