SFTS Faculty

Faculty Profile

R. Scott Sullender   
Associate Professor of Pastoral Counseling
PhD, Claremont School of Theology

Biographical Information
On the first day of class, Scott Sullender, Associate Professor of Pastoral Counseling, tells his Master of Divinity students that his course on pastoral care will be the most important class they take at SFTS. "Eighty percent of what pastors do is pastoral care," Sullender says. "Pastoral care occurs in so many ways during the minister's day: hospital visits, prayer before staff meetings, sharing a soda with young people, conducting a funeral, even talking to people in the hall on the fly." Sullender received Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. After serving a congregation in Pennsylvania, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Personality: Pastoral Counseling at Claremont School of Theology. He has studied with two of the pioneers of the pastoral counseling movement, Seward Hiltner at Princeton and Howard Clinebell at Claremont. Sullender is active in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and twice received the Pacific Region's Distinguished Service Award. He holds the rank of AAPC Diplomate, which qualifies him to supervise and train pastors and pastoral counselors. A licensed psychologist, Sullender is Interim Director of the SFTS Advanced Pastoral Studies Program and the seminary's primary professor for the Doctor of Ministry emphasis in Pastoral Care and Counseling. The D.Min. program not only helps renew pastors as persons, but also leads to enhanced skills and up-to-date information about such important topics as loss, grief and trauma. Among his numerous published works, Sullender wrote Losses in Later Life, which illustrates his lifelong interest in the interface between psychology and spirituality.


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Educational Programs

Master of Divinity
Master of Arts in Theological Studies
Doctor of Ministry
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
Program in Christian Spirituality

Contact Information

San Francisco Theological Seminary
105 Seminary Rd
San Anselmo CA, 94960
Phone: 415.451.2800
email: info@sfts.edu