University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life
John Patrick Colatch joined Bucknell as university chaplain and director of Religious Life in August of 2012. He oversees the overall religious life program of the University, supervises and works cooperatively with the other chaplains and religious advisors to facilitate interfaith programming on campus, coordinates the use and operation of Rooke Chapel, provides pastoral care to the Bucknell community and leads the on-campus Protestant community.
John is an ordained United Methodist pastor who has served in ministry in higher education since 1986. Prior to his arrival at Bucknell, he served as director of religious and spiritual life and chaplain at Lafayette College. He has also held positions at Allegheny College, Ferrum College and the Wesley Foundation at the University of Delaware. His theological interests include Christianity as it relates to social and environmental justice, bereavement issues and care at the end of life, interfaith conversation and cooperation and the ways in which the whole idea of religious belief can be communicated to young adults in ways that make it relevant.
John holds a bachelor of arts degree in Bible/Religion from W.Va. Wesleyan College, a master of divinity from Duke University Divinity School, a master's degree in pastoral counseling from Duquesne University and a doctorate in ministry in Transformative Leadership Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. His dissertation is entitled Welcoming the Stranger: Practices of Hospitality as a Prophetic Witness to Gay and Lesbian Persons in the United Methodist Church. He is married to Connie, and they are the parents of two grown children.