Laura Robinson Harbert joined Fuller Seminary in July 2014 as the dean of Chapel and Spiritual Formation. In July 2015, she also joined the School of Psychology faculty as assistant professor of psychology. She came to Fuller from a 25-year career as a clinical psychologist and Presbyterian pastor.
An alumna of Fuller’s School of Psychology (PhD ’88), she also has an MDiv from Fuller (’86) and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1991. In addition to maintaining a private practice, Dr. Harbert has been an adjunct professor in the area of pastoral care at North Park Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, and at Fuller. She has served as a parish associate at both First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood (1993–1999) and at the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, Illinois (1991–1993).
Harbert is especially passionate about the ways that the process of spiritual formation is a rich intersection of psychological and theological dynamics. She has long wondered about how to understand what is God’s role and what is our role in the dance of being transformed into the image of Christ, and seeks to investigate the ways that we consciously want to change and grow in love, wisdom, humility, and faith, but unconsciously we resist and sabotage our spiritual growth. She asks of herself, clients, worship participants, and students, Why do we do the things we don’t want to do? Henri Nouwen talks about the work of spiritual formation as descending with the mind into the heart. In the academic setting at Fuller, Harbert believes her work as a professor in SOP will help her integrate mind and heart in the work of spiritual formation as she continues her own study and teaches courses that will explore this topic from many different perspectives.
Laura Harbert and her husband, Michael, also a PC(USA) pastor, have five grown children.
- PI530: Touchstone in Theology and Psychology
Areas of Expertise, Research, Writing, and Teaching
Integration of psychology and theology, pastoral care, mental health in the ministry, spiritual formation
See the Chapel Office webpage, which has links to videos and podcasts of chapel messages, including those by Dr. Harbert.