At a service held April 22, 2014, Fuller Seminary officially installed Brad Strawn as the Evelyn and Frank Freed Chair of the Integration of Psychology and Theology. Dr. Strawn, who has been serving in the role since 2012 in Fuller's School of Psychology, said his goal is to “encourage and support the conversation between faith and psychological issues.”
As part of his role, Strawn directs Fuller's annual lecture series called the Integration Symposium, enabling students to learn from scholars in various fields about the intersections of theology and psychology. Recent symposia topics have ranged from aging and dementia to what evangelicals can learn from Jung. Additional activities at Fuller include a library collection of books about integration.
"Dr. Strawn's position is vitally important to our community,” said Fuller President Mark Labberton. “Fuller was a pioneer in establishing the first accredited and seminary-based psychology school, and we want to continue to lead in encouraging dialogue that strengthens both psychology and theology.” Since its inception in 1965, Fuller’s School of Psychology has been training men and women to serve throughout the world as clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, educators, and in other vocations.
Strawn, himself an alumnus from Fuller (PhD ’96, MAT '94), says, “In the past, I saw too many highly intelligent students get filled with information but fall away from spiritual flourishing. They ‘knew’ a lot, cognitively, but were not embodying faith in passionate ways.” Such is Strawn’s calling: to help students develop “heart knowledge” along with the “head knowledge”—and embrace what it means to integrate the two.
“We are not just training professionals; we are shaping Christian persons who will use their gifts and talents for the Kingdom of God,” claims Strawn—meaning, he believes, that “we need to be serious about mentoring and engaging in practices that shape our students toward the image and likeness of Christ.”
Strawn, a licensed psychologist and an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, previously served as Vice President for Spiritual Development and Dean of the Chapel at Southern Nazarene University. He also served as a professor of psychology for nearly a decade at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Among Strawn’s most recent publications are Christianity & Psychoanalysis: A New Conversation (with Earl D. Bland) and The Physical Nature of Christian Life: Neuroscience, Psychology, & the Church (with Warren S. Brown).
Strawn is a member of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, and the Society for the Study of Psychology and Wesleyan Theology.
For more information about Fuller Seminary’s Integration of Psychology and Theology, please visit www.fuller.edu/integration-psychology-theology