Rev. Stephen Underwood

Rev. Stephen Underwood

Associate Minister

Rev. Stephen Underwood (he/they) is one curious critter, a person with big feelings and even bigger questions, and a believer in the power of story to bring hope and healing to a world in desperate need of both. As Associate Minister, he is delighted by the opportunity to lead with and learn from Community: imagining and embodying a church where all God’s children can know what home and family should feel like, and where justice and mercy flourish.

While he was technically born in a hospital, church was the place that made Rev. Stephen who he is. He grew up hearing the stories of David and Elijah and Esther, learning memory verses at Vacation Bible School and competing in Bible Bowl all the way through adolescence. But while pursuing a degree in Biblical Studies at a small, conservative Bible college in his hometown of Cincinnati, he began to encounter questions that a fundamentalist understanding of the world

simply couldn’t answer. Deep study of the Bible and its context, companionship with Christians of different backgrounds and understandings, and a growing sense of his own identity as a queer person, all worked to shape them into a minister with a heart for all who have known harm from the church. Rev. Stephen received his MDiv from Vanderbilt Divinity School, a place that honed his passion for God’s liberation—individual, social, and cosmic—and gave him the skills for a ministry centered around justice and mercy. Living at the Disciples Divinity House there connected him with a beloved community of chosen family that sustains him to this day. In his spare time, Rev. Stephen enjoys hanging out with his cats, Merlin and Morgana, playing video games, board games, and Dungeons and Dragons, and watching drag performances.


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