Johannes Schröder was born in Kiel on December 7, 1909, the son of Johannes Schröder, superintendent of the City Mission, and his wife Selma. After graduating from high school, he studied theology at the theological seminary in Bethel starting in summer semester of 1928, then at the universities of Erlangen, Göttingen and Kiel. In 1934, he received his first parish in Osterhever. That same year, he married Ingeborg Siems, daughter of a teacher. From July of 1935 onward, he served as a pastor in Albersdorf.
In the fall of 1936, Schröder volunteered for the military and served in Eckernförde and then in Wilhelmshaven on Wangerooge, last of all as a reserve officer candidate. Schröder decided to become a military chaplain in 1938. He was made garrison chaplain in Neumünster in January of 1939 and was finally accepted by the Wehrmacht on July 1, 1939. During the war, he was the deputy Protestant chaplain to the military district in Münsterand then a divisional chaplain as of mid-October 1940. He was taken prisoner as such with the regiment’s 371th infantry division in Stalingrad on January 31, 1943. There, he joined the “Free Germany” movement.
Schröder was able to return to Germany on December 8, 1945. As of June 1946, he worked as a pastor in Neumünster. In October of 1955, he became the first full-time social pastor in Kiel. From November of 1957 onward, he was the Inner Mission’s regional pastor in Rendsburg and the representative of the aid agency of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Region of Schleswig-Holstein. He was additionally appointed to the regional church council on April 1, 1960. Schröder entered retirement on January 1, 1975.