John Thomas, elected general minister and president at the General Synod in Providence, Rhode Island, 1999, is the presiding officer of the Collegium, is charged with the care and nurture of the spiritual life of the Church, is the principal spokesperson of the General Synod, and is the official representative of the Church in ecumenical and interfaith relations.
Rev. Thomas was ordained in 1975 and served as associate minister of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Cheshire, CT (1975-81) and as minister of the First United Church of Christ in Easton, PA (1982-91). In 1991, he was appointed assistant to the president of the United Church of Christ for Ecumenical Concerns where he represented the United Church of Christ in theological dialogues and conciliar bodies, served as the ecumenical representative to the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and was instrumental in the development of the full communion relationship between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and three Reformed churches, the Reformed Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the UCC.
Rev. Thomas is a graduate of Gettysburg College and Yale University Divinity School. He studied at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland in 1988 and is the author of numerous articles on ecumenical issues. He has received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Elmhurst College, United Theological Seminary, and Yankton College.