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Ian Carr McPherson

Union Theological Seminary, New York

A pastor's kid from rural North Carolina, Ian fell in love with the church at an early age. Raised in the charismatic tradition, he also fell in love with the way the Holy Spirit disrupts the church's complacency. Before beginning his ministerial training at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Ian undertook a year of voluntary service, intentional community, and vocational discernment through the Church of the Saviour's Discipleship Year program in Washington, D.C. There he worked with middle school, high school, and college students at an out-of-school-time program dedicated to college access and success for all. Before that, he was a graduate student of American religious history in St. Louis, where he studied the political theologies that inspired the rise of the Christian Right in American politics.

Since moving to New York, Ian has taken his passion for children and youth back into a parish setting through his ministry at the historic West End Collegiate Church in the Upper West Side. As the Coordinator of Children and Youth Ministries at West End, he has created original programing that takes a fresh look at ancient Biblical wisdom. He is also working to create a youth group centered on transformative service, spiritual reflection, and social justice advocacy. 

Returning to his charismatic roots, Ian hopes to bear witness to the work and movement of the Holy Spirit today. His prayer is that the Spirit might inspire transformative engagement with traditions normally left out of progressive Christianity's work to build a more just society and that She might empower the church to seek the liberation of all peoples oppressed by the principalities and powers of this age. He cannot think of a more fitting leader for this work than that of the Spirit in all Her subversive, transgressive queerness. In his spare time, he is bubble tea-ing his way throughout the five boroughs with his friends and partner, trying to make that undergrad Spanish minor mean something, and thrifting to find the perfect cardigan for his life's calling of queering Mr. Rogers.