Charlie Cotherman ’12 Receives the Seminary’s Fred McFeely Rogers Award for Creative Ministry

After obtaining his MDiv degree from PTS, the Rev. Dr. Charles (Charlie) E. Cotherman ’12 earned a Ph.D. in American Church History from the University of Virginia. He and his family then moved back close to his hometown in Pennsylvania and planted Oil City Vineyard (OCV) church.

The church has been planting hope in many young people’s hearts in Oil City. “Young leaders who are willing to roll up their sleeves and love their town have emerged,” Charlie explains, “and God has opened doors of influence and connection with other churches, town leaders, and local government.”

OCV started in 2016 with eight people in the Cothermans’ living room. (Charlie’s spouse, Aimee, is also a PTS grad.) Within the first two years, the group had outgrown multiple meeting spaces. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the church was accommodating a regular Sunday attendance of more than 100 people at the local YWCA.

Charlie also serves as the administrative director for The Project on Rural Church Ministry, funded by a five-year Lilly Endowment grant, which focuses on the unique circumstances of pastors serving rural and small-town communities. The project works with pastors to facilitate their collaboration with one another and with college faculty and students to strengthen local ministry in rural and small-town contexts. Charlie is also the author of To Think Christianly: A History of L’Abri, Regent College, and the Christian Study Center Movement.

During Alumnae/i Days 2021, the Seminary recognized Charlie’s work with The Fred McFeely Rogers Award for Creative Ministry.

Charlie Cotherman church planting Fred McFeely Rogers Award for Creative Ministry