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Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Welcomes Dr. Rolf Nolasco as Professor of Pastoral Theology

June 20, 2018
Dr. Rolf Nolasco

EVANSTON, Illinois, June 2018 – Dr. Rolf Nolasco will join the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on July 1, 2018, as professor of pastoral theology. Nolasco is an experienced professor, trained in pastoral and counseling psychology, mindfulness and contemplative spirituality, and affective neuroscience. He is also a psychotherapist, published author, and has vast experience in cross cultural communications from living and working across the world within varying social and cultural backgrounds.

“The search committee was excited by Dr. Nolasco’s publication trajectory, his documented administrative competence, his expansive embrace of compassion as a way of life, and a sense that he will flourish at Garrett-Evangelical,” said Dr. Nancy E. Bedford, Georgia Harkness professor of applied theology at Garrett-Evangelical and chair of the pastoral care and counseling faculty search committee. “We received many enthusiastic endorsements for Dr. Nolasco from students, staff, and faculty. His gifts are exactly what is needed for the field at this time.”

Dr. Nolasco declared, “Garrett-Evangelical’s mission—to serve the church, the academy, and the world by preparing public theologians and scholars who will proclaim the good news of the Gospel, foster deep spirituality in the lives of others, serve with cultural competency and commitment to racial equity, and lead transformative change for the well-being of all persons and creation—drums the very heartbeat of my own calling as a person and theological educator. During my initial visits to the seminary I had sensed quite palpably a community compelled both in action and words to embody God’s reconciling love to all and I thought to myself, ‘I want to partake of this the best way I know how—to offer all that I am in the service of Garrett-Evangelical’s mission.’”

Prior to joining the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical, Nolasco served as full professor of counseling psychology at Providence University College & Seminary in Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada. Nolasco began his professorship at Providence in 1999 as assistant professor of counseling psychology. Beginning in 2006, he also served as the program director of the counseling program at Providence at its satellite school in Calgary, Alberta.

Nolasco holds a doctor of theology degree from Boston University in pastoral psychology, a master of divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a bachelor of arts degree from University of the Philippines in the College of Mass Communications (cum laude). He is the author of The Contemplative Counselor: A Way of Being (Fortress Press, 2011) and Compassionate Presence: A Radical Response to Human Suffering (Cascade Books, 2016). His most recent work seeks to affirm compassion as the pulsating heartbeat of Christian theology and praxis through the hermeneutical perspectives of brain science, psychology, and practical theology. Nolasco is currently working on two books, namely God’s Beloved Queer (Wipf and Stock, 2018) and Depression, Dark Night of the Soul, and Joy (Cascade Books, 2020).

In addition, Nolasco is the founding director of Compassionate Presence, an organization with a vision to create hospitable, caring, and compassionate individuals and communities empowered to take on and sustain a life of compassion as a radical response to human suffering. Compassionate Presence’s mission is to spread the message of compassion through education and training, provision of resources, and access to online-based compassion cultivation practices. This project was initially funded by Templeton Religion Trust.