Peter Yuichi Clark

 Peter Yuichi Clark
AddressAmerican Baptist Seminary of the West
2606 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA

Associate Professor of Pastoral Care, American Baptist Seminary of the West
Associate Professor of Pastoral Care, Graduate Theological Union

B.A., Baylor University, 2001
M.Div., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1991
Ph.D., Emory University, 1987

When I was ordained to the Christian ministry, I was charged to serve as chaplain and as a teacher. I take seriously—and rejoice in—this dual sense of calling, and I feel blessed to interact with ABSW students as a seminary teacher, as a clinical pastoral supervisor, and as a colleague and co-learner in ministry with people in crisis.

I envision the primary task of pastoral care as the nurturing and sustaining of hope. The capacity for hope is crucial for human thriving, and so I seek to help students understand how they can encourage people to connect with their sense of hope, or even “bear hope” for others while they regain their strength in stressful situations.

Like any art, pastoral care requires that we bring our full humanity into our work. Obviously, this means practicing the skills of caring for individuals, families and groups. Yet, it also means cultivating an awareness of ourselves: our gifts and abilities as well as our limitations, motivations, assumptions and convictions. Only by exploring our self-awareness and enhancing our pastoral skills can we mature into resilient “earthen vessels” who can convey God’s love to a hurting world. I find that our students are eager to grow into compassionate and competent ministers; and, like a good seedbed should (“seminary” comes from Latin word for “seed”), ABSW yields rich soil for that learning to take root and blossom.

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