Executive Director of Education & Clergy Development
Johanna was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, to the home of a newly converted couple that God called to plant a church in one of the poorest cities in the Costa Rican capital. From a young age the Lord has been calling her to serve in diverse ways.
Before turning 16, Pastor Johanna’s family traveled to Spain to open a Bible institute in the south of Spain (Seville), where they made their home for the next five years. After this time, the family returned to Costa Rica and two years later they moved to California to support Johanna’s father in his graduate and doctorate studies.
They made the El Monte Wesleyan Church their home church where Johanna served as the assistant pastor in children's ministry. Prior to becoming an assistant pastor, Johanna served for two years as principal to the EMWCC's Christian school during which time she developed a program that provided the best learning opportunities for each student and put into practice her many years of training in the field of children's education.
From 1997-2018 she provided direction to the Facultad Wesleyana de Teología, a nontraditional ministerial training program for the Hispanic leaders in the Southern California area. During these years, there was a regular attendance of 30-40 students per class. These classes promoted more than 20 Wesleyan ordained ministers in addition to other sister denominations.
Johanna served as assistant District Superintendent of the Distrito Hispano del Suroeste (DHSO) of The Wesleyan Church (TWC). In that role she developed numerous projects and initiatives for the advancement of the District Board of Ministerial Development and the development of ministerial students.
In 2018, Johanna joined TWC’s Education and Clergy Development (ECD) team as the associate director for Spanish Ministry Preparation where she has been providing leadership by:
Directing a team of leaders for Spanish Ministry of Education and Formation (SMEF) to provide transformative education and formation through FLAMA to all the Hispanic ministerial students throughout the United States and Canada.
Overhauling the FLAMA program and partnering with districts to revise and improve their ministry training programs to increase quality, effectiveness and accessibility, including the introduction of ZOOM video conference classes.
Working with ECD on clergy care for Hispanic pastors.
In 2019, she transitioned away from her role as assistant District Superintendent of the DHSO, which she had performed since 2014, to move from part-time to full-time with ECD as the director of Spanish Ministry Education and Formation. In addition to giving leadership to Spanish ministry education and formation, she has been providing leadership to the Thrive Financial Initiative for all pastors within the denomination both in English and Spanish.
In August 2020, the Rughs relocated from California to Indiana where they currently reside. Her passion is to serve the Lord in any way possible as an encouraging leader to each member, especially to continue promoting the ministry of women in all the areas of the church. Toward that end she served on the board of the Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy (WHWC) and currently provides support to our representative to the WHWC board.
Pastor Johanna received a bachelor's degree in Christian ministries in June 2011 from the Four Square Facultad Teológica in partnership with APU and became an ordained minister under The Wesleyan Church in that same year. In 2015 she received her Master of Divinity from Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University and currently serves on the seminary board. In the fall of 2022, she will begin her second year in the Doctor of Ministry studies at Asbury Seminary.
Johanna now serves as the executive director of the Education and Clergy Development Division of The Wesleyan Church. She lives in Fishers, Indiana, with her husband Robert and their two children Naomi and Joseph.