University of Dubuque

Richard J. Shaffer Jr.

Associate Dean of the Seminary and Assistant Professor of Ministry
B.A., Drake University ; M.Div. and D.Min., University of Dubuque Theological Seminary ; joined the UDTS staff in 2005.

Contact Info:
122 Severance | (563) 589-3691 | rshaffer@dbq.edu

"One of the greatest privileges of being a pastor is that we are invited into the personal lives of the people we serve at very private, often very intimate moments. Joining the family circle for births and deaths, weddings and funerals, anniversaries and other celebrations, means that we not only represent the church, but are ambassadors for Christ as well. Learning to cultivate that gift of 'presence' is essential to the practice of effective ministry."

Richard (Skip) Shaffer returned to UDTS after 17 years of pastoral ministry, serving Presbyterian churches in northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota . Over the years he has developed an appreciation for small town and rural ministry and the special challenges and rewards those churches and communities offer. He has been active in the area of congregation revitalization, has served a number of years on the Committee on Ministry, and has considerable experience in conflict mediation.

Dr. Shaffer has also been involved in ministry to immigrants to the Midwest and the unique problems they face. One congregation he served became "home" to a community of over 100 recent émigrés from the Sudan and their children. In addition to helping them find suitable housing, the church hosted a food pantry, a clothing drive, and English lessons for adults, as well as a second worship service in the Nuer language, complete with drums, dancing, and a special Sunday School program.