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Dr. Loren Townsend Receives Oates Award

Oct 18, 2012
Dr. Loren Townsend, Henry Morris Edmonds Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Louisville Seminary, spoke on “Envisioning a Future for Pastoral Counseling” when he receives the 2012 Oates Award last night at Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville, KY.

The award,which honors exceptional work by individuals in three areas of pastoral care - ministry, leadership, and personal service - is given jointly by the Wayne Oates Institute and Long Run Baptist Association.

"Loren Townsend is a superb and distinguished educator and researcher,” said Louisville Seminary President Michael Jinkins. “Through his teaching and writing he has formed a generation of pastors, chaplains and therapists. This award confirms what his colleagues and students have long known. He stands in the first rank of his profession."

Dr. Townsend, a native of the Pacific Northwest, joined the faculty at Louisville Seminary in 1996 and was recently named the Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy program. He is a graduate of East Texas Baptist College (BA), East Texas State University (MS), Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv), and The Graduate Theological Union (PhD).

Prior to joining the faculty of Louisville Seminary, Dr. Townsend served in parish ministry and spent fourteen years directing pastoral counseling and marriage and family therapy training programs in Arizona and Georgia. As a teacher and supervisor, he has focused on the integration of behavioral sciences, spirituality, and theology as these intersect in clinical practice. This is reflected in his journal articles, professional papers, active leadership in professional organizations, and philosophy of teaching in his field.

“When a person or family asks for help managing life, we are on holy ground,” said Dr. Townsend. “It is not a question of IF theology will be involved in any caring action, but HOW. To be grounded theologically means that counseling is rooted in intentional, critical dialogue within a convictional community about how to interpret, change, and rearrange relationships with self, others, and God."

Dr. Townsend is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church (USA). He is a Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), an approved supervisor by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Dr. Townsend has published several articles on religion and psychotherapy, supervision, and integrational method. He is the author of Introduction to Pastoral Counseling (Abingdon Press, 2009), Pastoral Care in Suicide (Abingdon Press, 2006), and Pastoral Care with Stepfamilies: Mapping the Wilderness (Chalice Press, 2000). Dr. Townsend regularly leads workshops in ministry to stepfamilies, counseling with divorced and remarried families, supervision, and theological integration for counseling professionals.

The Oates Award was established in 1989 by the Long Run Baptist Association in Louisville, Kentucky, and has continued as an annual recognition honoring the legacy of Dr. Wayne W. Oates. The Oates Institute became a co-sponsor of this award is 2003 and remains committed to continuing this tradition and promoting it internationally.

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