74 Years Ago Today

74 years ago today, Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was called from his cell and hanged in this yard at the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp in Bavaria. His remains were burned in a pyre and the ashes scattered in the forest. It would be weeks before anyone knew what had happened to him. Watch this video of my interview with the last person to have talked to Bonhoeffer . . .

Join TDBI President

Join TDBI President, Dr. Rob Schenck, and our Fellows for an unforgettable experience on Sunday, April 7, 3PM at Riverside Baptist Church, 699 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024! All are welcome at no cost!

Al Staggs portrays Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his own words–from his prison cell in Berlin:

In honor of Black History Month, we recommend the book Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance by Reggie L. Williams.

Read the book review by Bonhoeffer scholar Larry Rasmussen on The Bonhoeffer Center website.


The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute Welcomes Inaugural Cohort of Fellows

TDBI Inaugural Fellows Cohort is welcomed by President and CEO Rob Schenck, TDBI Board Member and 4th US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Dr. Suzan D. Johnson Cook: (L-R) Hope Cristensen, Daryl Loban, Rachel Couch and Thomas Benz.

The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute (TDBI) in Washington, DC, dedicated to raising up morally courageous leadership in the model of our namesake, recently welcomed our inaugural cohort of fellows into the life and work of the Institute.

Fellows, who are appointed in perpetuity, are selected based on criteria including educational and professional accomplishment, interest in Bonhoeffer as a model of moral leadership, and dedication to assisting TDBI in practical ways through voluntary service. Fellows are non-stipendiary, meaning they do not receive pay, but are given extraordinary access to opportunities to learn about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his ideas. In their monthly meetings, fellows explore Bonhoeffer’s writings, assist the President and CEO in planning program, and participate in field work such as visits to related institutions, events, and colloquia with Bonhoeffer scholars.

The TDBI Inaugural Fellows include Thomas E. Benz II, a graduate of University of Kentucky and Vice President of a Washington, DC, communications consulting firm; Hope Christensen, graduate of the University of North Carolina, program manager for a non-profit organization helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and a seminarian; and Rachel Couch, graduate of the University of Virginia in comparative literature and a professional photographer.

In 2019, TDBI will also confer Senior Fellowships on individuals with terminal degrees and substantial professional bona fides reflecting Bonhoeffer-related subject matter.

Schenck Talks Bonhoeffer Podcast

Sponsored by The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute

Current Episodes

Schenck Talks Bonhoeffer Podcast

Sponsored by The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute

Program Content Description

Many have heard of his name – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  And many know he was a martyr under the Nazi regime during World War II.  Yet, what many do not know, is that he was a theologian, a professor, a humanitarian, an ethicist, a prolific writer, and his most dearest role, an Evangelical pastor who loved the church and called it to take the higher, yet more difficult road, during the most turbulent time in history.  We can glean from Bonhoeffer’s approach in examining and proposing solutions to the various crises, controversies, and conflicts that he encountered in his era – and that we encounter in our world today.  Join us on our journey of not only discovering Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but on continuing his work to restore integrity to a Christianity contaminated and disfigured by political cooptation and exploitation.

The Host

Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck

The Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck is an ordained Evangelical minister and president of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, located in Washington, DC.  A leader among American Evangelicals, Rev. Schenck served a 2-year term as chairman of the Evangelical Church Alliance, America’s oldest association of independent Evangelical clergy, and is now an advisor to the Office of the Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance.

Rev. Schenck holds a B.A. in Religion, M.A. in Christian Ministry, D.Min in Church and State, and is a senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy at Oxford.

Rev. Schenck serves on numerous boards and committees, including the National Advisory Board on Community Engagement in the State Courts.

Rev. Schenck lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Cheryl, a psychotherapist in private practice.

Episode 1

Introducing Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In this premier episode of Schenck Talks Bonhoeffer, you will meet the courageous and fascinating Dietrich Bonhoeffer and learn how this one man, dedicated to Christ and to his fellow human beings, left an imprint that impacted his world and our world today.


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18


The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute is coming alongside Prayer Warriors Against Gun Violence asking Pastor’s, Ministry Leaders, and all Christians to join in prayer for survivors and friends and family of gun violence on Sunday, October 15th

PLEASE JOIN US as we lift up in prayer all those who have been impacted by gun violence in our nation. May we, as believers, show the love and compassion of Christ to the many individuals and families that live with the aftermath of gun violence – asking God to comfort them in their grief and to restore hope in their hearts.

The President of The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck, states:

“Survivor Sunday is a wonderful way for Christians to reach out with the love of the Great Physician to those devastated by gun violence. A bullet can take a life suddenly and frighteningly, but it can also leave survivors, loved ones, witnesses, and even whole communities deeply traumatized and in bondage to fear. Survivor Sunday telegraphs the critical message that Christians care about all the ways in which people suffer after a gun is used to harm someone. Survivor Sunday is a powerful, prayerful ministry of compassion.”

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