Seminary professor publishes book redefining pastoral care, counseling; booksigning is scheduled
Louisville Seminary | Sep 03, 2004
Dr. Nancy J. Ramsay has published a book with a fresh perspective in the field of care, counseling, and pastoral theology. Pastoral Care and Counseling: Redefining the Paradigms (Abingdon Press) seeks to supplement–and re-define–pastoral care within today’s radically changed contexts of theology, sociology, and medicine. Aimed at the practitioner and the student in pastoral care, Ramsay’s book offers an updated, contemporary resource in a field that was first defined 14 years ago in the Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling (1990), edited by Rodney J. Hunter.
“Together with the Dictionary, and as its critic and critical sequel, this volume may be rightly regarded as a truly indispensable guide for understanding the vastly enlarged and complexified vision of contemporary pastoral theology, care, and counseling,” says Hunter, in his endorsement of the new book.
Ramsay will sign her book on September 22, from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in the Winn Center on the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary campus. The public is invited to attend. Remarks will be shared about the new publication, which is available for purchase in the Seminary bookstore.
In Redefining the Paradigms, Ramsay, professor of pastoral theology, has divided key elements of this field into seven essays that address various changes in care, counseling, and pastoral theology. These chapters address “communal contexts and intercultural paradigms that influence the structure of practice, research, and literature; the widened context of analysis that includes not only individuals and relationships but public policy and structural issues; the significance of issues of difference and power such as gender, race, and class; the influence of the contributions of pastoral theologians in international contexts; significant changes in clinical training; and the impact of new interdisciplinary sources and therapeutic models.”
“Each chapter describes the effect these changes have had on the field from a different angle and together create an exciting map of where we are now in light of where we’ve been and where we might go in the future,” says Ramsay’s colleague Carol J. Cook, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Louisville Seminary. “For those new to pastoral care, counseling, and theology, it provides a clear and thorough introduction to the ‘state of the field.’ For those who have participated in these areas for many years, this volume reviews and compiles a broad range of relevant literature that can help provide direction for further research and professional development.”
“The goal of the essays is to contribute resources for seminary classrooms and training programs, to promote research, and to inform the practice of care, counseling, and pastoral theology,” states Ramsay in the introduction.
Ramsay has served as a professor at Louisville Seminary since 1983. In addition to her recent book, she has spearheaded a project on anti-racism efforts in theological education supported by a grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. The project is aimed at developing anti-racism resources for practical theological education. Her work seeks to deconstruct racist assumptions in the classroom and generate teaching practices and strategies that will foster a proactive commitment to an anti-racist, inclusive vision for community. This project is being expanded by another Wabash grant to facilitate similar work among the entire faculty at Louisville Seminary that began in the fall of 2003.
Prior to coming to Louisville Seminary, Ramsay was an associate pastor and served on committees in the former Presbyterian Church of the U.S., the General Assembly Council, and the Special Committee to write a brief contemporary statement of the Reformed faith, now included in the Book of Confessions, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Ramsay was also co-editor of the Journal of Pastoral Theology (1997-2001), and her other publications include Pastoral Diagnosis: A Resource for Ministries of Care and Counseling (Fortress, 1998) and Telling the Truth: Preaching about Sexual and Domestic Violence (United Church Press, 1998), co-edited with John S. McClure.
She is a member of the Society for Pastoral Theology and served as its chair from 1991-1993. She is active in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) with clinical membership in both and supervisory status in AAMFT.