The Director

Updated July 3, 2012: 

Philip J. Secker (1937- ) was born in Grand Rapids, MN, in the same hospital and probably in the same delivery room that Judy Garland had been born in 15 years earlier. Grand Rapids is thirty miles west of Hibbing, where Bob Dylan grew up. Five miles north of Hibbing is Chisholm, where Arthur Carl Piepkorn served from 1933-36. The Director won seven letters in wrestling and gymnastics in High School and is a Silve Palm on Eagle Scout.

The Director is a graduate of St. Olaf College (Phi Beta Kappa Jr. Year, summa cum laude 1959) and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis (1963). He was also on the debate team and lettered four years in swimming and diving. He has also studied at Luther Seminary (summer 1959), Concordia Senior College (fall 1959), Washington University (1960-61), the University of Minnesota (1962) and the Graduate School of the Ecumenical Institute in Céligny, Switzerland (1972-73). He earned both the S.T.M. and Th.D. degrees (1967, 1973) under Arthur Carl Piepkorn. The readers of his dissertation, which was on the Medieval background of the Book of Concord, were Robert W. Bertram and Herbert T. Mayer. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Reserve Component Command and General Staff College. He has been allowed a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office that solves a common problem with computers and other electronic devices, but declined to pay to have it published because he has a better solution to the same problem that he hopes to sell to a company.He served parishes in Grover, MO (1964-68), New Ipswich and Peterborough (1973-85) NH, and Coventry, CT (1996-2002,) and a Gown-Town ministry in Storrs/Mansfield, CT (1985-2002). He also spent three years on active duty as a chaplain in the U.S.Army, including all of 1969 with combat military police and infantry in Vietnam, and retired from the Reserves in the rank of Colonel in 1993. He has been awarded 13 medals and ribbons, including the Bronze Star for his service in combat in Vietnam. From 1976-85 he was a part-time lecturer in the Department of Theology of St. Anselm College in Goffstown, NH. 

He has authored about a dozen publications in addition to those listed in the Site Bibliography, all influenced by Piepkorn.

He has made frequent presentations about Piepkorn and his theology to Circuit Pastoral Conferences and Bible Classes, and made six 5-6 hour PowerPoint presentations on Piepkorn and his theology to five different chapters of the Society for the Holy Trinity (The NYC Metropolitan Chapter, the New England Chapter twice; the California Chapter, the Florida Chapter and the Upper New York Chapter). He has been invited to make presentations at four more chapters but no dates had been set as of June 2012.

He is married to Karna nee Kohtz of Bloomfield, NB, a graduate of the Deaconess program of Valparaiso University and retired public school teacher. They have three grown children and four grandchildren and live in Storrs/Mansfield, CT.

His inventions. He received a letter from the US Patent and Trademark Office allowing him a patent on one invention, but he did not pay the issuance and publication fee because he has thought of a better way to solve the problem that his invention solves. Since moving to a townhouse four blocks away, he has sold the prototypes of the SuperNetTM to neighbors. He has received commendations for his invention from as far away as Brazil and Australian. One man wrote that by using this idea, he can remove all of the leaves from his yard in one third of the time that it used to take. That is what the Director found too. You can see it by searching on Philip James Secker on FaceBook and YouTube.

For photographs, go to the Director & Mt. Whitney page.


My wife, Karna, in our son’s Honda S2000 on Skyline Drive in Virginia in 2003. Once she took over the “six on the floor” on the Skyline Drive, I could not get her out from behind the wheel. She let me take it down the switchbacks, however.

At my retirement dinner in 2002.