When Bryan Fowler’s father-in-law, Craig Rohde, offered him a job as a chaplain at AGI in Virginia Beach, he initially turned it down. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Fowler felt a call to ministry and believed his clearest path to ministry was in service to his local church in Blacksburg, Virginia. However, after every door for employment at that church was closed to him, Fowler sensed God calling him to work at AGI. He began his career in human resources in 2013, leading Bible studies and supporting the employees.
As AGI grew, the needs did as well. Two years after he started, Fowler moved fully into the role of chaplain, focusing on counseling and engagement with employees, many of whom are nonbelievers. His other responsibilities include overseeing AGI’s financial support program for its employees, organizing volunteer events, and leading Bible studies and lunch discussions throughout the company.
Meanwhile, he has pursued theological education through the Hybrid MDiv program at RTS Orlando. Even from afar, Fowler has felt a significant connection to the campus and faculty, noting, “I’ve received a ton of support from faculty in pursuit of theological education in a non-traditional ministry role.”My educational experience has been invaluable in learning how to apply biblical, theological, and practical foundations to what I’m doing here in the workplace.
Today, Fowler ministers to around 800 employees at AGI and has seen dozens of employees both come to faith and grow in their faith. He hopes more Christian-led businesses will make room for chaplains on their staff and that seminaries, like RTS, will send graduates into corporate chaplaincy.
Fowler states, “Although sometimes Christians fail to see the marketplace as a location to live out our faith, I believe our theology should be and ought to be applied in all areas of our life, even our work life. My educational experience has been invaluable in learning how to apply biblical, theological, and practical foundations to what I’m doing here in the workplace.”
Matthew Bryant, Senior VP of Development at RTS, adds, “I’ve watched firsthand as Bryan interacts with his co-workers at AGI — it’s exciting to see God using and equipping him to demonstrate gospel-centered care in their workplace.”
Fowler lives in Norfolk, Virginia with his wife, Bekah, and their three young children.