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Barbara J. McClure

Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Practice


Phone: 817-257-6073


Professor McClure’s interests lie primarily in the meaning of and means toward human flourishing. She has pursued this question in a variety of contexts including institutions of work, worship and learning, as well as within the context of a counseling practice. Her driving questions include “What does it mean to be a human being and how do our understandings of that shape our work and life together?” Using theological, social philosophical and psychological resources, she explores the assumptions that ground religious practices–especially those of care or healing–and asks whether they are adequate to the complexity of a deeply social theological anthropology.

Her work includes developing a holistic approach to religious engagement that is grounded in theories of human flourishing, public theologies, and a theological anthropology that respects both the fractured character of human nature and the religious impulse for wholeness and coherence. Her interests and commitments are deeply informed by her experience of being born and raised for almost twenty years in remote areas of East Africa as the daughter and granddaughter of Presbyterian (PCUSA) missionaries.

Prior to joining the Brite faculty, McClure spent seven years teaching at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. Prior to that, she worked eight years in a private pastoral counseling practice, and five years as a full-time consultant in both for-profit and not-for-profit spheres in organizational and leadership development. She is the author of three books, and a number of articles and book chapters.


  • Ph.D., Emory University, Atlanta, GA (2003)

  • M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey (1996)

  • B.A., Houghton College, Houghton, NY (1989)

Courses Taught:

  • Pastoral Care in a Complex World

  • Transformational Leadership

  • The Person as Leader

  • Historical and Contemporary Perspectives in Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling

  • Research Methods in Pastoral Theology

  • Practices of Spiritual Care

  • Theories of Human Development

Professional Affiliations:

  • The American Academy of Religion

  • International Association of Practical Theology

  • Society for Pastoral Theology

  • The Association of Practical Theology

  • The American Association of Pastoral Counselors/ The Association for Clinical Pastoral Educators

Select Publications:

  • Organizing Life: Generative Institutions, Leadership, and Public Pastoral Theology (forthcoming, Fortress Press, 2023)

  • Emotions: Problems and Promise for Human Flourishing (Baylor University Press, 2019).

  • Moving Beyond Individualism in Pastoral Theology, Care and Counseling: Reflections on Theory, Theology and Practice (Wipf & Stock/Cascade, 2010 and Lutterworth Press, UK, 2011)