Christ Episcopal Church of Pottstown, PA          
Rev. John Houghton
Priest Associate, Chaplain - Hill School

Introduction to Our Clergy – The Rev. John Wm. Houghton, Ph.D.


The Rev. John Wm. Houghton, Ph.D. is one of our associate priests, and Chaplain and Chair and Instructor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at the Hill School here in Pottstown.

He grew up in Culver, IN, a town his family founded in 1844, and graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1971. His degrees include a BA (English, cum laude), Harvard; MA (English) Indiana University; MAR (Theology, summa cum laude), Yale Divinity School; Diploma in Anglican Studies, Berkeley Divinity School, Yale; MMS and Ph.D. (Medieval Studies), Notre Dame.

Most of his career has been spent teaching English and serving as chaplain in independent schools in Indiana, Louisiana, and Missouri. He was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church on the feast of St. Bede the Venerable, 2007.

Realizing that you are “called” to be ordained can be a confusing and difficult process, but Fr. Houghton’s first intimation of it was rather overt. Once, when he was a Culver cadet, visiting the Academy Chaplain and watching Rod Serling’s Night Gallery on TV, the Chaplain turned to him, and out of the blue said “You’re going to be a priest.” Sometimes God speaks clearly.

Fr. Houghton always planned on being a teacher rather than a parish priest, and found that the Episcopal Church wasn’t really set up to deal with that. Nonetheless, he persevered and, while canonically resident in Louisiana, was ordained by The Rt. Rev. Stuart Little, II in the Diocese of Northern Indiana.

He has been a chaplain at independent schools in Indiana, Louisiana, and Missouri before coming to Pottstown.

Fr. Houghton has a number of publications, including a novel-Rough Magicke, poetry-Falconry and Other Poems (both available on Amazon). He plans to publish a sequel to Rough Magicke this summer, tentatively titled Like a Noise in Dreams.

He has also published a number of academic essays, particularly in the area of medieval studies. He has a particular passion for the works of J. R. R. Tolkien—Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, etc. and, as a result, is on the editorial board of Mythlore and The Journal of Tolkien Research. His recent article for Connections, “Holidays as Signs of the Timeless,” can be read on the Hill School website[i].

His work has been recognized with the Nelson Burr Prize of The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church in 1998 (“No Bishop, No Queen: Queens Regnant and the Ordination of Women” and the Dorothy A. Given Fellowship of the Episcopal Church Foundation, 1990-1993

Fr. Houghton is also active in the community. He and his students participated in the parish shelter ministry, serving a meal to those spending the night, and he is using his discretionary fund to help buy and install one or more street cameras to help decrease crime locally. He also serves on diocesan committees both here in PA (as an Examining Chaplain) and in Northern Indiana (as a member of the Committee on Constitution and Canons).


Rev. John Houghton


Address: 316 E. High St. PO 252 Pottstown, PA 19464   Phone: 610-323-2895     Powered by My Church Websites
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