CHICAGO, IL (March 22, 2017) – In a unique partnership between the university and the seminary, North Park University has hired Elizabeth Pierre as assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling. She will divide her time between the seminary and the university’s School of Professional Studies. Professors traditionally serve on the faculty of either the seminary or the university.
Both institutions are paying roughly half her salary, which also is being partially funded for three years by the Good Shepherd Initiative, a project administered by the Covenant’s Develop Leaders mission priority.
“It’s pairing two important programs,” said David Kersten, vice president for church relations and dean of the seminary. He added that the arrangement could help pave the way for a possible master’s dual-degree program in Christian counseling.
Pierre, who attends Sojourner Covenant Church in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, recently finished her doctoral program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She has taught pastoral care as an adjunct at North Park Theological Seminary for four years, the last three as a teaching fellow.
Her doctoral studies focused on providing pastoral care for trauma survivors, particularly in countries where there has been chronic violence, as well as the role of forgiveness and reconciliation in such contexts.
Previously, Pierre served as a counselor and supervisor at a drug treatment program for women in Boston.
Lori Scrementi, dean of the School of Professional Studies; Stephen Chester, seminary professor of New Testament Studies; and Michael Emerson, university provost, worked together to develop the arrangement.