About Pastoral Counselors
Pastoral counselors are ministers who are trained to work with persons regardless of their religious beliefs, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or gender. We do not seek to “convert” persons to our beliefs, but meet people where they are. Everyone lives out his/her spirituality, but not everyone is connected to a religious institution. For example, connecting with nature can be a spiritual experience.
Pastoral counselors are trained like other mental health professionals, such as social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, or marriage and family therapists. However, we emphasize the power of the relationship and participate in ongoing personal psychotherapy for our own growth.
A Spiritual Journey
And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.
Source: The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1957-1982
An American Baptist minister, I have over 30 years of experience in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling/psychotherapy settings. Alongside my clinical work with individuals, groups, and couples, I am active in social justice issues and I also participate in worship planning, preaching, conducting memorial services, and in singing (soloist and choir member). My education includes a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Southwestern Seminary, a Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) in pastoral counseling from Columbia Seminary, four years of clinical pastoral education (internships in general hospital and psychiatric chaplaincy), and years of individual and group supervision and psychotherapy. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia as well as a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and a member of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia.
References and vita/resume available upon request.