Professor Emeritus, Field Education Director George D. Carter, Jr., Dies
Louisville Seminary | Sep 10, 2002
Louisville, Ky., September 10, 2002 – The Rev. Dr. George Dewey Carter, Jr., who directed Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Field Education program since 1988, died Tuesday, September 3, 2002, in Charleston, S.C. He was 67 years old.
Dr. Carter was remembered among family and friends with a festive Eucharistic celebration at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. and by faculty and students at a service of prayer and remembrance at Louisville Seminary. Both services were held on Friday, September 6, 2002.
Carter had retired in January 2002 as Director of Field Education and Clinical Pastoral Education and Professor of Ministry at Louisville Seminary. In his retirement he was teaching clinical pastoral education for chaplains at Roper Hospital and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in Charleston.
When he came to teach and direct the field education program at Louisville Seminary, Carter had already spent a third of his professional life as a pastor of congregations and a third as a pastoral counselor and clinical practitioner. In 1988, he accepted the call to spend another third of his ministry in theological education.
For Carter, an understanding of call was crucial to his work as Director of Field Education and Professor of Ministry. “It is vital to my work that I am clearly called,” he once said. “Virtually all of the students come to seminary seeking to discern a call. Field education in congregations and agencies provides some context for that discernment process and that work in ministry. I am convinced that there must be some parallel in my own process and the process of students for this endeavor of theological field education to have integrity and authenticity.”
Dr. Carter directed a program of field education and clinical experience that became nationally recognized for its thorough integration of theological study and practical ministry. Because of his cross-experiential wisdom, the program flourished in all areas and disciplines, from counseling to preaching to administration to pastoral care. In the 13 years he led the Seminary’s program, Carter influenced more than 1,000 students, who now serve in churches, agencies, and hospitals across the nation and around the world. For this reason, the Field Education program continues to be a key reason why prospective students choose to enroll at Louisville Seminary.
In directing the Field Education program, Carter also developed a network of relationships among area ministers, supervisors, congregations, and agencies in behalf of Louisville Seminary and its students. Grayville First Presbyterian Church in Illinois, nearly three hours away from the Seminary campus, has depended upon such a relationship for more than 30 years. Since 1988, there has been a field education student in that congregation every year. A similar relationship was nurtured with the University of Louisville Hospital, where 49 students have served and gained the valuable experience of practicing their theology in ministry as a chaplain.
From these and many other relationships there emerged an association of supervisors, experts in their fields who are open to mentoring and guiding soon-to-be ministers in the practical side of their call.
George Carter, Jr. was born in Atlanta and was educated at King College in Bristol, Tenn. He received a Master of Divinity degree at Columbia Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, he was pastor of two churches in Tennessee: Red Bank Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga (1961-1966) and Glen Leven Presbyterian Church in Nashville (1966-1970).
He was a clinical member and approved supervisor with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a Diplomate with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, a certified supervisor with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., and a licensed marriage and family therapist in the State of Kentucky.
In November of 1998, Dr. Carter was diagnosed with “smoldering” multiple myeloma, a systemic cancer of the bone marrow. After nearly two years of treatment between Louisville, Ky., and Arkansas, doctors pronounced, as early as last January, that his cancer was in remission. Beginning in June 2001, he began a sabbatical period to help make the transition from more than 34 years of ministry to retirement.
At his retirement party Carter’s students, friends, and colleagues gathered to say farewell and to show appreciation for his ministry among them, Dr. John McClure particularly noted Carter’s joy in living all of life. “As you have lived within this community, you have been a witness to Christ,” he said, “a faithful colleague, a wise counselor, a true companion and a warrior. You have understood the fragility of life and the power of the love of life to resist despair in adversity.”
Dr. George D. Carter, Jr. is survived by his wife, Marie Welsh Carter, who was also an integral part of the Seminary’s adjunct faculty; a son, Dr. Timothy D. Carter; a daughter; Wende G. Carter; a stepson, Robert S. Cochran, III; two stepdaughters, Courtenay C. Corrigan and Margaret C. Schlossberg; a sister, Gwen C. Stevens; and four grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in Dr. Carter’s honor be made to the George D. Carter Fund at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, KY 40205, or the Building Fund of the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 67 Anson Street, Charleston, S.C. 29401.