Hood Heritage Lectures Feb. 7-8

  • Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:18 p.m.
Dr. Vergel Lattimore
Dr. Vergel Lattimore

Dr. Vergel L. Lattimore, vice president of academic affairs and professor of pastoral psychology at Hood Theological Seminary, will be the featured speaker during the seminary’s annual Bishop Alfred E. White Endowed Heritage Lecture Series to be held Thursday and Friday, Feb. 7 and 8.

The two-day series, titled “Living Pastoral Theology: New Dimensions and Interpretations,” will feature three lectures.


In announcing this year’s Heritage Lecture Series, Dr. Albert Aymer, president of the seminary, said, “Dr. Lattimore is highly regarded as an outstanding scholar, leader and pastoral counselor within institutions of higher learning throughout the country. We are indeed proud and fortunate to have a person with the credentials and reputation of Vergel Lattimore, our own vice president, as our featured speaker for the Bishop Alfred E. White Endowed Heritage Lecture Series.”

On Thursday morning at 10:10, Lattimore will present the opening lecture, “The Craft of Pastoral Theology: Co-Creating, Challenging and Caring.” The second lecture on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. is titled “Substance Abuse in African Families: Understanding the Legacy of Cultural Ambivalence” and the third lecture, presented Friday evening at 7 p.m., is titled “Hearing with Our Eyes: Critically Essential Pastoral Skills for the 21st Century.”

In the series, Lattimore will critically examine some of the classical approaches of pastoral theology and care in terms of their epistemological orientation to health, healing and holiness. The lectures will explore new dimensions, which include varieties of pastoral caring, creative contours of caring, and distinct elements of caring. The lectures will outline some of the hermeneutics in pastoral theology and compare these to some of Lattimore’s recent process-action research with seminarians Critically Essential Pastoral Skills for the 21st Century. Lattimore’s core spiritual and intellectual principle is grounded by what he describes as his calling to be engaged in the “hard tasks of redemptive relationships.” He will relate this core principle to the tasks of theological education and the art of pastoral theology.

Lattimore has clinical training in social work, mental health, chaplaincy, counseling and pastoral psycho-therapy services. He has written numerous articles on community mental health services, pastoral counseling and cultural values, and addiction ministry and social change. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Ministry in Addiction & Recovery and is a fellow and member of the board of directors of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. He is professor emeritus of pastoral care and counseling and former director of the M.A. in Counseling Ministries, Methodist Theological School in Ohio. His doctoral work in pastoral psychology and counseling was accomplished at Northwestern University. He also served in the Air National Guard as assistant to the chief of chaplains, and is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

The Heritage Lecture Series, established in 1999, was endowed in April 2012 by an estate gift of Mamie Williams White, wife of Hood Seminary alumnus, the late Bishop Alfred Edward White, who served as a presiding prelate of the AME Zion Church from 1984-1992. The endowment is a memorial tribute for the devout and dedicated ministry of Bishop White who believed firmly in the training of clergy and will be remembered as one of God’s great servants of the church.

The lectures, held on the seminary campus, are free of charge and open to the public. Lectures 1 and 2 are held in the chapel and lecture 3 is held in Room 315. Visitors are welcome to stay for lunch in the refectory after Thursday morning’s lecture. The cost is $7. Please call Phyllis Wells at 704-636-6823 by Jan. 31 to make a luncheon reservation.

Hood Theological Seminary, located at 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive in Salisbury and sponsored by the AME Zion Church, is a graduate and professional school where intellectual discourse and ministerial preparation occur in tandem within the framework of a community of faith. The seminary is a thriving ecumenical community with students, faculty and staff from multiple national, ethnic and denominational backgrounds. Hood’s purpose is to educate and prepare its students for leadership in various ministries and vocations to which they feel called by God.

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