Ron Verblaauw studied for and received his Master of Divinity degree from the Theological School of Drew University in May 2012. Accepted as a Member-in-Discernment by the New Jersey Association of the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ in April 2010, he was approved for ordination pending a call at an Ecclesiastical Council in November 2013. The Rutherford Congregational Church called Ron to be their Interim Pastor in October 2014.
While studying at Drew Theological School, Ron participated in the school’s Partnership for Religion and Education in Prison (“PREP”) at Northern State Prison. After graduation, he was invited by the Rev. Pamela Bakal to join the Prison Ministry Team of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.
Other accomplishments during his time in seminary were the formal establishment of SPECTRUM as a student caucus for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students of the Theological School, its active presence on campus, and participation in the religious life of the community. He was presented with the 2014 Antoinette Esquire Holland Award by SPECTRUM in recognition of his ministry and advocacy for the LGBTQ community. Ron was a joint recipient of the Drew Theological School Franz Hildebrandt Award in April 2012 for combining deep faith and excellence in theological studies with effective ministry as an intern or pastor in a field education assignment (student ministry).
Ron is a member of the Interim Ministry Network (“IMN”) and working toward completion of Interim Ministry training and certification with IMN.
Prior to seminary, Ron majored in Public Accounting at Pace University’s Downtown NYC campus, graduating in June 1978 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. After obtaining his New Jersey CPA license in January 1980, he worked in public accounting until May 1990 and thereafter in several corporate accounting and finance positions. He left corporate accounting and finance in July 2010 to pursue his studies at Drew Theological School on a full-time basis.
Ron has a lifelong love for the pipe organ and sacred music. He began private piano lessons at the age of seven and graduated to the organ at thirteen. He served as choral accompanist and rehearsal conductor during his high school years at Manchester Regional in Haledon, NJ, and served as volunteer organist in his family’s church for many years. The love of music drew him back to the organ in 1997. From that time until June 2014, Ron held positions as Organist and Choir Director at United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and UCC churches.