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John Rohrs, M. Div, '05
B.A. Duke University 1999

I will be sad to leave this place—the last three years have sure gone quickly! With good portions of excitement and anxiety, I will be ordained in the Episcopal Church in June and will begin serving as an associate priest at Christ Church in Raleigh , NC . My primary responsibility will be coordinating the activities of the young adult group (folks in their 20s and 30s), and I will also work with the youth and family ministries and other areas of church life.

As I look ahead, I am so grateful for the formation and friendships I have enjoyed these last years. I will begin my vocation aspiring to preach like a David Bartlett, practice hospitality like a Siobhan Garrigan, teach like a Carolyn Sharp, and care for people like a Dale Peterson. If I ever get close to even one out of four, I will be doing well. I have learned just as much from my friends and classmates. In the years ahead, when I am faced with a hard decision or a difficult text or a spiritual dry patch, I will call up one of my YDS friends for a chat.

One of the things I value most from my time at YDS has been the chance to befriend and learn from people of various denominational backgrounds. This diverse environment has challenged me to reflect critically on my own tradition and learn from the liturgical practices and theological perspectives of others. I leave here a more faithful Christian and more thoughtful Episcopalian as a result, and I look forward to always fostering and maintaining ecumenical partnerships wherever I go.

My vocational plans focus on parish ministry, though I will not rule out going back for more school at some point. Within the context of parish ministry, my primary passion and interest is the intersection between pastoral and prophetic ministry, or how the radical gospel of Jesus Christ shapes our best hopes and actions as we seek wholeness as individuals and communities. This passion was nurtured during my time at YDS through an internship at St. Paul and St. James Episcopal Church, through coursework with Serene Jones, David Bartlett, and others, and through my participation in community worship, the Yale Committee for Social Justice, and other campus activities.

My other principal hopes for the long-term center on being the best husband and, God willing, father that I can be. My time here has been formative on that front, too, as Andie and I were married during our second year and received consistent support as we learned to balance married life and the demands of school and church. She, too, will be ordained in June, and it will be exciting to see where God leads us in the future. As you can see, though, wherever we go, we will clearly take this place with us.