The Rev. Terry Shields Dirbas
Associate for Formation and Families
The Reverend Terry Shields Dirbas was born and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she grew up attending an Episcopal church and, as a child, could often be found "playing communion" with her dolls. Had she known at an early age that the Episcopal Church ordained women, she likely would have said she wanted to be a priest when she grew up.
Mother Terry was awarded an honors scholarship to Duke University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Religion, cum laude, and a certificate in Elementary Education. Following graduation, she served as an intern in Philadelphia supporting homeless families. Her experiences in teaching and outreach, and the mentoring of some wise and patient female clergy, led her to discern a call to ordained ministry.
Mother Terry received a fellowship from the Fund for Theological Education to attend General Theological Seminary in New York City, where she completed her Master of Divinity degree, cum laude, in 2010. While in seminary, she was awarded the McVickar Prize in Biblical Greek, as well as the J. Wilson Sutton Prize for her senior thesis exploring the biblical, theological, and historical foundations of intergenerational worship. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Virginia Theological Seminary.
Having served as a teacher, youth minister, school chaplain, parish priest, and the mother of three small children, Mother Terry feels a deep calling to connect with children, youth, and parents in our congregation and our Point Loma community, and to facilitate opportunities for Christian formation for all ages.
When she is not at All Souls', Mother Terry is active in the life of the Diocese of San Diego as the Chair of the Commission on Ministry and a member of the board of Episcopal Community Services. In her elusive spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, playing the violin, and cheering for the Duke Blue Devils. An avid runner, she has completed multiple marathons, including Boston in 2015. She is married to the Rev. Joseph Dirbas, with whose invaluable partnership she has the honor and privilege of raising twins, George and Jeannie, and their younger sister, Chatham.
You can generally find Mother Terry in the office on Tuesdays and on Thursday afternoons, though she is often around other times and will happily meet with you by appointment. You can reach her in the office at (619) 223-6394 x16, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.