We are grateful for the addition of Chaplain Robert Smith to the CLC family a few months ago. Robert comes to us with varied and deep experience in serving others. With the retirement of Chaplain Jim Kok in May 2024, Robert is now settling into his new role guiding our mission-critical program as the Executive Director of Chaplain Services and we thought what better time for our CLC friend and family to get to know Robert, in his own words.

Greetings!  My name is Robert Smith, and I am excited to be a part of Christian Living Communities as the Executive Director of Chaplain Services.  While I am new to Christian Living Communities, CLC is not new to me.  Years ago, my wife often visited CLC communities as a hospice social worker and I would hear about how amazing they were; how great the people were and how vibrant the communities were.  A few years later, as I began my senior living journey, Christian Living Communities continued to be an exemplar of quality and mission-driven service.  And, as I moved into my pastoral position at Wind Crest, I reached out to Jim who was gracious to share with me the many lessons learned at the CLC communities and help me establish my ministry there, as well as working with me on organizational questions over the years.  In many ways, I believe CLC was shaping and preparing me for years!

When I’m asked what drew me to CLC and what I’m excited about, several things jump to the top of the list:  First and foremost is CLC’s commitment to compassionate care, spiritual care, and creating communities full of love, respect, and compassion—truly living out its vision, mission, and values.  As I moved through the interview process, I was struck by the professionalism, the compassion, and the passion of the chaplain team and the leadership team, as well as their longevity.  It was infectious and made me want to be a part of it!

A little about me:  I’m originally from North Carolina, with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from NC State University.  While finishing my degree, I realized my passion for helping people apply their faith and wrestle with difficult questions, and I quickly pivoted into ministry.  After completing my Master of Divinity, I worked in parish ministry with youth, adults, small groups, spiritual formation, and recovery ministries, but I always had a lingering interest in healthcare and chaplaincy.  When life threw me another curveball, I took a job in a neighboring senior living community and fell in love with the people and the field.  The only thing that was missing was the opportunity for formal ministry.  I was fortunate enough to complete a clinical chaplaincy residency at St. Anthony Hospital before joining another life plan community in a spiritual care role.  When I’m not at work, I treasure every moment spent with my family and I have a passion for whitewater rafting.

Professionally, I am a mission-driven individual who is passionate about helping people live out their personal faith and spirituality with meaning and purpose. Further, I have a heart for serving residents and team members as a chaplain, and for promoting engagement, connections, and resiliency throughout CLC.

Christian Living Communities’ commitment to revolutionizing aging services and re-imaging the workplace are compelling goals to me, ones that I’m also passionate about.  These goals can only be achieved when they are launched from a place of stability, a firm foundation.  I’m excited to be working our chaplain team and leadership team to strengthen our foundation, to understand all that CLC has to offer, where we are shining, and what needs we need to be meeting for future older adults, families, and team members.  Christian Living Communities and Chaplain Services has an amazing history and an amazing future, one that I am excited to be a part of!

One additional note, CLC is in the midst of Strengthening Our Foundation: A Campaign to Support Chaplain Services. Learn more on the Strengthening Our Foundation page.

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