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 churches 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 selected for a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship for full-time graduate study and obtained both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English language and literature from Princeton University. His doctoral 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 also obtained a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree in the School of Divinity at Regent University.

With a background in the Episcopal Church, he joined the Anglican Catholic Church in 1979, just as that Church and the Continuing Anglican/Episcopal Church Movement were getting started.

He is also a professional writer, editor, and manager and has also taught as a part-time adjunct instructor at several colleges and universities including North Carolina State University, Delgado Community College, Ocean County College, and Princeton University.

His hobbies and interests include running, swimming, cooking, travel, reading, music, movies, politics, and fixing things around the house.

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