The Rev. Canon Manoj M. Zachari, Sub-Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, graduated from Vassar College (B.A. in political philosophy) where he served as president of the Virginia A. Smith Debate Society and editor for Real Politik, a student-run political science journal. He earned his first master’s degree in theology (the equivalent to a Master of Divinity) at the Mar Thoma Theological Seminary in Kerala, India, and was ordained through the Mar Thoma Syrian Church (an Anglican Communion partner). He then attended the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church where he obtained his Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M) with a concentration in Christian Ascetic Theology. He is currently writing his doctoral dissertation at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto (Ph.D., ABD.)
His area of academic-theological interest is the methodology of inter-religious dialogue. Among his life experiences are stints working in politics, business-economic development, and the financial field. He has also served as a lecturer in philosophy, English, and Anglican theology. He is trained in leadership and community organizing. Most recently, Manoj completed a Fellowship at the prestigious Hartman Institute (Shalom Hartman) through the Clergy Leadership Initiative Project sponsored conjointly by Hartman and the American Jewish Committee.
He is married to Joelle Thomas Zacharia, an English lecturer. They have two children, Abigail and Johan.
What do you consider your ministerial gifts?
I would say that the gifts that have been affirmed by my style of ministerial leadership are pastoral, energetic, relational, passionate, visionary and disciplined. I am a teacher. I strive to be a good listener.
What is your theology of ministry?
My theology of ministry is to L.E.A.D., that is to listen, engage, affirm and disciple the community of faith in living out our Baptismal Covenant in the world.
What do you think were the most significant developments at the Church of St. Paul’s and Resurrection while you served as rector?
There are several. The first is witnessing a 15% increase in church attendance and financial giving. Others were developing various mission activities such as the Theology of Community Presence; initiating a music ministry and education and health ministries; and promoting a collaborative approach to ministry through the theology of baptism.
What led you to answer the call to serve as the sub-dean of Christ Church Cathedral?
A new chapter is being written in the life of Christ Church Cathedral. As a young cathedral, the Christ Church parish is poised to be a leader throughout the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church. The opportunity to serve as a facilitator in the discovery of the cathedral identity fascinates me.
Leadership, for the cathedral parish community, will consist of casting a transformative vision that seeks to be a collaborative bridge builder in downtown Cincinnati, the Diocese of Southern Ohio, The Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion. An exciting facet of realizing this possibility is the willingness and desire of the cathedral leadership to move beyond the walls of its building to build inroads and networks into the wider community. I will be pleased to be part of that.
What will your duties as sub-dean consist of?
I will serve as the liaison for Christian Formation and help members prepare for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and marriage or blessings. I will also be assisting the dean with outreach and community relations and partnerships. I look to help the dean in sustaining existing relationships, while forging new ones between various constituencies (corporate, governmental, religious, and not-for-profit) and communities in Cincinnati.
It is my prayer that in a spirit of love and collaboration, we will be able to serve as agents of the kingdom of God through a mutual ministry at Christ Church Cathedral.