Episode 54: An Evangelical in “Episcoland”, with Aaron Klinefelter

Aaron Klinefelter is an Episcopalian deacon and will be ordained a priest.  But he didn’t start out Episocpalian. He started out Methodist with a strong evangelical emphasis.

In this episode, Aaron shares the story of how God called him out of that evangelical tradition into the Episcopal tradition. Aaron loves getting to belong to the Episcopal part of God’s family. But he’s noticed that there are some things he’s beginning to miss from his evangelical background.

What I love about Aaron’s story is that it is a great reminder that we’re all on a journey and nothing that happens in our lives is wasted or lost as move from one season of life to the next.






  • Aaron Klinefelter is the Associate Rector at Trinity Church in Menlo Park, CA.
  • Out of Solitude by Henri Nouwen is one of the most formative books Aaron has read.
  • Aaron grew up in Kentucky in the United Methodist Church.
  • Aaron attended Asbury College (now Asbury University) and entered into youth ministry.
  • It was in college that Aaron was first introduced to the Episcopal church. Aaron fell in love with the Episcopal church in part because the worship wasn’t about him and his experience. His evangelical tradition put a lot of emphasis on his emotional response to the music.
  • But Aaron did not yet find a way into the Episcopal church at that time.
  • Aaron began to learn about missional ministry and the emerging church. He and his wife attended Fuller Seminary intentionally because it was an interdenominational seminary.
  • After his time at Fuller, Aaron and his family moved to Cincinnati where he got involved in an emerging style church that had strong evangelical roots.
  • Aaron was eventually hired to do youth ministry in an Episcopal church in Cincinnati. A few years later, Aaron began the ordination process with the Episcopal denomination.
  • When Aaron joined the Episcopal church, he felt like he had come home. But he also saw all the downsides of the denomination.
  • Aaron and his family moved to Berkeley to pursue ordination in the Episcopal church.
  • Aaron said he wanted to know the rules well enough so he could know which rules he could break, which ones he could ignore, and so forth.
  • Aaron is currently ordained a deacon. He will be ordained a priest in November 2019.
  • Since being in the Episcopal church, Aaron finds there are aspects of his evangelical background that he misses.
  • Aaron, still loves his Episcopalian home and is just now beginning to be able to express his feelings.
  • In 1985, Robert Webber wrote Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail where he observed a trend in which evangelicals were moving toward Anglicanism.
  • The combination of Aaron’s evangelical background and Episcopalian present makes for fertile soil for experimentation.
  • You can connect with Aaron on Facebook and Instagram. Aaron’s church can be found at www.trinitymenlopark.org.




Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!  🙂

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