Seminary of the Southwest (Southwest) announces that the Rev. Hope Benko has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services. In this role, Benko oversees student recruitment for all degree programs at the seminary, administers Southwest’s financial aid offerings, and supervises the multiple student services provided to the student body, including on-campus housing, the seminary’s on-campus employment program, post-graduation job placement, and other dimensions of community life. As a Vice President, she will serve on the President’s Cabinet, a key administrative body that serves as senior advisors to the dean and president.
“Our students have been at the heart of my work at Southwest for the six years I’ve had the privilege to serve here, so I am honored to have this opportunity to step into leadership with their experience as a key part of my new responsibilities,” said Benko, who has served as Southwest’s Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management since 2016.
“Hope Benko’s knowledge of the church and of the landscape of the counseling profession and her contribution to many aspects of student well-being give her a strategic perspective that will be valuable in the senior leadership team,” said the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Dean and President. “I am very excited that the seminary will benefit from Hope’s expanded role.”
The Rev. Benko was ordained in the Diocese of Missouri in 2006. Before coming to Southwest, she served in parishes in the dioceses of Missouri and Western Louisiana and as a school chaplain in Fort Worth. In Austin, she and her family worship at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. A lifelong Episcopalian, she relishes building relationships throughout the wider church to welcome new students to the Southwest community. She is a graduate of Stephens College and of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. She is married to the Rev. Dr. Andrew Benko, Dean of Formation for the Diocese of Texas’s Iona School, and together they have two children and a labradoodle.