Meet Rev. Dr. Paul Knupp Jr.

Green Party Candidate for Congress 

- Iowa's 3rd District -

Rev. Dr. Paul Knupp Jr. was raised in a union family in Youngstown, Ohio.  He first joined a union at 16, later joing the United Steelworkers of America, Local 1670, and is a union member today.   He moved to Iowa 40 years ago. He served 11 churches here, seven of them in rural/country Iowa settings.  He taught at four Iowa colleges. He has worked at two Iowa public hospitals and was a member of AFSCME, Local 15.  Paul is the interim minister at the Gladbrook Peace United Church of Christ in rural Gladbrook, Iowa.  Paul ran for public office three past times in Iowa.

He learned that you are what counts, not endorsements (of which he had a number).

Please contact Paul with your ideas or questions. Thank you.  Paul is a proponent of the social gospel and a liberation theologian.  Matthew 25 encapulsulates his politics - "as you did it to the least of these..."



  • B.A., magna cum laude, Roberts Wesleyan College, Phi Kappa Sigma Honor Society
  • M. Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
  • M.A., Educational Psychology, University of Iowa (ABD)
  • Ed. D., Leadership Studies, Drake University
    • Dissertation: The Contribution of the Recovery Self Assessment to the Measurement of Illness Management and Recovery

Des Moines Social Services Employment

Broadlawns Medical Center December 2008 – March 13,2918  Behavioral Tech on inpatient, Sands Unit.

Formerly Psychiatric Rahabilitation Practitioner on Path Team, and Behavioral Tech on Crisis Observation and Stabilization Centers.

  • Door-to-door Flood Counseling for Polk County Health Services
  • Implemented Illness Management & Recovery (IMR) Curriculum
  • Polk County Jail Counselor
  • Polk County Health Services Faculty for Recovery Specialists, subject – mental health
  • Started AA weekly recovery support group
Goodwill Industries March 2006 – December 2008
Counselor/Case Manager
  • Vocational Specialist, Golden Circle PACT Team

Other Des Moines Employment

First Friends Church (Quaker) 2002-2006
  • Administration and financial management, public speaking, community relations
  • Adult and children’s programming and teaching, volunteer coordination, counseling
Iowa Peace Network
State Coordinator
  • Fundraising, public speaking, community relations, event planning and promotion
  • Website design and newsletter publication
Des Moines Area Religious Council,
Red Barrel Program Coordinator
  • Coordination and oversight of hundreds of volunteers, goods and funds at 30 stores
  • Public speaking, community relations   
  • Financial and social service management

Additional Work Experience

University of Iowa; Clarke College; Kirkwood Community College
College and University Instructor (12 years)
  • At University of Iowa – taught educational psychology for two years as TA
  • At Kirkwood Community College taught development and general psychology on the ICN network, as well as religion and western civilization courses
  • At Clarke College – advised psychology students (also head of department for one year), taught general, developmental psychology, child & adolescent development, adult development, behavior modification, cognitive psychology, healthy personality, educational psychology, abnormal psychology, and social psychology


United Methodist; United Presbyterian; United Church of Christ
Multi-Denominational Minister (20 years)
  • Administration and financial management, public speaking, community relations
  • Staff and volunteer coordination, adult & children’s programming and teaching; refugee resettlement, counseling, youth group leadership
  • Keosauqua-Center Chapel-Bentonsport United Methodist Churches 1979 – 1983
  • Keosauqua United Church of Christ 1980-1983
  • Three quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), one advanced, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Resident Chaplain 1983-1984
  • Interim minister, Ainsworth & Cotter-Salem United Presbyterian Churches 1983-1984
  • Interim minister, New London Presbyterian Church 1984
  • Interim minister, Tipton United Church of Christ 1984-1985
  • Minister, Summit Congregational United Church of Christ 1985-1989
  • Associate minister, Coralville United Methodist Church, 1996-2000
  • Minister, First Friends Church (Quaker), 2002-2006
  • Gladbrook Peace United Church of Christ, interim minister, 2017 - present


Des Moines Community Involvement & Leadership


Iowa Green Party

AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

Justice Democrats

Democratic Socialists of America

Our Revolution of Central Iowa - Board Member

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Iowa 

American Humanist Association (AHA) – Co-founder & past President Humanist Society of Iowa 

AHA Chaplain, Iowa State Penitentiary, Ft. Madison, IA & Ft. Dodge Correctional Facility


Black Lives Matter

Asian & Latino Coalition

Medication Manager Certification

Chauffeur’s license

Notary Public

Current Certifications through Broadlawns:
  • Customer Service-Telephone Etiquette
  • Cultural Competence-Background and Benefits
  • Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Incident
  • The Impaired Professional
  • Diversity in the Workplace
  • Rapid Regulatory Compliance: Non-clinical II: General Safety, Fire Safety, Electrical Safety, Ergonomics, Back Safety, Hazard Communication, Security & Workplace Violence, Reporting Incidents, Emergency Preparedness, Infection Control
  • Restraints & Seclusion – Non-clinical
  • Emergency Incident Reporting
  • Shelter in Place & Workplace Violence
  • Performance Improvement in the Workplace
  • Standard Precautions: Bloodborne Pathogens and Other Potentially Infectious Materials
  • Rapid Regulatory Compliance: Non-clinical I: Corporate Compliance, Sexual Harassment, Patient Rights, Confidentiality, HIPAA, Grievances
  • Hill-Burton Program
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
  • Mandatory Reporting
  • DSM-5
  • Management of Aggressive Behavior (MAB) - Renewed
  • Medical Ethics
  • Drake University Literacy Center, Tutor (special needs students)
  • St. Theresa Catholic Church, Lector & Eucharistic Minister
  • Des Moines Public Schools, School Board Candidate
  • Woodland Creek Independent Living, Communion Minister
  • Up With Downs, “Buddy Walk” Co-chair
  • Disability Rights Iowa, Vice President
  • Hunger Hike Inc., Officer


Former Leadership Roles:

  • Registered Lobbyist for Common Cause, Trenton, NJ Statehouse
  • NAMI – Johnson County Vice President
  • Dubuque Area Habitat for Humanity – Co-founder, first President of Board
  • Operation New View – Vice-President of Board
  • Phone-a-Friend - Board Member
  • CROP – officer in three different Iowa counties
  • Candidate for Iowa House of Representatives
  • Candidate for School Board – Dubuque County
  • KH&H Productions – Co-founder & Co-Executive Director
  • Lifeboat Inc. – Co-founder & Executive Director (refugee resettlement)
  • State Coordinator of REP
  • Vocational & Rehabilitation Instructor – Chatham Oaks, Johnson County
  • Ice Events Manager & House Manager – Dubuque Civic Center
  • Radiology Clerk III – University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

Community memberships:

  • American Humanist Association
  • Democratic Socialists of America
  • Justice Democrats
  • Gladbrook Peace United Church of Christ
  • NAMI
  • Black Lives Matter
  • American Federation of Musicians Local 75
  • Asian & Latino Coalition
  • Broadlawns Guild



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