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Rev. Dr. Trina Armstrong Named President and Chair of the Society for Pastoral Theology

October 4, 2017

Rev. Dr. Trina Armstrong, assistant professor of pastoral care and pastoral theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, was named president and chair of the Society for Pastoral Theology (SPT) at their 33rd Annual Meeting. She most recently served as the vice president of the steering committee before beginning her term as president and chair on June 17, 2017. As president and chair, Armstrong is responsible for leading SPT’s steering committee in planning its annual meeting and providing vision and oversight for the overall affairs of the society.

“I joined SPT as a graduate student in 2007,” said Armstrong. “Since that time, SPT has been instrumental in my formation as a pastoral theologian and it has provided me with mentoring, wonderful networking opportunities, and friendships with pastoral theological educators and practitioners across all spheres of theological education. For the last three years, I have had the privilege of serving on the SPT steering committee in various capacities. I’m deeply honored to take on this expanded role as president and chair where I and my committee will be leading the society through important and exciting shifts in our organization’s history.”

The Society for Pastoral Theology began in 1985 as a forum for conversation among pastoral theological educators and others interested in critical reflection on the theology, theory and practice of care in ministry. SPT understands pastoral theology as a constructive practical theological enterprise focused on the religious care of persons, families, and communities. As such, it draws on interdisciplinary methods growing out of classical and contemporary theological traditions. Members of SPT seek to honor, understand, and critically develop their own traditions of care while engaging in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue with an openness to open multiple practices of care from a variety of religious and secular traditions.

Prior to joining the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical in 2016, Armstrong was assistant professor of pastoral care and pastoral theology and director of the Interfaith Chaplaincy program at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minnesota. She also worked with traumatized youth and their families as a community-based systemic family therapist with Nystrom and Associations. She received a doctor of philosophy in practical theology, spiritual care and counseling from Claremont School of Theology and a master of divinity from Fuller Theology Seminary. She is a pastoral counselor, mind-body-spirit wellness advocate, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of the Minnesota in the process of transferring her license to Illinois.

Armstrong, an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church regularly preaches, lectures, teaches, and writes, on relationship trauma, spiritually-integrated care, and healing in African American life. Her forthcoming publication on adults who experience childhood relationship trauma will be released in 2018.