NJ, March 29, 2012–Robert C. Dykstra
will give his inaugural lecture as Princeton Theological Seminary’s Charlotte
W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology on Saturday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m.
in Stuart Hall, Room 6 on the Seminary campus. It is being held in conjunction
with the Association for Practical Theology biennial conference, whose annual
meeting is that weekend.
The lecture is titled “Unrepressing the
Kingdom: Pastoral Theology as Aesthetic Imagination” and envisions theology as
an urgent reclaiming of intuitions of the beautiful often lost to childhood.
How might adults recover childlike attunement to the wonders of God’s kingdom? “If
the kingdom of God is within us, and especially within children, as Jesus
claimed,” Dykstra says, “that kingdom within us may be in the form of a child’s
interest in the beautiful around him or her, and in the artistic abandon which
children tend to exhibit and that adults tend to lose track of.”
the Princeton faculty in 1997 as assistant professor of pastoral theology. He was
promoted to associate professor in 2000, to professor in 2007, and assigned the
Newcombe chair in 2009. He earned his Ph.D. and M.Div. from Princeton
Theological Seminary, and his B.A. from Whitworth University in Spokane,
Washington. Before coming to Princeton he taught at The University of Dubuque
Theological Seminary as assistant and then associate professor of pastoral theology
and congregational care. Dykstra’s academic interests include pastoral care and
counseling, psychoanalytic theory, developmental psychology, contemporary
issues impacting children and adolescents, human sexuality, pastoral preaching,
and the integration of biblical and theological precepts with research in the
A native of
Minnesota, Dykstra is a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and an
ordained Presbyterian minister. He served for a number of years as a minister,
youth minister, hospital chaplain, and pastoral counselor. His publications
include Losers, Loners, and Rebels: The
Spiritual Struggles of Boys, with Allan Hugh Cole Jr. and Donald Capps
(Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), Images
of Pastoral Care: Classic Readings (Chalice Press, 2005), Discovering a Sermon: Personal Pastoral
Preaching (Chalice Press, 2001), and Counseling
Troubled Youth (Westminster John Knox Press, 1997). A forthcoming book, The Faith and Friendships of Teenage Boys,
also co-authored with Cole and Capps, will be published in 2012 by Westminster
John Knox Press.
Newcombe nee Wilson, a philanthropist, was born in 1890 in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. A lifelong supporter of
students pursuing degrees in higher education, Newcombe was a faithful
Presbyterian who made substantial gifts to Princeton Seminary and established
The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation to continue her scholarship gifts.
more information, please contact the Communications/Publications Office at
609.497.7760 or visit www.ptsem.edu.
Celebrating its Bicentennial in 2012,
Princeton is the largest Presbyterian seminary in the country, with more than
500 students in six graduate degree programs.