I serve as the George C. Weinman chair in pastoral theology and ministry and associate professor of congregational and community care leadership at Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN). Prior to moving to the Twin Cities, I taught pastoral and congregational care at Western Theological Seminary (Holland, MI). I’m also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and currently serve as parish associate at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church (Minneapolis, MN). I support the emergent ministry of LNPC through teaching, preaching, and leadership consultation. Prior to becoming a professor, I worked as an associate pastor in a Presbyterian congregation and as a spiritual care coordinator serving adults with developmental disabilities. In all these settings, I’ve sought to cultivate communities of compassion and care in response to God’s ongoing ministry of listening, healing, and reconciliation.
As part of my own growth and development, I’ve received over 800 hours of intensive training in Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication. Far more than a mere communication technique, compassionate communication is a set of life-giving practices for connecting to God, self, and others. Compassionate communication supports us in connecting across differences and in transforming conflict–whether that conflict exists in large systems, families, or interpersonal relationships. The skills of compassionate communication are vital to my own practice and study of pastoral care. I share these skills in the classroom as well as in teaching and consulting outside of the seminary.
As a professor, I’m privileged to spend time in research and writing. In recent years, I’ve conducted social scientific research for multiple projects on vocation and vibrant congregational life. I’ve written a number articles and two books: The Church and the Crisis of Community: A Practical Theology of Small-Group Ministry (Eerdmans, 2011) and Transforming Church Conflict: Compassionate Leadership in Action (Westminster John Knox, 2013). This most recent book, co-authored with Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger (Princeton Theological Seminary), interprets and applies Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication to a whole host of challenges in communities of faith.
Click here for my full curriculum vitae: TL CV 2013 FOR DISTRIBUTION