Peter Kountz, Vicar


Peter Kountz was ordained a Priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania in June 2015, having Read for Holy Orders at Virginia Theological Seminary under the direction of  Professor Frank Wade. His journey to the priesthood, though very long, began early with his concert pianist and teacher mother and his music critic and plant manager father. As an ecumenical Roman Catholic, Father Peter’s call was nurtured and kept alive by Choir School, Ursuline nuns, the Benedictines, Martin Marty and The University of Chicago, Joan Chittister, Thomas Merton, Fred Rogers, musicians of all kinds, many old and trusted colleagues and friends and, most importantly, with exquisite patience and understanding, his wife and children.  As Vicar of St. Stephen’s, Father Peter’s work is caring for souls through daily worship, pastoral counseling and individual discernment. Through his discernment work, Father Peter guides individuals who are trying to figure out where they might fit in God’s universe and what they might be called to do with their lives, especially those who sense a call to the clergy, religious life or to a life of service. Father Peter also performs baptisms, presides over marriage preparation sessions and marriages, and meets regularly with artists who are interested in St. Stephen’s as a place for performances and encounters with the sacred.

Along the way, Father Peter received a B.A. in English from Saint Meinrad College Seminary and an M.A. in Literature and Music and a Ph.D in History of Culture from The University of Chicago. He served on the faculties and in the administrations of The University of Chicago and the University of Rochester. From 2005 to 2015, Father Peter was the Head of The Charter School of Architecture + Design in Center City Philadelphia and he currently serves on the Board of The American Paradigm Schools.

Among other things, Father Peter has been a truck and bus driver, journalist, arts critic, professional musician, college baseball coach, concert producer, managed a University radio station, served as a retreat director, and was the first Curator of the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House in Chicago. In his other lives, Father Peter is a teacher, writer, and arts consultant, and he coaches professional musicians.

Before he came to Saint Stephen’s as Vicar, Father Peter was the Curate at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square.  Father Peter and his wife Nanci have three children and three grandchildren.