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Rob Schenck

President, The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute


Rob Schenck is an American evangelical minister and president of The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute in Washington, DC. As the subject of Abigail Disney’s Emmy Award Winning documentary, The Armor of Light, Rob broke with his community by challenging the American evangelical embrace of popular gun culture and its resistance to common sense gun regulation, fostering a mutually respectful conversation between the two sides on how to reduce gun violence. Similarly, after years as an aggressive anti-abortion activist, he has called for an end to combative engagement on the abortion issue and for a new understanding of each side's perspectives and experiences, with a view toward reducing unwanted pregnancy. In his upcoming memoir with HarperCollins, Costly Grace, Rob crosses another line by detailing his deep, personal shift of position on human sexuality and same-sex marriage. Rob’s previous decades-long leadership on the Religious Right has given him a unique voice in bringing new, solidly evangelical perspectives to entrenched social positions and has allowed him to build bridges across vast religious and political divides. He believes a new generation of socially conscious American evangelicals can help repair the considerable damage done by a highly politicized and destructive brand of evangelicalism that has dominated the American religious and political landscape for almost half a century. Rob holds degrees in Bible and Theology, Religion, Christian Ministry, and the doctor of ministry in church and state, all from evangelical institutions. He is a fellow of the Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy at Oxford and the Royal Society of Arts. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Cheryl, a psychotherapist in private practice.