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Elizabeth Walker to be installed as new professor during fall convocation

Aug 31, 2006
At the beginning of each academic semester at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, the student body, faculty, and community are called together for the purpose of theological education and building up the body of Christ. It is the experience called Convocation.

The 154th Convocation and Installation service will be held on Thursday, September 7, at 10 a.m. in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel at Louisville Seminary. The public is invited to attend.

As initiated during the 2005 Convocation, a rite of matriculation will be incorporated into the service to welcome a potential 56 new degree students to the 2006-07 academic year. In addition, seven new employees will be recognized as the Seminary assembles the community for another year.

Of the incoming class, 34 are enrolled in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program, 13 in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree program, eight in the Master of Arts in Religion (MA), and one in the Master of Theology (ThM) degree program.

Denominationally, the majority of the incoming class is Presbyterian Church (USA); however, Baptist, Christian (Disciples), Christian Methodist Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA), Episcopal, and United Methodist faith traditions, among several others are also represented. These men and women come from 13 states from coast to coast including California, Texas, Arkansas, and Michigan. Thirty students are from Kentucky. This year, the learning experience at Louisville Seminary will be further enriched by a growing diversity among the incoming students, 23% of whom represent racial minorities and international countries.

At Convocation services, one faculty member is invited to deliver an address or sermon. On occasion, a faculty member is installed to her/his teaching position or to an endowed professorship. One of four newly-called professors, Dr. Elizabeth Johnson Walker, will be installed to the position of Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling.

Walker’s convocational address will be “Toward a Pastoral Counseling Theology of Grace,” in which she will introduce a model of pastoral counseling with African American women using a method of practical correlation. “The method of practical correlation is the interdisciplinary conversation between pastoral counseling method, my understanding of Christian Grace, and the psychological concept of empathy,” states Walker.

Walker earned a Bachelor of Science in religion and philosophy from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., and the Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. She earned her doctorate in theology from Gammon Theological Seminary and the ITC. Her clinical training was received at the Georgia Association of Pastoral Care in Atlanta. She is a licensed marriage and family counselor (LMFT), a Member Associate of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and a member of the Society for Pastoral Theology.

As a professional counselor and as a professor, Walker has balanced her counseling career with teaching courses such as “Pastor and Family Life,” “The Theory and Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy,” “The Expanded Family Life Cycle,” “Spirituality and Sexuality,” and “African American Context for Ministry: Focus on the Family.”

Her experiences as a pastor add to her exceptional professional counseling and teaching qualifications and distinguish her as one whose gifts will enhance the mission of LPTS to educate men and women for ministry in an environment that values learning in a diverse community.

After earning the Master of Divinity degree, she became the pastor of Saint Paul United Methodist church in Montgomery, Ala. While there, she founded and served the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry at Alabama State University. Walker continued to minister in Alabama congregations until she relocated to Georgia to work on her doctorate. In Georgia she served in extension ministry appointments with the Alabama West Florida Conference. She is the first African American woman to be ordained and hold membership in this Conference.

Walker is the author of “Counseling African American Youth” in the Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center (2003), “Counseling African American Women” in the Journal of Pastoral Counseling (2001) and the Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center (2004), and “Called to Parent: Parenting as Vocation and Gift” in Working With Black Youth: The New Generation, edited by Dr. Ann Streaty Wimberly (Abingdon Press, 2005). She begins her teaching responsibilities at LPTS this fall.

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary was founded in 1853, in Danville, Kentucky. Its mission is to serve the church and the world by educating men and women for participation in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. The Seminary is one of ten theological schools of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and offers an inclusive and diverse community, welcoming individuals from wider ecumenical backgrounds.

For more information about this event, contact the Office of Communications at 800.264.1839 or 502.895.3411, ext. 362, or by email at lpts@lpts.edu.
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