Welch Biography


Rev. John C. Welch, Ph.D.

Rev. Dr. John C. Welch is a native of Pittsburgh and product of its public and private education systems. A graduate of Central Catholic High School, he matriculated to Carnegie Mellon University where he received a B.S. in chemical engineering and economics. Rev. Welch received a Masters of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in healthcare ethics from Duquesne University.

Rev. Welch began a productive career in computer technology and information systems working for organizations such as IBM, Grubb & Ellis, and Deloitte & Touche. During his corporate career, Rev. Welch also entered into the ministry and after providing ministry support to several Pittsburgh congregations, including Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church, Victory Baptist Church, and the Baptist Temple Church, he became the pastor of Bidwell Presbyterian Church in 1999.

Rev. Welch is currently the Vice President for Student Services and Community Engagement, and Dean of Students at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS).

In his work in the community, Rev. Welch served on various boards and advisory committees, including the Community Research Advisory Board of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Minority Health, the Board of Directors of the Rankin Christian Center, and the City of Pittsburgh’s Ethics Hearing Board. He co-chaired the Religious Affairs Committee of the Pittsburgh NAACP and was Chair of the Advisory Board of Centers for Healthy Hearts and Souls. Rev. Welch also served as president of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network for six years. During his tenure, Rev. Welch led marches and protests for employment rights for security guards, hospital workers, and commercial office cleaners.

In 2005, Rev. Welch was part of the national leadership team that organized a protest of more than 4,000 people from across the country at the Capitol in Washington D.C. that successfully urged the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by the late Senator Edward Kennedy, to vote down a bill that would criminalize anyone who provided assistance to undocumented immigrants. His 2014 campaign, in support of UPMC service workers subjected to intimidation in order to obstruct efforts to unionize, resulted in his being arrested with 9 other clergy, including his wife, the Rev. B. De Neice Welch. This advocacy led to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) citing UPMC. In addition, as the Pittsburgh Public Schools searched for a new school superintendent, Rev. Welch, along with a handful of other leaders, adamantly supported the decision by the school board to elect Dr. Anthony Hamlet. Since the board unanimously voted to hire Dr. Hamlet, Rev. Welch believed not supporting the board would undermine the democratic process.

In addition to his community and seminary duties, Rev. Welch also serves as an adjunct professor of Business Ethics at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business, and its Consortium Ethics Program. Rev. Welch has been the Chief Chaplain for the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police since 2008, serves on the Ethics Committee for Forbes Hospital of the Allegheny Health Network, and is a member of the Sports & Exhibition Authority board overseeing the use of tax-payer dollars for the operation and upkeep of our public stadiums and arena.

Rev. Welch received the NAACP Pastor of the Year Award, the Human Rights Award from Church Women United, Inc., the YWCA Racial Justice Award, the Gamaliel Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Legacy Leader Award, and was a finalist for the City of Pittsburgh’s DiverCity365 Living Legend Honors for his work towards equity, progress and inclusion.

Rev. Welch has resided in Pittsburgh his entire life. He and his wife of 31 years, Rev. B. DeNeice Welch, Senior Pastor of the Bidwell Street United Presbyterian Church, have raised four children - Aja, Jordan, John and Ian. They also share their love with three wonderful grandchildren.



PO Box 100216


Pittsburgh, PA 15233


Phone: 412-228-0279