Rev. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina, Ph.D.

Director, Shaw Chaplaincy Institute; Shaw Family Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Education
Graduate School of Theology

Photo of Rev. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina, Ph.D.

Education

Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union

MDiv, ThM Princeton Theological Seminary

Meet Laurie

Laurie joined the faculty at San Francisco Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2006. She occupies the Shaw Family Chair for Clinical Pastoral Education and has the charge to implement and supervise the Clinical Pastoral Education program. Rev. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina comes from Charlotte, N.C., where from 2000-2006 she served as CPE faculty in the Department of Pastoral Care and Education for the Carolinas HealthCare System. For the last 4 years she was the Assistant Director of the Mecklenburg Acute Care System (MACS) Chaplains and Coordinator of Pastoral Care and Education at CMC-Mercy Hospital. She is a Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education and a chaplain.

Laurie was pastor of Smallwood Presbyterian Church, in Charlotte, N.C., from 2001-2006. Laurie is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, where she earned Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees. She did her undergraduate work at Syracuse University where she earned a B.S. in Mathematics. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and originally comes from Indianapolis, Ind. At the age of 15, Laurie was elected an elder at her home church, Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Ind. Laurie is married to Michael Cobbina, who serves Seton Medical Center, Daly City, Calif., as a Staff Chaplain.

Laurie completed several specialized training programs and is a certified practitioner of guided imagery, reiki, in-surgery spiritual care, as well as small group facilitator, workshop leader and lecturer. Laurie has been a contributing author for many books, including Theologies from REM Women of Color, Editor Patricia Wilson; Promise of the Soul by Dennis Kenny; and Having My Say: Reflections on Justice Ministries 1969-1999 by Gerald Cunningham. She has been a faculty lecturer and workshop leader for California Pacific Medical Center and was featured on National Public Radio in April 2000

Teaching Philosophy

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an approach to theological education that emphasizes learning through the supervised practice of ministry. Learning occurs through experiential pastoral encounters that are critically reflected upon. Students increase their arts and skills for ministry, as well as their spiritual, conceptual and emotional preparedness for ministry. Exploring what makes one's action, activity, or person "pastoral" is the primary focus of the clinical method used in CPE.

Can pastors, religious professionals and lay leaders become liberated competent ministers who have a theological, psychological and pastoral conceptual framework informed by critical self-reflection that integrates knowledge of self, others, systems and God in their ministry praxis? Laurie believes, YES! Her passion is invested in participating in the development of spiritual leaders.

Courses Taught

Clinical Pastoral Education

Critical Self-Reflection

Critical Theological Reflection

Organizational Structures

Group Processes

Family Dynamics