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Revs. Rodney and Leslie McAuley to Receive Distinguished Ministry Leadership Award

September 8, 2021

Whitworth University will present the Revs. Rodney and Leslie McAuley with the Whitworth University Distinguished Ministry Leadership Award on Thurs., Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. during Whitworth’s Fall Convocation in Graves Gym. 

The McCauleys have been sharing their message of reconciliation with the body of Christ for decades in Spokane through their ministry. They are very passionate about reconciliation across racial, denominational, socioeconomic, gender and generational lines. 

Rodney McAuley is the former director of church and community engagement for Youth for Christ Spokane where he advocated for children and families’ educational, financial, spiritual and moral literacy. 

For more than 20 years, he volunteered as the chair of Leadership Northwest, where his chief task was to coordinate the annual Leadership Prayer Breakfast, a gathering that draws up to 1,000 community leaders and is one of the most diverse events in Spokane. He has also volunteered with many other community organizations and initiatives, including Family Impact Network, Leadership Spokane, the Spokane Task Force on Race Relations, Interfaith Council, and the Police Action League. 

Leslie McAuley is the associate pastor at Immanuel Church in Spokane. She holds an M.A. in theology from Whitworth and leads the Reconciliation Calling Community for the Whitworth Office of Church Engagement, a small group that discusses issues of racial reconciliation and justice. She also helped to launch the Biblical Justice Forum in Spokane.

Mindy Smith, the interim director of Whitworth’s Office of Church Engagement, says, “Leslie’s work is unrivaled not only in Spokane, but also in the greater Pacific Northwest. No one has done more to foster dialogue about race and ethnicity in ways that expand peoples’ perspectives while at the same time developing deep friendships.”  

Past Ministry Leadership award recipients include Whitworth community members Chester Andrews, Joe Wittwer, Lorraine Stuart and the Rev. Ronald Frase. 

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or