2017 Saturday Lunch Plenary: “Overcoming America’s Possessive Investment in Whiteness”


Keynote Speaker

Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ

The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, author and theologian, currently serves as ninth General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.

Previously, John served as the Conference Minister of the Southwest Conference of the UCC. Prior to his role at the Southwest Conference, Dorhauer served as Associate Conference Minister in the Missouri Mid-South Conference, and also served First Congregational United Church of Christ and Zion United Church of Christ, in rural Missouri.

Dorhauer received a B.A. in Philosophy from Cardinal Glennon College (1983), and has a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary (1988), the same year he was ordained in the United Church of Christ. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary (2004), where he studied white privilege and its effects on the church.

John is passionate about justice. Two statements that shape his theology are: “God is love. God is just.” Throughout his ministry, John has embodied the UCC’s vision to create “A just world for all.” On October 17, 2014, Dorhauer conducted the first legal same sex wedding in the state of Arizona when he performed the wedding service of David Laurence and Kevin Patterson. More recently, John initiated the creation of the White Privilege curriculum, which has been downloaded more than 4000 times.

Under his leadership, the UCC has adopted a new Purpose, Mission, Vision Statement centered on seeking justice for everyone, highlighting the UCC’s core values of Extravagant Welcome, Continuing Testament, and Changing Lives.

John insists “that the Holy Spirit envisions a future in which the United Church of Christ matters.” During his tenure, he is calling on the 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 – believing that an emergent church is already coming alongside the institutional church.

John is the author of, Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World (2015) and Steeplejacking: How the Christian Right is Hijacking Mainstream Religion (2007), co-authored with Sheldon Culver.

Along with his passion for justice, Dorhauer has a love of baseball – specifically the St. Louis Cardinals – music, literature and poetry. He has been married to his wife, Mimi, for nearly 31 years and they have three children.

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