Brief Bio

Photo Jun 21, 4 51 27 PM (1)The Rev. Dr. Teri McDowell Ott has been an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister for over twenty years. After receiving her Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary she served the church in a variety of pastoral positions. In 2008 she completed her Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. She began serving Monmouth College as Chaplain in January of 2011 and was promoted to Dean of the Chapel in 2019. Teri is married to the Rev. Dr. Daniel J. Ott who serves Monmouth College as an Associate Dean and Associate Professor in Religious Studies. On June 1st, 2021 Teri accepted a new call as Editor / Publisher of The Presbyterian Outlook, the only independent news resource of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Teri and Dan have two towheaded teenagers, Isaac and Ella, and a mischievous mutt named Max.

Teri’s first book will be released on March 15th, 2022 by Fortress Press. Inspired by her work with college students and her experience volunteer teaching in a men’s prison, Teri’s first book is Necessary Risks: Challenges Privileged People Need to Face.

11 thoughts on “Brief Bio

  1. I noticed in one of your posts a picture of a girl underwater, covering her face. It’s very powerful, and would be perfect on the cover of my latest novel. I’m just a simple writer, and am searching for powerful images such as this one to convey the theme of my novels. I would like to ask your permission to use it, or ask where I can find the artist. Thank you.


    • Hi Miranda,
      I’d love to help you, but I found this image simply through a google search for images on “fear.” I tried to find it again, but couldn’t. Maybe you could find out more through the link attached to the photo on my blog. Best of luck!

  2. Dear Teri, I have been browsing because I am to get acquainted with a new blogger and make contact by writing something personal. This is an assignment from “Commenting Bootcamp” offered by Word Press. I found you. Consider it a game of “tag.” I have read a couple of your Christmas sermons because I am preparing a lesson for a small Sunday morning class; the scripture this week is Matthew 2:1-12, the story of the Magi. Your “follow the star” quickly caught my attention. I am 81 years old and my students are all older people; however, not likely as old as I. I am intending to pursue the issue of personal worship and connecting II Samuel 24:24 and I Chronicles 21:24 in which David says he will not offer to the Lord something that costs him nothing. There is a song on You Tube with that title. I believe I want to use it. I’m looking for lyrics I can copy because I have a bit of trouble distinguishing all the words – a bit of age related effect. . . . Well, I guess I have fulfilled my assignment! In the process I have found someone I would like to share some blogging time with so I am following. Hope you will hop over and get acquainted with “sweet aroma,” the title of my blog.

  3. Teri, I am honored by your follow of my blog.

    May God bless your ministry and please let me know if I may serve what you are doing in any way.

  4. Teri,
    You may not remember me and that’s okay. I wanted to write to tell you how much your blog regarding Lamar meant to him and his family. Thank you and I wish you well in your future.

    Ricky Taylor

    • Ricky!
      I do remember you! Please tell Karen and Courtney I said, “Hello!” Thank you for your note. I’ve wanted to do something for Lamar for a long time and finally came up with the idea of a blog post. I was hoping this way more people could read about him and appreciate him.

      Best wishes to you and your family!

  5. Hi Teri,

    Fellow student in the Narrative Journalism class. Will try to follow your blog as time allows (a quandary we all have with our busy lives). I noticed in your bio that you received your doctorate from McCormick Theological Seminary. I’m very familiar with the seminary; I walked by it at least once a day during my time in Evanston as a student at Northwestern. I don’t want to confess how long ago Northwestern granted me my journalism degree. Let’s just say in the late Pleistocene era. 🙂

    • Hi Dennis! Thanks for checking out my blog! It’s always fun to make connections with people like this and see where our lives have crossed in the past.

  6. Hi Teri,
    I see your maiden name is McDowell. In the 60’s we had a minister by the name of Albert D. McDowell. By any chance is he related to you.
    Jewell Morgan
    Pilgrim Presbyterian Church
    Vinita, OK

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