The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, author and theologian, currently serves as ninth General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.
John began his ministry serving First Congregational United Church of Christ and Zion United Church of Christ in rural Missouri. He then served as Associate Conference Minister in the Missouri Mid-South Conference, and then Conference Minister of the Southwest Conference of the UCC prior to his election as General Minister and President.
Rev. Dorhauer received a B.A. in Philosophy from Cardinal Glennon College in 1983 and a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary in 1988, the same year he was ordained in the United Church of Christ. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in 2004, with his area of focus on white privilege and its effects on the church.
With a personal theology shaped in the passionate conviction that God is love and God is just, John has embodied the United Church of Christ’s vision of “A Just World for All” throughout his ministry. On October 17, 2014, he conducted the first legal same sex wedding in the state of Arizona when he performed the wedding service of David Laurence and Kevin Patterson.
In his first term as General Minister and President, recognizing increasing sensitivities in this country around race, John initiated the collaborative creation of a curriculum, “White Privilege: Let’s Talk – A Resource for Transformational Dialogue.” Designed to invite UCC members and others to engage in safe, meaningful, substantive, and bold conversations on race, the curriculum and accompanying facilitator’s guide have been used by both UCC and non-UCC audiences. He has called the church to accomplish essential strategic priorities over the next 10 years to position the church for a transformative future, which includes attaining inclusive excellence, and curriculum and training towards “A Just World for All.”
John also serves as Vice-Chair of the National Council of Churches (NCC), and has co-chaired the NCC’s United to End Racism campaign. In 2017 he was identified by the Center for American Progress as one of the religious leaders to be watching.
John is calling on his denomination to rethink itself and to consider new ways of being church in light of institutional religion’s changing landscape and emerging shifts in the generational populations. His book, Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World, is a call to the body of Christ to accept what the Spirit of the Risen Christ is doing to birth something new, vital, and relevant – all towards nurturing Beloved Community.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.