top of page

Rev. John B. Hougen, PhD
Art of Interfaith  Understanding Coordinator

Rev. John B. Hougen, PhD is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and serves Interfaith Philadelphia in two capacities. He is Coordinator of Zones of Peace, an initiative of the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia. Zones of Peace honors and supports exemplary congregations, schools, and organizations that address the root causes of violence and build communities of mutual respect and compassion. In addition, John is the agency’s program leader for The Art of Interfaith Understanding, utilizing the resources of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to enhance spirituality and further interfaith understanding through encounters with art from the world’s religions.


John began his association with Interfaith Philadelphia in 2007 as a co-convener of the Administrative Group of the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia. As the Religious Leaders Council’s response to the region’s violence grew, he assumed chairmanship of the Zones of Peace Steering Committee, and since 2013 has coordinated the initiative.


John holds a BA in Sociology from Luther College (Iowa), a Master of Divinity Degree from Harvard Divinity School, and a PhD in Religion and Literature from the University of Virginia. His career has included parish ministry, university chaplaincy, adjunct teaching in university and seminary settings, and regional ELCA campus ministry administration. In these capacities he has consistently emphasized addressing social issues, mining the arts for spiritual experiences and insights, worship, and pastoral care. His publications include four books, hymn texts, and many articles.


John is an enthusiastic volunteer docent at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and at home enjoys writing, painting, photography, cheering for UVA and Philadelphia sports teams, and time with family and friends. He lives in Elkins Park with his spouse, E. Marcia Hougen. They are the parents of two adult children, Melissa and Marcus (Ronicka), and the grandparents of Aubrey and Rylie.

bottom of page