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United Methodist pastor and counselor called as director of clinical training

Dec 18, 2007
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has called Dr. Wayne Clark to serve as Director of Clinical Training for its nationally recognized pastoral counselor training program, which prepares students for the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree. One of only three accredited, seminary-based programs in the nation, the Seminary’s marriage and family therapy program integrates study in marriage and family therapy, theological disciplines, and clinical practice.

In this highly specialized position, Clark’s work will be primarily administrative as he directs the clinical training center, organizes and oversees students’ clinical experience, coordinates practica, manages the policy and administrative structure of the program, and works with the pastoral counseling faculty. He will begin his full-time service at Louisville Seminary, February 1, 2008.

“Wayne Clark’s rich years of experience as a pastor and his service as executive director in several counseling centers have prepared him well for this important call to lead our clinical training program for our Marriage and Family Therapy degree students, including managing our on-campus counseling center,” said Seminary President Dean K. Thompson.

Clark is currently the senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Iowa Falls, Iowa, a congregation of 1,000 members. He has served as pastor of several other United Methodist congregations, as executive director of three Samaritan Counseling Centers, and as a District Superintendent of the Dubuque District, Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church. His call to serve as the Seminary’s director of clinical training has been endorsed by Bishop Gregory V. Palmer of the Iowa Area of the United Methodist Church.

As a pastoral counselor, Clark is a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and an approved AAMFT supervisor. He has provided supervision for individuals and groups and led numerous workshops and seminars in the United States and abroad.

Clark holds the Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Seminary with an emphasis in pastoral counseling and a Doctor of Ministry in pastoral psychotherapy and medical genetics from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He has also published a number of articles and essays in newspapers and journals, including “Genetics: What MFTs Should Know” (1998) and “Scenes from the Therapy Room” (2003) in Marriage and Family Therapy News; “Redemption: On Becoming Human” in Expository Times (2003, Edinburgh, Scotland); and “Grief, A Process of Becoming” in the Nebraska Trooper (2004). Also in 2004, Clark presented “Boundaries and Ethics for Clergy” at the Iowa Conference Licensing School.

A fairly young program, the Marriage and Family Therapy degree was established at Louisville Seminary in the early 1990s under the leadership of Dr. David A. Steere. Since the first graduating class in 1993, the program has become one of the most popular degree programs at Louisville Seminary, enrolling near capacity numbers each year. It remains one of the most ecumenically represented and diverse programs on the campus.

For the past four years, the program has been under the direction of Dr. James Hyde, who has helped strengthen the program’s clinical purpose and structure. The MAMFT program offers three distinct educational elements: theological and biblical instruction, marriage and family therapy training, and closely supervised client contact. As a part of the program’s requirements, students must complete 500 practicum hours at approved sites.

An on-campus counseling training center is one of those sites and a training ground for many MAMFT students. While providing students with client contact, the center also provides counseling resources for those seeking to make referrals to a trusted care facility. In this way, the program has proven to be a valuable resource to pastors, schools, hospitals, and other agencies. Since 1993, more than 100 students have contributed more than 50,000 hours of therapy to individuals, children, and families in the community and on campus. In January 2008, the MAMFT program and training center will begin its on-campus operations in newly renovated facilities in Nelson Hall.

Hyde, who will retire as director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program on December 31, says with the calling of Wayne Clark, “the future of the MAMFT program looks very bright.”

For more information about the Louisville Seminary Marriage and Family Therapy program, visit Seminary Degrees.

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