Born in Nebraska, Arvid Straube earned a B.A. degree from Ball State University in 1975, an M.A. in Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1978, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1979. The title of his dissertation was Transcendentalism and the New Age: The Inseparability of Spiritual Growth and Social Action. The intersection between spiritual development and working for social change has been an abiding passion throughout his ministry. Rev. Straube was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry by the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, British Columbia in 1979.
Rev. Straube served as Associate Minister at the East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, Washington for three years, before beginning a 21 year ministry at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durham, North Carolina in 1983 . He was that congregation’s first full time minister. During that ministry, the congregation grew from 170 to over 700 members, built three new buildings, and helped found two new congregations. During the 1980s Rev. Straube made three trips to Central America with the inter-faith group Witness For Peace, a group that witnessed and reported on the human cost of the U. S. sponsored wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador. He was active in a number of social justice causes, including working with an inter-faith coalition opposing a state constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.
Rev. Straube has served as Lead Minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, a 725 member church founded in 1873. During his ministry there, the church built a new community building and established a bi-lingual ministry at a second campus in Chula Vista, near the border with Mexico. The church is very active as well in the struggle for marriage equality in California and for immigrant rights.
Rev. Straube has had a Buddhist meditation practice for 30 years. He describes himself as well as a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth.
Commenting on what has motivated his long ministry, Rev. Straube said, “It breaks my heart that people have a chance to live a life of fulfillment, happiness, wisdom, and service and don’t take advantage of this precious opportunity. I strongly believe that a full life is best lived in a religious community. Our congregations heal lives so we can help heal the world.”