St. John's Anglican Church, Virginia Beach, VA


The Rev. Robert J. Whitaker, Ph.D.

The Rev. Robert Whitaker is the founding pastor of St. John's Church. A native Virginian, he has served traditional Anglican parishes in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Louisiana. He began ordained ministry in 1991, serving as the curate and first full-time rector of Christ Church, Warrenton, VA, from 1992 to 1995.

He graduated with a B.A. and High Honors in English from the College of William and Mary in 1983 and was also awarded the Dr. Murray Braderman Borish Prize as the College's most outstanding senior English major of that year.

He was later selected a Jacob K. Javits Fellow and obtained both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the 17th-century Anglican priest and poet George Herbert.

Having felt called to ordained ministry at an early age, he began studying theology, philosophy, the Bible, and church history as a teenager. He trained for ordination in a full-time, two-year Diocesan Training Program and internship under the Rev. Canon Stephen J. Dibble (M.Div., Nashotah House) and Archbishop John T. Cahoon (M.Div, Church Divinity School of the Pacific). He obtained an M.Div. in the School of Divinity at Regent University.

With a background in the Episcopal Church, he joined the Anglican Catholic Church in 1979.

He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, Kathryn, and son, Andrew.