John Knutsen

Born and raised in the Central Valley of Northern California, John holds a BA in History from the University of the Pacific, an MLitt in Ancient History from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and an MA in Theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology.  From 2013-2019 he served as Coordinator for Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation for the Diocese of Arlington, prior to which he was Director of Admissions and Recruitment for the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology for eight years.  John is a certified Master Catechist and has been active in adult faith formation, catechist training, and RCIA at the parish and diocesan levels since 2005.  He has given many presentations and workshops on a wide variety of topics at parishes and conferences on the east and west coasts, and he serves as an online mentor for the Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

A cradle Catholic who drifted away from the Church in his early teens and spent 15 years in the wilderness of indifference and atheism, John returned to the Catholic faith in 1998, a story outlined in various ways on the following:

  • The Journey Home, with Marcus Grodi on EWTN
  • Signposts ("An Atheist Goes to the Adoration Chapel"), from the Coming Home Network
  • Signposts ("What I Wish Christians Understood About Atheists"), from the Coming Home Network
  • Seize the Day, with Gus Lloyd on Sirius XM's Catholic Channel
  • Our Recourse, with Brian J. Gail on the In His Sign Catholic Radio Network
  • Searching for More, with Billy Atwell on the Diocese of Arlington website

He is also working on a book about his journey back to the Church.

John lives with his wife and daughter in Arlington, where they are parishioners at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.


Recent Presentations

  • There and Back Again: My Journey Into and Out of Atheism
  • The New Atheists, or What Happened When I Binge-Read Their Books
  • The Temptation and Threat of Relativism
  • Purgatory, Indulgences, and Devotion to the Holy Souls
  • Creeds: What They Are, Where They Come From
  • Evangelization and Discipleship
  • Make the Last Things First - Catholic Teaching on Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell
  • The Importance of Silence for Spiritual Growth
  • Intimacy with God through Lectio Divina
  • What Our Lady of Fatima and the Rosary are Teaching Me About Being a Catholic Man
  • Fellow Citizens With the Saints: The Place of the Church in the Christian Life
  • The Mission and Spirituality of the Catechist

    Other topics are available on most any aspect of the Catholic faith.