Bishop John R. Schol
New Jersey Episcopal Area
205 Jumping Brook Road
Neptune, NJ 07753
John R. Schol grew up in Philadelphia, PA, in a devoted United Methodist family that was active in the life of the church and the community. After earning a Master of Divinity degree at Boston University School of Theology, John became executive director of the Frankford Group Ministry, a cooperative parish ministry in Philadelphia. While there, he led the church and community to address spiritual, social, and economic issues that included the rehabilitation of six crack houses and the building of a 50-unit senior citizen apartment building and 24 townhouses.
He later earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Boston University School of Theology and served on numerous boards and committees in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and the Philadelphia area. Today he serves on the boards of American University, Wesley Theological Seminary, Sibley Hospital, the Board of Child Care, International Shalom Initiative Chairperson, Vice Chairperson of United Methodist Archives and History, and Chairperson of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Multi Ethnic Center.
He directed the Office of Urban Ministries at the General Board of Global Ministries, in New York City. There, he led the development of two major initiatives that are still operating and still popular among many churches and conferences: a holistic urban ministry training program known as the Holy Boldness Urban Academy and the innovative, collaborative community development program known as Communities of Shalom. The latter ministry has trained more than 4,000 people and engaged over 500 churches and communities in creative ministry in urban and rural communities across the United States and in Africa.
As pastor of the West Chester United Methodist Church, in West Chester, PA, near Philadelphia, John helped instill new vitality and vision in a declining downtown congregation. Under his leadership, worship attendance increased by 50%, mission and ministry in the community and around the world grew, which included building a clinic in Nigeria and the rehabilitating of six homes in the West Chester community, and the establishment of two new congregations, one a Latino congregation and the other a multicultural congregation.
He was elected to the episcopacy from the Northeastern Jurisdiction in July of 2004 and assigned to the Washington (DC) Area. After serving 8 years in the Washington Area, he was assigned to the New Jersey Area in 2012.
John and Beverly Schol have three grown children, Mark, Kristin and Rebecca.