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Garrett-Evangelical Welcomes Trina Armstrong as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care

April 5, 2016
Trina Armstrong

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is excited to announce the appointment of Trina Armstrong as assistant professor of pastoral theology and pastoral care. With her prior teaching experience, commitments to the church and the community, as well as her clinical work, Armstrong will bring a wealth of knowledge to the classroom and the seminary community at-large. Her appointment will officially begin on July 1, 2016. 

After a thorough process and the review of many candidates, the search committee unanimously and enthusiastically recommended Armstrong for the position, noting: “We are convinced Armstrong will make vital contributions to the seminary’s efforts to expand the models of pastoral practice for which we train students, deepen our pastoral theological reflection on those practices, and inspire students and colleagues with her personal and professional energy.”

Armstrong comes to Garrett-Evangelical from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, where she was assistant professor of pastoral theology and pastoral care. In addition, she served as a systemic family therapist with Nystrom and Associates providing psychotherapy and family counseling to adolescents and families in the Twin Cities. Armstrong, an itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, has served on the ministerial staffs of several AME churches, most recently as associate minister at St. James AME Church, St. Paul, Minnesota. She has also worked as a hospice chaplain, community-based therapist, substance abuse counselor, and a pastoral counselor to homeless families, formerly incarcerated women, and at-risk youth.

When asked about coming to Garrett-Evangelical Armstrong said, “I’m thrilled to be joining a refreshingly diverse community of passionate leaders, stellar scholars, and students committed to serving the church, academy, and our communities. In addition, I look forward to working with two amazing senior scholars in the field of pastoral care and counseling and the opportunity to build on a program with a long history of training students to be effective caregivers and educators. After my campus visit, I left feeling certain, in this season of reimagining theological education, that Garrett-Evangelical is poised to continue its legacy of training skilled, bold, and articulate leaders to meet the ever-changing needs of the church and the wider sphere.”

Armstrong holds a doctor of philosophy degree in spiritual care and counseling from the Claremont School of Theology, a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, a master of arts degree in psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy from California Southern University, and a bachelor of science degree in information systems from Golden Gate University. Her research intersects with practical and womanist theology, post-trauma psychology, and relational cultural theory. She also researches issues of loss, grief, death and dying, crisis care, and the impact of historical trauma on the wellbeing of African American families and interpersonal relationships.

She holds professional memberships in the American Academy of Religion, Society of Pastoral Theology, American Psychological Association, Association of Black Psychologists, and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.