The Board of Directors of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries is excited to announce that the HELM Executive Committee has extended a call to the Rev. Ronald J. Degges to serve as Interim President. In his role as Interim President, Rev. Degges will have operational responsibility for HELM’s staff and programs and will work with the Board of Directors to carry out our mission to work with wider church and higher education partners to develop and nurture Christian leaders who are transforming church, society, and the world. Rev. Degges began his ministry with HELM on August 15, 2022.
Rev. Ronald J. Degges is gifted with a deep, joyous, articulate and always respectful-of-others faith that has been a constant inspiration to his parishioners, colleagues in ministry, and ecumenical and interfaith partners. Ron motivates and inspires people. He sees the qualities of others and taps into them, inviting and guiding them to contribute. He then helps them be successful. Through his nearly five decades in ministry serving churches in Maryland, Iowa, Delaware, Virginia, Indiana, and California, Ron has seen and experienced the Disciples from coast to coast.
Through his work with the San Fernando Valley Interfaith Council, he has developed and hosted a series of interfaith discussions throughout Southern California and produced an interfaith film, “Putting Faith Into Action.” He has recently traveled to Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Palestine to meet with Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders. He participated in a seminar on Contemporary Muslim Thought held at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and represented the Disciples at the Inaugural Institute on Religion and Civic Values event entitled, “Educating for Religious Freedom and Mutual Respect,” held at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
In his work with churches and interfaith groups, Ron articulates his vision, inspires the group to form a plan, encourages members to reach out of their comfort zones to participate in leadership and team roles. He encourages people to never settle for anything less than the best in their life, in their world, and in their universe.
Retiring after a productive decade as President of Disciples Home Missions in 2017, Ron re-entered active ministry in 2020-2021 to serve as Interim Senior Minister at Speedway Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Speedway, IN.
Rev. Degges is a graduate of Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee and Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. His most recent publication is, “Fifty-four Years, Four Months, Seventeen Days: Relationships That Enhance Our Living.”
He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife of thirty-six years, Deniese Ruth Degges, and is father of five children: Joshua, Randall, Joey, Hope and Michele. Joshua is married to wife, Brandy, with grandchildren, Wyatt and Dylan, and live in Houston, Texas. Randall and his wife, Samantha, and dog, Dandelion, live in Concord, California. Joey and his partner, Tiffany, live in Fairfield, California. Hope lives with husband, Paul, in Fairfax, Virginia. Youngest daughter, Michele, lives with her two dogs, Pumpkin and Goldilocks, in Sacramento, California.