Ministers’ Health Summit

June 7, 2018

The Ministers’ Health Summit is a one-day retreat that promotes wellness, self-care and education for ministers, and offers ideas to promote healthy lifestyle habits for the people they serve.


  • Breakfast and lunch provided
  • Free health screenings
  • Resources for ministerial and congregational health
  • One large group keynote session and two interactive breakout sessions


Event Schedule

  • 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.         Registration & Refreshments
  • 8:30 – 8:50 a.m.         Welcome & Morning Devotion
  • 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.        Large Group Session (Keynote Speaker)
  • 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.       Health Screenings & Stress Management Sessions
  • 12:00 – 12:45 p.m.      Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.           Breakout Sessions
  • 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.          Health Screenings & Resource Fair
  • 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.          Breakout Sessions

*The same breakout sessions will be offered each time.

Keynote Session

Session Title: “A Cancer in the Heart of Soul: The Transmutations of Capitalism and the Dismemberment of the Image of God”
Presenter: Bruce Rogers-Vaughn

Whenever we talk about health, we usually emphasize achieving wellness through individual decisions and behaviors. The most potent malignant forces impacting health, however, are those hidden from individuals. Like cancerous growths, they spread in concealed ways, and are often not revealed until the patient is very ill or near death. Similarly, the powers undermining our health often operate over our heads or behind our backs, and thus individual decisions and behaviors have little control over them. These forces circulate in the physical, economic, social, political, and cultural environments that surround us all. They are currents in the waters in which we swim, and thus are hidden right in front of our eyes. Sometimes these powers are coordinated by an encompassing system, one that shapes how we think, feel, act, desire, value, relate to others, and even what it means to be a person. Such a system exists today, embedded in the contemporary form of global capitalism. In his keynote address, Bruce Rogers-Vaughn will identify the key features of this system, and how it is constantly working in the background to fragment the human soul. The result is a proliferation of personal, interpersonal, and social maladies, from depression, addiction, and loneliness to consumerism, racism, sexism, nationalism, terrorism, and even the erosion of religious faith and practice. While there will not be enough time to cover all these forms of suffering, he will offer a few notable examples. In conclusion, he will suggest that, while isolated individuals have little power to resist, religious congregations and movements are among the few remaining human collectives that have the potential to struggle “against the cosmic powers of this present darkness” (Eph. 6:12, NRSV).

Bruce Rogers-Vaughn is an ordained Baptist minister, and a graduate of Samford University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received a Ph.D. in Religion and Personality from Vanderbilt University in 1991. Previously a pastor and a chaplain, he has maintained a clinical practice in pastoral counseling for 30 years. He has also taught at Vanderbilt Divinity School for over 20 years, where he now serves as Associate Professor of the Practice of Pastoral Theology and Counseling. Bruce is the author of one book, Caring for Souls in a Neoliberal Age (Palgrave, 2016), and several published articles. His most recent publication is a chapter titled “Class Power and Human Suffering: Resisting the Idolatry of the Market in Pastoral Theology and Care,” which appears in the book Pastoral Theology and Care: Critical Trajectories in Theory and Practice (Wiley Blackwell, 2018). His latest article, “‘I’m the King of Debt’: Pastoral Reflections on Debt in the Age of Trump,” will be published in the journal Pastoral Psychology later this year. He is currently working toward his next book, which will address how pastoral theology and care responds to the forms of suffering imposed by financial capitalism and its debt system. Bruce resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Annette, and their twin 10-year-old sons, Blake and Huntley, and three dogs. His oldest son, Mackenzie, graduated this spring from Rhodes College.


Breakout Sessions

Session Title: “Dare to be Brave”
Presenter: Dr. Pam Durso

Join Pam Durso, executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, for a conversation about the challenges women ministers encounter daily. Let’s talk about the very real professional, spiritual, physical, and emotional struggles of women ministers and think together about ways to navigate those challenges and stay healthy.   

