Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world.


Rodney J. Hunter will present lecture series, October 11-13, 2011, at Columbia Theological Seminary



Decatur, GA. Rodney J. Hunter will present the Smyth Lectures, October 11-13, 2011, at Columbia Theological Seminary. The series of three lectures is titled “Personal Commitment: Toward a Pastoral Theology of Humankind’s Most Fundamental and Troublesome Social Vocation.” The lectures, at 10:00 a.m. each day in the Harrington Center Chapel on the seminary campus, are free and open to the public.

Dr. Hunter retired as professor of pastoral theology in the Candler School of Theology of Emory University in 2006, after 35 years on that faculty.  He is perhaps best known as the general editor of the Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling (Abingdon Press, 1990, 2005), a project spanning the better part of a decade, but he is also the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, including many short biblical commentaries from a pastoral theological perspective in the journal Lectionary Homiletics. With his former colleague Pamela Couture he was also co-editor of, and a contributing author in, a volume of essays honoring Charles Gerkin titled Pastoral Care and Social Conflict (Abingdon Press, 1995). 

Dr. Hunter has devoted much of his career to the development of the academic disciplines of pastoral and practical theology, questions in the theology of pastoral care and counseling, and the analysis and interpretation of personal commitment in contemporary life.  A founding member of the Society for Pastoral Theology and International Academy of Practical Theology, he continues his active involvement in both organizations as well as the American Academy of Religion.

He did his doctoral work under Seward Hiltner and James Lapsley at Princeton Theological Seminary, and clinical pastoral education, prison chaplaincy, and pastoral counseling, including a CPE residency at Grady Memorial Hospital, and pastoral counseling supervision at the former Georgia Association for Pastoral Care (now the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia).  He also served actively for many years on the GAPC board of governors, and currently serves as a member of the Professional Advisory Group of CCCG’s Institute for Chaplaincy and Clinical Pastoral Education. A Presbyterian minister, Dr. Hunter served for many years on the Committee on Ministry of Cherokee Presbytery, and he was the theological consultant for his denomination’s Task Force on Changing Families.

Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, GA, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The seminary offers seven graduate degree programs: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), Master of Arts in Practical Theology, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Educational Ministry, and Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling. Currently 421 students are enrolled, representing 30 denominations, 34 states, and 10 countries. More information about Columbia:


Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

View All News Releases