Rob Hankinson was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Canada in May 1973. He was Minister of Garneau United Church, Edmonton, (1980 - 2008); Associate Minister of Robertson Wesley United Church, Edmonton, (1977 - 1980); and Minister of the Lac La Biche United Church Pastoral Charge (1973 - 1977). He has been active in ecumenical and interfaith activities since attending Canada’s first ecumenical seminary, The Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1970 -1973).
From 2008-2012, Rob was Chaplain at the Ashbourne, Garneau United Church’s Assisted Living facility here in Edmonton and an on call Chaplain at the University of Alberta Hospital. He continues to serve as an on call Chaplain with the City of Edmonton. In 2008 Rob was appointed Secretary of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN), and in 2012 Rob was elected Chair of NAIN.
During his ministry in Alberta Rob has been involved with the following ecumenical and interfaith organizations: the Edmonton and District Council of Churches (1980-2000, with two terms as President); the 7th National Institute on Ecumenism (1992); the Interchurch Interfaith Committee of Edmonton Presbytery (1986- present); Chair of the Interchurch Interfaith Committee of Alberta and Northwest Conference, and member of the national ICIF Committee of the General Council of the United Church of Canada in the 1980’s; Chair of the Ecumenical Chaplaincy Board, University of Alberta (1980-1983); Chair of the Alberta Church Consultation Committee (1982-85); and a founding member of the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action(1995). He served as an alternate delegate for the United Church of Canada and three years as a Vice-President (1997-2000) on the Governing Board of the Canadian Council of Churches. In 1985, Rob was a member of the first Canada- USSR ecumenical study tour. In 2003 he was conferred the degree of Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa) by St. Stephen’s College. In 2005 he was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal for community service. In 2009, he was named Minister Emeritus of Garneau United Church.
Rob taught “Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures” at St. Stephen’s College, University of Alberta (1985-1991). He participated in the United Church’s Western Field Based Diaconal Ministry programme through teaching introductory Ethics courses and offering seminars on Prophetic Literature and Hebrew Scriptures (1990-1993).
Rob has an ongoing commitment to interchurch and interfaith efforts, and continues to offer support for programmes and activities seeking social justice. He was appointed Executive Director of the Edmonton Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in August 2013.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia and P.E.I., a graduate of Dalhousie University and the Atlantic School of Theology, Rob has lived in Alberta since 1973. Rob’s partner (of 45 years) is Dr. Mary Norton, Art Therapist, and Expressive Arts Facilitator.