Inaugural Clergy Care Conference a Success
The Flourishing in Pastoral Ministry Conference, held on October 11, 2013, in Marion, Ind., explored “best theories and practices for fostering clergy wellness” from the perspective of various disciplines, including theology, Bible, church history, psychology, medicine and social science.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Everett Worthington, professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, addressed the nearly 100 participants on the topic of understanding self-condemnation, self-forgiveness, and how caregivers can help clergy. Presentations were given by 15 different scholars and experts from a variety of institutions and counseling centers including Houghton College, Indiana Wesleyan University, Asbury Theological Seminary, Regent University, Colorado Christian University, Alongside Ministry, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and others. The papers addressed a variety of issues facing clergy including sexuality, pastoral identity, anxiety, burnout, marriage, and more. Participants greeted the conference with enthusiasm since there are few conferences that address this theme. The planning team is working now to incorporate pertinent feedback to ensure an even better conference next year.
Next year’s conference will take place at Indiana Wesleyan University, September 19, 2014.