Professor to sign book on church diversity

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rev. Dr. Ken J. Walden, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Hood Theological Seminary, will be available to meet the public and sign copies of his new book, “Practical Theology for Church Diversity,” on Saturday, Sept. 19, . noon until 4 p.m. at the Literary Bookpost, 110 S. Main St., in Salisbury.

In “Practical Theology for Church Diversity,” Walden explores the complex endeavors of multicultural ministry and suggests that they include a substantial amount of conversation, preparation and prayer if they are to be done faithfully.

Sacred spaces within Christian churches can have a meaningful witness through diversity in their particular locations. Walden’s book skillfully informs, gently challenges and respectfully questions some widespread components of church life along demographic lines.

“Professor Walden is a gifted theoretician-practitioner. His theological analysis illuminates essential principles for effective engagement in cross-racial and multicultural ministry. His guidebook explores a spectrum ranging from prerequisite skills to advanced knowledge for teaching the beginning seminarian, as well as resourcing experienced pastors who have limited exposure to multicultural ministry. Walden forges a creative paradigm for ministry readiness in the 21st century,” wrote Vergel L. Lattimore, president of Hood.

” ‘Practical Theology for Church Diversity’ delivers a serious charge to the 21st century church — pastoral ministry should reflect the diverse and multicultural composition of American society and a broader world. Ken J. Walden’s text makes realizing the global village in local congregations worthy and attainable. From case studies and step-by-step recommendations to scholarly resources for church leaders and congregations, Walden demonstrates that a ‘practical theology for church diversity’ brims with possibilities for supra-church collaborations, more inclusive congregations, and racial reconciliation, with the understanding this courageous task is not without inherent challenges,” wrote Nichole Renée Phillips, assistant professor of religion and human difference, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta.

Walden, a graduate of The Citadel, received his master of divinity from Duke University Divinity School, a doctor of ministry in ecumenical ministries from Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Ind., and a doctor of philosophy in practical theology: pastoral care and counseling from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif. He also completed Officer Squadron School at the U.S. Air Force Air University at Montgomery, Ala., and is a chaplain major in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

Walden is an elder in the United Methodist Church and has served as pastor at churches in North Carolina, Michigan and California. His ministry includes being a university chaplain, a university professor, a military chaplain and a senior pastor. He is also the author of “Challenges Faced by Iraq War Reservists and Their Families” and “A Pastor’s Poetry.”