St. Peter's Anglican Church

Mental Health Ministry

Mental Health Ministry

Interdisciplinary Perspectives
on Mental Health and Faith Seminar

Coming in September 2017
at St. Peter's Anglican Church



Are you interested in effectively incorporating faith and mental health into your practice?

By the end of this seminar, participants will be able to: 

  • summarize research findings related to spirituality and mental health
  • identify areas of intersection between psychiatry and spirituality
  • articulate the role of a chaplain in supporting mental health
  • describe the role of pastoral counseling in promoting mental health



Rev. Barry Bruce (M.Div.)

Topic: Faith and Mental Health from a chaplain’s point of view

Rev. Barry Bruce has been a pastor for 30 years and is board certified clinical chaplain with the association of professional chaplains.  He is a priest within the The Jurisdiction of Armed Forces and Chaplaincy, Anglican Church in North America.  Barry serves as the Associate Dean of Hospital, Hospice, and Prison Chaplains in the ACNA and on staff at St Vincent’s Medical Center East, Birmingham, Alabama as a Clinical Staff Chaplain.  He holds a BA from Samford University and an M. Div. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  He is also a USMC veteran.  Barry is the founder of Matthew’s Banquet, a ministry to homeless veterans.  He has been married for 48 years, with two children and 4 grandchildren.

Dr. Kenneth Stoltzfus (PhD, LCSW) 

Topic: An overview of the research literature on faith and mental health

Dr. Ken Stoltzfus serves as professor and chair of the Department of Social Work. Ken previously served as chair of the Social Sciences Department at LCC International University, a North American-style liberal arts university in Klaipeda, Lithuania and chair of the Social Work Department at Malone University in Canton, OH. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a counselor and administrator at a number of human service agencies, including a residential substance abuse treatment facility for adolescent males, a faith-based addiction treatment clinic, and a community-based mental health program. Ken received a Fulbright Lecturing/Research Award in 2010; his Fulbright research project explored faith-based substance abuse rehabilitation in the Russian Federation. His research interests include substance abuse, spirituality/religion, and social work in the former Soviet Union. Ken currently serves as an associate editor for the journal Social Work and Christianity.

Dr. Bals (LC) (bio pending) 

Topic: Pastoral Counseling

Gordon Bals is the director of Daymark Pastoral Counseling which he founded in 1997 and counsels in a variety of areas but focuses on marital difficulties and grief, loss and trauma.  He is an adjunct faculty member at Beeson Divinity School, published Common Ground: Understanding God's Redemption in Your Marriage in 2012 and regularly does retreats and seminars through local churches in the Southeast.  He has a doctoral degree in Pastoral Community Counseling, a masters degree in Biblical Counseling and is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor.   

Dr. Rick Shelton (MD) (bio Pending)

Topic: how faith affects psychiatric practice

Dr. Shelton attended medical school at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He, then, went to Boston, MA, where he became a resident and Chief Resident at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (now the Longwood Program), a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. After residency, he was a research fellow at the National Institutes of Mental Health Intramural Program in Washington, D.C. before entering the faculty of Vanderbilt University in 1985. There he rose through the ranks to become the James G. Blakemore Research Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry. He also became a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Pharmacology. Dr. Shelton joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in February 2012 as the Charles Byron Ireland Professor, Vice Chair for Research, and head of the Mood Disorders Research Program. Dr. Shelton has been an active researcher, clinician, and teacher at Vanderbilt and UAB. He and his colleagues have had more than 100 funded research studies from the NIH, other Federal agencies, foundations, and industry. These include 43 Federal grants. He has more than 350 publications, comprising original research reports, reviews, commentaries, and book chapters. He has served on NIH study sections for many years and was the chair of the Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging review group. He has also actively served as a teacher and mentor; he has won the Excellence in Teaching Award from the residents of the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry four times and the residents of UAB Department of Psychiatry twice. He was recognized by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill for his service to persons with serious and persistent mental illnesses with the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award in 1994 and 2012. He also received the Dorothea Dix Professional Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Centers in 2007 in recognition of his impact on the practice of Psychiatry in the State of Tennessee. Dr. Shelton’s research focuses on the development of new treatments for depression and bipolar disorder (experimental therapeutics), including the identification of new targets for treatment, prevention of serious mental illnesses, testing novel therapies, and identifying biomarkers of both disease and treatment response. Recent research studies include participating in two large-scale pharmacogenomics trials and testing the effectiveness of medications that target the glutamate-NMDA receptor system. These include studies of the effectiveness of ketamine, esketamine intranasal, CERC-301, and rapastinel, all NMDA-targeting treatments for resistant depression and suicidal ideation. In addition, Dr. Shelton and Dr. Yogesh Dwivedi have recently been awarded an NIMH R01 grant to study the role of micro RNAs as factors involved in the risk for depression and suicide. He is also collaborating with Dr. Barbara Gower of the UAB Nutrition and Obesity Research Center are examining obesity, and particularly visceral (abdominal) fat, as a factor that may cause and perpetuate depression. Current studies are targeting visceral fat as a treatment for depression.