April 20, 2024

Sarah Jane O'Keefe -- Dr. Kathie B. Chute, director of Communications and professor of Communication Arts.What lead you to California Baptist University?

We (my husband and I) came to California Baptist University because we were excited about the vision Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, university president, has for the university and because we are committed to Christian higher education. CBU is moving in directions that no other Christian university is going at the present time, and we felt God’s leadership to serve him on this campus.

What is your current position on campus, as well as your husband’s?

I am director of communications and professor of Communication Arts. My husband, Dr. Michael D. Chute, is director of the Journalism/Public Relations program, which involves the student publications, and he also is a full-time professor of journalism. Neither of us have ever worked at CBU before. However, both of us have substantial experience at other Christian universities that we bring to our current positions.

How do you feel about your husband working on campus?

My husband and I have worked together several times during our career. We worked side by side as Southern Baptist missionaries and our offices were next door
to each other as faculty members at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. We also worked on the same campuses at Oklahoma Baptist University and William Carey University.

Did you have any other previous jobs outside of campus?

My background includes working in public relations and advertising in a variety of positions. Without going over my whole resume, I can tell you that I have been an advertising copywriter for both Broadman Press and the national chain of Cokesbury Bookstores, owner/president of Concept One Communications (a PR/advertising firm), a radio disc jockey, director of communications for the Division of Community and Economic Development for the State of Missouri and a Southern Baptist missionary for 14 years working as an overseas correspondent.

You and your husband have gone on missions, can you describe your experience and where have you gone?

As a missionary, I served on the overseas correspondent team for Latin America (we lived in Campinas, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia) and for Asia and the Pacific. In Asia, we studied Mandarin Chinese in Taipei, Taiwan, and lived in Hong Kong, although we traveled all over the region on a writing assignment with the International Mission Board.

Living overseas serving the Lord was perhaps the most memorable time of my life. As a member of the community, we were involved in local churches and became friends with national Christians as we ministered to others in the area. We witnessed the miraculous ways God moved among unreached people groups across regions. As part of our jobs, we wrote for U.S. and international wire services, newspapers and magazines, and we trained missionaries who were not accustomed to writing for publications to write for that purpose. We still work with the IMB on special projects. Three years ago, we spent the summer in Thailand and China to write for IMB publications, and I have worked with the IMB on projects as a media relations consultant.

Our daughter, Kristen, was born while we served in Brazil, and our son, Ryan, took the controls of his first plane at the age of 5 while he rode with a missionary pilot. Ryan is now an F-16 pilot for the U.S. Air Force, and Kristen is a director of marketing and events for Chick-Fil-A.

After returning to the U.S., I served as director of development for corporate gifts at Oklahoma Baptist University until I earned my doctorate. When my husband became executive editor of the Florida Baptist Witness, I accepted a position on faculty at Jacksonville University. Since then, I have been executive assistant to the president for external relations at William Carey University in Mississippi; associate vice president for university communications and enrollment services at Union University in Tennessee; and served on the faculties of Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., and most recently again at Union University. My husband and I moved from Union to CBU a few months ago, where I was professor of public relations and advertising.

Leave a Reply