St. John’s Northwestern Academies Appoints Father Philip Cunningham to Serve as Chaplain and Smythe Faculty Chair

DELAFIELD, Wis., August 11, 2021 –St. John’s Northwestern Academies (SJNA) announced the appointment of Father Philip Cunningham to serve as Academies’ Chaplain. He will also serve in the Reverend Sidney T. Smythe Faculty Chair of Religious Studies and provide oversight for SJNA’s Columbarium.

Chaplain Cunningham currently presides as Rector for the neighboring St. John Chrysostom Episcopal Church in Delafield, WI. He is a Major in the Wisconsin Air National Guard and serves as a Chaplain, where he currently is responsible for the spiritual care of the 900+ member wing. During his deployment to Qatar in 2018, he oversaw liturgical protestant worship for over 10,000 base personnel and worked extensively with Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force personnel.

Prior to his Pastoral work, Cunningham completed an MBA from Vanderbilt University and spent approximately 10 years serving in various corporate finance roles.

“Father Cunningham brings many of the qualities and attributes needed to serve a unique community like ours,” said MG Paul Lima, President of St. John’s Northwestern Academies.“The fact that he presides over our neighboring parish provides symmetry with our mission, and I look forward to the good work he will provide to our cadets and students within his new role.”

The Smythe Faculty Chair of Religious Studies was established in October 2009 by St. John’s Military Academy alumnus Mr. Markham Allen Dickson. The Smythe Chair is appointed by the President of the Academies and is intended to advance religious studies for cadets and students at St. John’s Northwestern Academies.

Beginning in September 2021, Father Cunningham will be leading SJNA through a series for its young people called God and Life, which is a unique opportunity derived from a similar program in Boy Scouting.

Father Cunningham will officially join SJNA at the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year.

Founded in 1884, St. John’s Northwestern Academies develops young men and women inspired to become responsible citizens and moral and ethical leaders for the global community. For more information, visit


Stephen Matz
Dean of Advancement
Office: (262) 646-7184