A nationally known pastor, educator and author, Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly brings a wealth of experience to South Congregational United Church of Christ, where he began his ministry in July 2013. For nearly forty years, he has served as a congregational pastor, university chaplain, professor, and seminary administrator. He is the author of over 50 books on practical theology, ministry, and spirituality, including the award-winning Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry.
Bruce served as Senior Protestant Chaplain and Director of Protestant Ministry at Georgetown University from 1982 to 1999. During his time at Georgetown, he increased involvement in Protestant ministries from a handful of students, staff, and faculty to over 300 active participants from a variety of denominations and theological perspectives. He also served on the faculties of theology and family medicine, where he was one of the first persons to teach courses in spirituality at a medical school. Following his time at Georgetown, Bruce began writing on subjects related to affirmative faith, health, and spiritual practices while also serving in two congregational interims and teaching at Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC.
From 2003 to 2010, he served as Director of Continuing Education and Professor of Practical Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary, where he initiated programs in ministerial spirituality and excellence for new pastors, pastors in midcareer, and pastors preparing for retirement; lay education; congregational adult education; and congregational worship and music. He expanded continuing education involvement at the seminary from 300 to 2,000 participants. Most recently, he has served as Interim Pastor at First Christian Church, Falls Church, Virginia, and Visiting Professor of Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Lincoln University in California.
Committed to the practice of public theology, Bruce regularly writes lectionary commentaries for www.patheos.comand www.processandfaith.org. Bruce’s most recent texts are Spiritual Decluttering: 40 Days to Spiritual Transformation and Planetary Healing; The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-filled World; Become Fire: Guideposts for Interspiritual Pilgrims; and Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God.
A native Californian, Bruce received his B.A. in Philosophy from San Jose State University and M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate School. Following this, he completed coursework in the arts of ministry at the Disciples Seminary Foundation/Claremont School of Theology at Claremont and was ordained into Christian ministry by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Arizona in 1980 and received ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ in 1992.
Bruce is married to Rev. Dr. Katherine (Kate) Gould Epperly, Minister for Family and Children’s Ministries of the United Church of Christ. They have one son, Matt, who lives in Osterville, MA, with his wife Ingrid and their two young sons.
Bruce is delighted at the opportunity to serve as pastor of South Congregational United Church of Christ as it seeks to build on a faithful past to respond to the challenges of the current spiritual landscape. Along with inspiring worship and preaching, Bruce seeks to enhance the church’s mission to the Cape Cod community by developing programs on spirituality, contemporary theological reflection, scripture, and current social and global issues.
Bruce is an avid walker, reader of mysteries, historical fiction, and theology, moviegoer, soup maker, and aficionado of sixties music. He enjoys playing with his grandchildren on Craigville Beach, going to films, traveling, and listening to live music at local bistros. You can find him most mornings, walking at sunrise the circuit from the church to Craigville Conference Center and back.