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Dr. Pamela J. Holliman, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Psychotherapy and Three-Time Alumna, to Retire

March 17, 2017
Dr. Pamela Holliman

Dr. Pamela J. Holliman (G-ETS 1973, 1977, and G-ETS/NU 1985), associate professor of pastoral theology and pastoral psychotherapy, will retire on June 30, 2017 after nine years as a faculty member at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Holliman was instrumental in designing, implementing, and directing the clinical track in the master of arts in pastoral care and counseling and the doctor of philosophy in pastoral theology, personality and culture degree programs. In addition, she served as director of digital learning for four years and director of institutional assessment for eight years.

Prior to joining the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical, Holliman served in the local church and later in the Des Moines Counseling Center as a pastoral counselor and the director of parish enrichment and education services. Holliman spent a year directing research at the Pastoral Ministries Institute in Washington, D.C., before joining the staff at the Samaritan Counseling Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also served as the mental health faculty for CREDO, a wellness program for clergy supported by the Episcopal Church. While at the Samaritan Counseling Center, Holliman became the executive director and served in that role for 18 years before coming to teach at Garrett-Evangelical.

“We were blessed when Dr. Holliman joined the faculty nine years ago. She has a deep love for the school and has served our community in a number of critically important arenas,” said Garrett-Evangelical President Lallene J. Rector. “Dr. Holliman brought experience in administration, fundraising, teaching, clinical expertise, and national leadership in pastoral counseling training and service delivery.  All of this has benefited the seminary institutionally, as well benefitting our students and graduates. Her work strengthened our capacity to make theological education more accessible to those who could not travel to the campus and also enabled us to deliver new clinical programs at the master and doctoral levels. We will miss her many contributions, including her wry sense of humor and wisdom. We wish her God’s speed in a most well-deserved time of new adventure!”

In addition to teaching at Garrett-Evangelical, Holliman has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Drew Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Howard University School of Divinity, and Moravian Seminary. Holliman’s teaching is rooted in ministry as primarily a relational vocation. She equipped her students with the knowledge and resources to recognize the complexity of human experiences and how best to implement empathic pastoral care that offers hope in a relational God.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to teach at Garrett-Evangelical these past several years. I have served with dedicated colleagues who share a passion for ministry and scholarship,” said Holliman. “It has been a joy to be with so many thoughtful, curious and bright students through my work in the classroom and as an advisor. Collaboration with doctoral students has brought a deep satisfaction as we worked to confront the various challenging developments in the field of pastoral care and counseling. Garrett-Evangelical has been central to my life in providing a foundation for my professional and personal development through the years. I remain humbled and grateful for the many influences.”

Holliman has authored several articles and papers for academic journals and conferences. She is a member and has served in a variety of roles with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), an organization founded in 1963 in order to provide healing, hope, and wholeness to individuals, families, and communities by equipping spiritually grounded and psychologically informed care and counseling. In 2014 she was elected by her AAPC colleagues to serve a two-year term as president. Holliman is a clinical psychologist and past member of the American Psychological Association.

She received her master in Christian education in 1973 and master of divinity in 1977 from Garrett-Evangelical before receiving her doctor of philosophy in religion and pastoral psychology in 1985 from the joint Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University doctor of philosophy program.

Garrett-Evangelical is deeply indebted to Holliman. We give thanks for her dedication to the church, the academy, and the world and we wish her well on her endeavors in retirement.