703-385-6967 | FAX: 703-352-7725

2014 AAPC Conference - Plenary Speakers

AAPC Announces 2014 Plenary Speakers


Rita Brock

Rita Brock


Rita Nakashima Brock will engage conference participants on "Spiritual Integration in Care & Counseling", one of the three themes of the conference that are integral to the cultivation of spiritually integrated care and counseling for the 21st century.

Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock is a renowned theologian engaged in pioneering research and public education on recovery from "moral injury" for combat veterans returning to civilian life. Moral injury results from having to make difficult moral choices under extreme conditions, experiencing morally anguishing events or duties, witnessing immoral acts, or behaving in ways that profoundly challenge moral conscience and identity and the values that support them. Dr. Brock is Research Professor in Theology and Culture and Founding Co-Director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Commissioned Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). 

A native of Fukuoka, Japan, Dr. Brock is the daughter of a veteran of the Korean War and the stepdaughter of a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War, and she was raised in a military family. She is the first Asian American woman ever to earn a doctorate in theology (Claremont Graduate University, 1988) and the first ever to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). In December 2008, she and Dr. Gabriella Lettini began work on the Truth Commission on Conscience in War ( www.conscienceinwar.org), which, in November 2010, recommended extensive public education on moral injury. An award-winning author, she and Dr. Lettini co-authored Soul Repair: Recovery from Moral Injury After War (Beacon, 2012). Dr. Brock taught religion and women's studies for 18 years at a number of colleges and universities, including holding the Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Hamline University from 1990-1997. For more on Dr. Brock's work, see  http://www.britesoulrepair.org

We are delighted to announce Dr. Brock's participation with AAPC at the 50th anniversary conference and welcome her into our midst.  What an exciting and creative time this will be!




Ronald David

The Rev. Dr. Ronald David is a physician, chaplain and priest. He is certified as a clinical chaplain and Diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy and currently serves as chaplain and supervisor of clinical pastoral education at the Hospital of the Good Samaritan in Los Angeles, California. There he has the opportunity to meld his vocations as physician and priest through an interdisciplinary study and practice of the science and theology of health.

He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Doctor of Medicine degree with honors.  Dr. David was resident and chief resident in pediatrics and fellow in neonatal perinatal medicine at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital where he was subsequently appointed assistant professor of pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology. As assistant professor he was the conceptual architect and co-founder of the Transitional Infant Care program at the Children's Home of Pittsburgh.

After 7 years of rewarding work in academic and clinical medicine Dr. David accepted an invitation to join the ranks of public health administrators and was appointed deputy secretary of health for then Governor Robert P. Casey in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Shortly thereafter he joined the faculty, Harvard Kennedy School Government, as a lecturer in public policy. His research interest was women's health as it was defined and affected by patriarchal politics and power. From 1995 to 2007 Dr. David continued to serve as adjunct faculty to the executive leadership program at the Kennedy School of Government and for the South Carolina Executive Institute.

Yearning for a return to clinical and academic medicine Dr. David accepted an invitation to be chief medical officer of the District of Columbia Health and Hospitals Public Benefit Corporation. There he witnessed much despair, health disparities, and disease. This was a time of spiritual discernment and he set forth on a conscious path to ordained ministry. In 2003 Dr. David earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary, and was ordained to the priesthood (Episcopal Church USA) on July 15, 2006.




 Gary Gunderson


Gary Gunderson, M.Div., D.Min. D.Div., Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Faith & Health Ministries, oversees the spiritual care services for patients, families and medical center staff.  He supervises four departments-CareNet Counseling, Chaplaincy and Pastoral Education, the Center for Congregational Health, and Church and Community Relations.

A Wake Forest University alumnus, Gunderson holds a master of divinity from Emory University in Atlanta, a doctor of ministry from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, and an honorary doctor of divinity from the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Gunderson is recognized as an expert in congregations and health.  For the past seven years, he served as senior vice president of the Faith and Health Division of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., where he developed a new model of congregational health that became widely known as the Memphis Model.

Partnering with about 500 mostly African-American congregations, Methodist Hospital achieved measurable improvements in the health of patients in those congregations, including significantly increased longevity, lower mortality and a nearly 40 percent longer time before hospital readmission.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will use this same plan to build long-term partnerships with the congregations near their patients of any faith. CareNet, which provides spiritually sensitive counseling to patients, also coordinates consultation and support services to broad array of faith leaders. The Medical Center's clinical pastoral education (CPE) program, which is one of the first in the nation, has hundreds of alumni who represent every faith tradition.

In addition to his new role in faith and health ministries, Gunderson holds faculty appointments at the Wake Forest School of Divinity and in Public Health Sciences. He became involved in public health by working with former President Jimmy Carter in Atlanta. The Interfaith Health Program moved from The Carter Center to the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, where Gunderson became a research assistant professor in international health. He also served as a visiting professor in Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Gunderson has worked extensively with the White House office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships. Most recently, April 4, he visited the White House for the sixth time during the last two presidential administrations to discuss faith and social innovation. He serves as secretary for a group of 39 health systems committed to more effective engagement with the poor in their communities.




  • Pastoral Counseling & Social Justice:Pastoral Counseling and Social Justice+more
  • AAPC 2015 Election OPEN:AAPC 2015 Election Open+more
  • AAPC Statement & Call to Action - Board of Directors:AAPC Statement & Call to Action - Board of Directors+more
  • International Congress on Pastoral Care and Counseling:Time to make plans for ICPCC 2015, 15-21 October--in San Francisco---- Registration opened on November 1 for the 10th Gathering of the International Congress on Pastoral Care and Counseling, focusing on providing Spiritual Care in the Global Village, from Interfaith, Intercultural and High Tech Perspectives.+more


©2005-2012 American Association of Pastoral Counselors | 9504A Lee Highway | Fairfax, VA 22031-2303 | info@aapc.org | 703-385-6967 | Fax: 703-352-7725
Powered By CharityEngine