Dr. Pam Durso is executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, where she is as an advocate and a resource for women serving in all areas of Christian ministry. Previously, Pam worked as associate executive director of the Baptist History and Heritage Society and served on the faculty of Campbell University Divinity School as assistant professor of church history and Baptist heritage. She currently teaches at McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta as an adjunct professor and is interim pastor of NorthHaven Church in Norman, Oklahoma. Since receiving her Ph.D. in church history from Baylor University in 1992, Pam has been a strong supporter of clergywomen and has written and edited numerous articles and books on women. She is married to Keith Durso. They have two college-student children, Michael and Alex and live in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Session Title: “Discover Your Divine Design”
Presenters: Dr. Jerry Essary and Rev. Libby Johnson

Are you interested in honing in on the ways God has wired, strengthened, and empowered you as a minister? Divine Design is a process, based on Ephesians 2:10, that helps a person grasp their unique God-given design. This session will introduce participants to the Divine Design process and inform them about the ways in which this program will be beneficial to their ministry.

The Divine Design process includes discovering, articulating and leveraging your divine design by discovering how your personality, spiritual gifts, and strengths are all blended together by God to create who you are. The participant/client is coached through a process of blending these assessments into their divine design, which then helps clarify how they leverage this knowledge in their career and ministry calling. By discovering one’s divine design, ministers will be able to more fully live into their calling and leverage their giftedness in order to pursue life-giving and fulfilling ministries that have the greatest kingdom impact.

Dr. Jerry Essary has served for over forty years in a variety of positions, all of which have involved some level of coaching leaders (individually and in teams) of nonprofit and faith-based organizations. Jerry has been used as a conference leader, speaker, and coach in the areas of job transition, leadership development, community impact strategies development, organization and structural development, team building, working according to your personal design, and other areas. This work has taken him to many locations in the United States, as well as Mexico, Brazil, and US Virgin Islands. Additionally, Jerry has written and developed a process to help people discover, articulate, and leverage their personal design for greater impact. The process is known as Divine Design and the SEEK Journey. These processes have been used all over the USA and parts of Asia and are now expanding into Europe. Jerry is certified as a coach through two entities: 1.) Coach Approach Ministries (CCLC), and 2.) International Coach Federation (PCC). He is involved in coaching individuals and teams, leading coach training, mentor coaching, and he serves as a coach certification assessor for non-profit and corporate leaders and Western Seminary. He has also contributed to coach training material that is approved and accredited by the International Coach Federation. Jerry has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 42 years. They have two incredible adult children who are both married, two awesome granddaughters, a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They live on a small farm in the Nashville, Lebanon, TN area.

Rev. Libby Johnson is a native of Wilmington, NC and a lifetime member of Winter Park Baptist Church. She graduated from Campbell University Divinity School in May 2016 with a Master of Divinity degree. Libby was ordained as a Baptist minister in November 2016 by Winter Park Baptist Church. Since graduation, she has become a Certified Christian Leadership Coach (CCLC), an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and is a member of the International Coaching Federation. Having felt God’s call to ministry later in life, Libby has a unique perspective with which to minister. Her passion and desire is to inspire confidence in others so that they may discover their fullest life. She does this through individual coaching and by presenting God’s word in a way that motivates people to act. As a public speaker, Libby enjoys preaching, pulpit supply, leading workshops and speaking at women’s conferences. She also develops and leads weekend conferences and retreats. She has been married to Kenny for 31 years, and has two boys, Brandon and Zack.  In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, walking, reading for pleasure, and any kind of self-care.


Session Title: “Faith, Fellowship, and Food Challenges”
Presenter: Dr. Nicholas Pennings, D.O.

