Cultivating Trauma-Informed Faith Communities for Trauma-Responsive Care

Date(s) - 10/19/2019
9:00 am - 1:45 pm

Northway Christian Church


Cultivating Trauma-Informed Faith Communities for Trauma-Responsive Care
Seventh Betty Jo Hay Seminar on Religion and Mental Health
Saturday, October 19, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Trina Armstrong, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology and Chair of Pastoral Care and Director of Clinical Training, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL

One study reveals that at least two thirds of adults have had at least one traumatic experience of childhood abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, violence, victimization, and or community violence. For many these experiences contribute to health outcomes over the lifecycle. While traumatic experience is not new, Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) invites us to broaden our views and responses to trauma from something that only happens to marginalized and victimized populations, to an experience that is unfortunately extremely common and shared between care seekers and care givers. In becoming aware of the magnitude of suffering in our families, communities and congregations we can move towards a more humane and collective response. Through TIC, faith communities can be places of hope and healing for trauma survivors when we practice the kind of spiritual life together that intentionally builds positive, caring, compassionate, and loving relationships.

Trina Armstrong is Assistant Professor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. She provides safe spaces for caregivers and care seekers to engage in authentic relationships for life-giving and transforming encounters. Her philosophy of pastoral care, drawn from diverse caregiving experiences and commitment to womanist theology and student-centered learning, is the foundation of her approach to teaching pastoral care and pastoral theology. Dr. Armstrong received her BS from Golden Gate University, an MA from California Southern University, an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, and her PhD from Claremont School of Theology. She encourages students to explore their values and beliefs about suffering, healing, and wholeness to cultivate life-giving relationships. She is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.