Disciples of Christ Ecumenical Officer Robert K. Welsh Retires

Leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), ecumenical colleagues, friends and family gathered on Saturday, April 9 to celebrate the ministry of Rev. Robert K. Welsh. After serving in different ministerial positions for more than 45 years, 15 of those as ecumenical officer, Rev. Welsh moved into retirement.


(picture: Aixa Malave, Rev. Welsh and Rev. Malave)

Rev. Dr. Robert K. Welsh

Dr. Welsh, an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), grew up as a “preacher’s kid” in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from “Transylvania University (BA) in 1968 and from Lexington Theological Seminary (D. Min.) in Lexington, Kentucky in 1973, and he attended the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey of the World Council of Churches in 1969-70. In his ministry, he has served as a congregational pastor at the Botland Christian Church outside Bardstown, Kentucky; he was the Dean of Students at Transylvania University, and taught at Transylvania in the area of religion ‘ and psychology. He served on the staff of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, on its Faith and Order Commission from 1974-1976. He has offered leadership to the general/ national expression of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in a variety of positions, including service as vice- president of the Council on Christian Unity, vice—president and interim president of the Christian Church Foundation, president of the Church Finance Council and Associate General Minister of the church, and since January 1, 1999, has served as president of the Council on Christian Unity.


In his role and ministry with the Council on Christian Unity, he has offered leadership as the chief ecumenical officer for the Disciples of Christ and as General Secretary of the Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, . representing our church in a broad range of-international, national and local efforts in giving expression to the unity of the church and our oneness in Christ, including: providing leadership to our church’s international dialogue  with the Roman Catholic Church, our partnership with the United Church of ‘ Christ, and our church’s initiatives in interfaith engagement and dialogue. He has served as the Moderator of the Board of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey and as a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, as member of the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches, as a member of Executive Committee of World Communion of Reformed Churches, and as a member of the_Executive Committee of  Churches Uniting in Christ.  .


Dr. Welsh has given several major addresses and lectureships, both within the Disciples of Christ and ecumenically, and has published articles widely throughout the ecumenical movement as a part of his ministry in the ecumenical movement. He did post—graduate studies at the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches outside Geneva, Switzerland, and  at Westminster College in Cambridge, England. He is a member of Allisonville Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He is married to Nancy Moorhead Welsh, has two grown children (Jennifer and David), a son—in-law Dave Held, and three grandchildren (Trace, Charlie  and Ellie).