Food and fellowship are an integral part of church life. We express friendship, caring and compassion through food. We celebrate with food, we mourn with food, we show thanks with food. Each of these are examples of how food moves beyond the role of just nutritional sustenance to fulfilling both social and emotional needs. In this program, we will explore the basic components of a healthy diet, the impact of nutrition on health and the concept of creation optimal health. While there is plenty of information on what to eat, why we eat is given limited attention. The social and emotional drives behind consumption play an essential, yet overlooked importance in the decisions around eating choices. We will also explore the social and emotional factors that contribute to consumption and ways to shift thinking toward a culture of health and wellness. By incorporating faith to create a sense of purpose around health, focus to move beyond willpower and build a better meaning behind food, along with fellowship to utilize peer support, a congregation can transform unhealthy habits into a healthy lifestyle. With vision and leadership, the minister can play a vital role in the community to create a microenvironment of health that can benefit both the minister and the congregation.

 Dr. Nicholas Pennings is board certified in Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine. After 22 years of private practice, Dr. Pennings moved into academic medicine joining the faculty of the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2013 as Assistant Professor in Family Medicine. He currently serves as Chair of Family Medicine and as the medical director of the Campbell University Health Center. Dr. Pennings also serves on the board of trustees for the Obesity Medicine Association.



Session Title: “Pleasure and the Good Life”
Presenter: Dr. Cameron Jorgenson

Here’s the good news: God made a good and pleasurable world to be enjoyed! The bad news? We often treat that good and pleasurable world like it is a god. 

We have all witnessed the effects of an attachment to pleasure gone unchecked. Addiction. Compulsion. Self-destructive choices. Deep down we know that a key component of the good life is getting our relationship to pleasure in good order. Indeed, the ancients called the rightly ordered relationship to pleasure the virtue of temperance, one of the highest virtues that one can acquire.

Whether we are talking about the pleasures of food and drink, possessions, sex, or even the simple pleasure of acquiring knowledge—a critical question to consider is how we can reorder our lives so that we can embrace pleasure in a way that is ultimately joyful and life-giving rather than destructive. In this session we will discuss how we can pursue health, wholeness, and the good life in a way that makes room for pleasure as part of God’s good creation.

Dr. Cameron Jorgenson is the Associate Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics at Campbell University Divinity School where he has served for the past ten years. His current research focuses on the role of virtues and vices in spiritual formation. He also keeps one foot in the kitchen, studying theology and food. Cameron, Kelly, and Mary Grace Jorgenson reside in Fayetteville, North Carolina.



Session Title: “Trauma in the Church”
Presenter: Dr. Mac Wallace

Like in any other aspect of life, trauma can occur in the church. Unfortunately, ministers are often victims of church trauma. Sometimes these situations can leave a negative and bitter taste in a minister’s mouth after he or she has been hurt by members and leaders in a specific church. This session will review a case study of a church and their pastor. It will also allow for discussion about trauma that ministers may experience in churches and how they can identify and respond to the presence of trauma in the church.

Dr. H. Mac Wallace, D.Min., LMFT is an ordained Baptist minister, a Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), and the Senior Professor of Pastoral Care at Campbell University Divinity School.  He is a NC licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (NCLMFT), a CPE Supervisor with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), a certified Pastoral Psychotherapist with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP), and an Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). He has thirty plus years of pastoral experience as pastor and interim minister for numerous churches in NC. He taught Clinical Pastoral Education, Pastoral Counseling, and Marriage and Family Therapy at NC Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, NC for fifteen years before opening the Baptist Hospital CareNet Counseling Center in Wilmington, NC in 1991. He received an AA degree from Mount Olive College (1968), a BA degree from Duke University (1971), a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (1986), and did clinical training at the Duke, Murdock, Dorthea Dix, and NC Baptist Hospitals. He and his wife Dr. Emma Wallace maintain a private practice for psychotherapy and supervision in their home/office at High Rock Lake near Lexington, NC.


Session Title: “Total Health All the Time” / “Salud Total en Todo Tiempo”
Presenters: Luis F. Olivieri-Robert and Dr. Nora A. Herrera-Olivieri

This workshop will focus on general health with emphasis on particular aspects that appeal to pastors and ministers lifelong. We will work from personal experiences, professional information, and a Biblical foundation.  The foundation will be mental, emotional, and nutritional health with a spiritual basis. We will incorporate aspects of finances and senior life.  For finances, we will provide a model and practice activities.

