Robin McGonigle, Pastor, University Congregational Church
McGonigle said her interest in the historical Jesus and early Christian church sits well with her new congregation.
“Their motto is, ‘Where head and heart are equal partners in faith,’ ” she said. “They really live that out. They want new information and ideas that are progressive and open-minded.”
She calls her parishioners as “beautiful” as the distinctive New England style church on East 29th where they meet.
McGonigle, 49, grew up in Hutchinson, earned her divinity degree from Phillips Graduate Seminary and has lived in Wichita for 25 years. She said she’s unusual in that she’s a “first-career minister.” The average age of seminarians is 40. Most recently, she spent 18 years ministering at Pine Valley Christian Church.
McGonigle is a member of the Jesus Seminar, a think-tank of Biblical scholars and theologians. She said members believe “we need to look back and find out who this historical Jesus was, apart from church tradition, and what the church was, apart from all the changes over the centuries.”
“I’m more of a minister than a scholar, although I certainly have loved doing the scholarship,” McGonigle said.
McGonigle and her husband, Eric, have three children: Erin, a physician in Kansas City; Adam, a law school graduate from William and Mary in Virginia; and Ian, who’s working in business marketing in Oklahoma.
“Our joke is that we’ve got all our needs met,” she said.
Outside work she enjoys cooking, sewing and music, and sits on several local boards.