Rev. Julian DeShazier, Senior Pastor

Julian joined University Church as Senior Pastor in November 2010. He is a Chicago native, and a graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago Divinity School. Prior to beginning here, Julian served as Teen Pastor at Covenant United Church of Christ, and has also worked extensively with the Coca-Cola Leadership Program and Fund for Theological Education.

Pastor Julian is also an award-winning hip hop musician and songwriter, known to many as “J.Kwest.” In 2015, he won an EMMY Award for his role in the short film, Strange Fruit. He has also been featured on Fox, CBS, and NPR; on the late Dr. Maya Angelou’s Sirius XM radio program; and on the cover of the Chicago Reader. Julian is currently an adjunct professor both at the University of Chicago Divinity School and McCormick Theological Seminary, and a regular voice on Huffington Post and Sojourners publications. In 2016, Julian began serving as the inaugural chair of the Community Advisory Council of the University of Chicago Medical Center, focused on optimizing population health outcomes on the southside of Chicago.

We are excited about the gifts and passion Julian brings to University Church, and hope you will join us as we work together to be the people God is calling us to be.