Este taller se enfoca en la salud general con énfasis en aspectos particulares que atraen a pastores y ministros durante toda la vida. Trabajaremos a partir de experiencias personales, información profesional y fundamentos bíblicos. El fundamento será la salud mental, emocional y nutricional con una base espiritual. Incorpora aspectos de las finanzas y etapas de la adultez mayor. Para las finanzas ofrecemos un modelo y actividades de la práctica.

*This session will be offered during the first Breakout Session period. Materials will be in both English and Spanish. Both English-speakers and Spanish-speakers are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Session Title: “The Importance and Potential of a Seniors Ministry: Foundations for Healthy Aging and Intergenerational Congregations” / “La Importancia y el Potencial de un Ministerio de Personas de la Tercera edad: Fundamentos para el Envejecimiento Saludable y las Congregaciones Intergeneracionales”
Presenters: Luis F. Olivieri-Robert and Dr. Nora A. Herrera-Olivieri

For 50 or older populations and those that live, connect, and worship with them, we provide suggestions and strategies for pastors and ministers. This will also provide a foundation for the development of adult seniors’ ministry at churches from an intergenerational perspective.

Para las poblaciones de 50 o mayor y los que se relacionan, viven y adoran con ellos ofrecemos sugerencias y recursos para pastores y ministros. Esto también servirá de base para el desarrollo del ministerio de adultos mayores en las iglesias desde una perspectiva intergeneracional.

*This session will be offered during the second Breakout Session period. Materials will be in both English and Spanish. Both English-speakers and Spanish-speakers are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Luis Fernando Olivieri-Robert, M.A. Leader of the evangelical youth in PR from 1980-1986. He accepted Jesus at twelve. He was a teacher and professor at the University of Puerto Rico and other institutions from 1984 to 2001. Since 2002, he has worked with City of Raleigh and since 2003 with Durham Technical Community College; He has been part of missionary training teams in Cuba, Venezuela and the United States. He has lived in Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, Florida and North Carolina. He holds graduate degrees studies in American and Caribbean history, humanities, history and appreciation of art, secondary and adult education of several universities in Puerto Rico and USA. Has published ‘Mujeres entre mundos’ (2009); No solamente de pan (2011) and several articles in different journals. He is the leader of the Durham Bulls Latino Chapel in triple A minor league baseball and a member of the Durham County Library Advisory Board. He holds theological training from Gordon-Comwell Seminary and is part of the faculty at CECLA (Cary NC) and Grace Bible Institute (Chapel Hill NC). He is a track and field ‘master’ athlete and serves in pastoral ministry in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina.

Nora A. Herrera-Olivieri, M.D.  is a general surgeon and graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico; Certified in Gerontology from the Public Health School, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, and studies in Theology, Leadership, Counseling and Evangelization from the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary. She accepted Jesus when he was nine years old. She has lived in Mexico, Texas, Puerto Rico, and North Carolina. She has practiced general and industrial medicine; Professor at the University of Puerto Rico and Durham Technical Community College; Educator in health, gerontologist, and lecturer in Puerto Rico, Mexico and the United States. She has published the book Toque de Gracia (2009). She is a researcher at UNC Medical School. She is part of the faculty of CECLA and director of Grace Bible Institute. Coordinates groups of adult active seniors (AMA) in NC. She is the author of ‘Toque de Gracia’ (2009). She is a ‘master’ athlete on track and field. Serves as a women’s chaplain for the Durham Bulls and local pastoral ministry in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina.


Brett McCarty will also be a breakout session leader. Stay tuned for more information!


Register for The 2018 Ministers Health Summit



Peter Donlon 
Director of Church Relations and Development 
Campbell University Divinity School
1-800-760-9827, ext. 1847

Muriel Lasater
Church Relations Graduate Assistant
Campbell University Divinity School
1-800-760-9827, ext. 1962