Pastor ProfileRev. Denise Andersen

Rev. Denise Andersen celebrated her 25th Anniversary as pastor of Clackamas United Church of Christ on August 16th, 2015!
Read her reflection on 25 years at Clackamas UCC.

Sacramental Functions & Pastoral Care
Rev. Andersen is available for:

• Memorial Services
• Weddings and Home Communion
• Ongoing Pastoral Care
• Home, Hospital and Nursing Home Visitation
• Crisis Counseling
• Marriage and Family Counseling
• Personal Consultation
• Life Planning Guidance

Peace & Justice Work
Rev. Andersen has actively worked for issues of justice and peace in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest including:

• Board President, Clackamas Services Agency – provides emergency services for Clackamas County.
• Board Director, Celilo Indian Education Program
• Board Chair, Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ
• Board Chair, Justice and Witness Ministry Team
• Coordinator, Just Peace effort Central Pacific Conference - helps local churches through the process of becoming national Just Peace Churches
• Conference Board of Director and Wider Church Ministries Team - deals with global issues relative to the United Church of Christ
• Committee Member, Mental Health Symposium, Central Pacific Conference
• Leadership role, National UCC Racial Justice Conference

Rev. Andersen has been active in refugee resettlement (personally providing housing for Guatemalan and Haitian refugees). She guided Clackamas United Church of Christ through the sponsorship of two refugee families from the Congo. Involvement with these families has lasted 10+ years.

Local Outreach Missions
Rev. Andersen works with Clackamas United Church of Christ in their involvement with:

• Clackamas Services Agency
• Outside In (homeless youth agency)
• Clackamas Women’s Services (agency for abused women and children)
• King’s Cupboard Food Bank
• Annie Ross House (shelter for Homeless families)
• Founder of the Westwood Guest House (an independent shelter managed through Transitional Housing Alternatives, serving nearly 40 families over the course of 10 years)

Performing & Environmental Arts
Rev. Andersen is a recent recipient of a Lily Foundation Grant which supports her continued work on an environmental art installation based on the Stations of the Cross.

She is an active member of Portland's performing arts community. She can be heard singing with the David York Ensemble. She was a featured soloist at the National UCC Racial Justice Conference in Portland, and was a soloist at the Justice and Peace Conference during Synod in Minneapolis. She provides Conference wide music and art leadership. Denise combined her love of theater with her love for outreach projects by traveling with a production of “On Tidy Endings”- a play about how AIDS touches an entire family. Local health officials in the communities lead discussions on HIV/AIDS after the presentations.

Rev. Andersen is a Co-Producer of three CD’s in 2008/2009/2012:

  • “Way Back Home” - a Compilation CD of Portland area musicians benefitting the Habitat for Humanity’s Musicians’ Village in New Orleans post hurricane Katrina
  • “Apollo and Hyacinth” - a recording of an original ballet composed by David York and performed by members of the Oregon Symphony
  • "Ryan Andersen" Self-Titled EP   

    Educational Background
  • Bachelor's of Arts degree (cum laude) with concentrations in Public Relations, Media, Theater and Vocal Performance from Olivet College, a United Church of Christ undergraduate institution in Michigan
  • Graduated with honors from the Chicago Theological Seminary with a Master's of Divinity, focusing in pastoral leadership, New Testament studies and counseling
  • Ordained pastorate at University Church in Chicago

Rev. Andersen keeps her academic work active and has received continuing education units through:

  • Center for Spiritual Development
  • Pacific School of Religion
  • Biblical Archeological Society

Family Life
Denise Andersen lives in Milwaukie with her husband - Dr. Steven Andersen. They have four adult children: Ryan, Caitlin, Richard and Angelo. They share their home with Twist (the cat), and Finn (the tortoise).