Susan Phillips (1976)

Executive Director and Professor, New College Berkeley, Graduate Theological Union

When I arrived at U.C. Berkeley I came with a desire to learn, and no clear idea about career. Studying with Ed Swanson, John Clausen, Bob Bellah, Gertrude Jaeger, Michael Burawoy, Burt Dreyfus, Dick Lazarus, Arlie Hochschild, and others at Cal was a privilege beyond measure. Working and studying in both the sociology and psychology departments, dabbling in philosophy and theology, participating in the NIMH Fellowship group on Personality and Social Structure, and volunteering with the "northside" Amnesty International chapter gave full vent to my multiple passions and interests. Focusing all those passions into a single career, while at the same time, with my husband, raising two sons with disabilities, has been the challenge.

Following a few years as Academic Dean, I've now served for 8 years as Executive Director of New College Berkeley, an institute of the Graduate Theological Union, offering programs for those eager to integrate their faith with their daily lives. I teach there and as a regular adjunct at seminaries in the U.S. and Canada, in the areas of caring ethics and practices, and spirituality. I'm also on the clinical faculty of U.C.S.F.'s nursing school. A book I edited, The Crisis of Care: Affirming and Restoring Caring Practices in the Helping Professions (with Patricia Benner, and the recipient of the CHOICE award for best academic book of 1994) reflects the unusual way in which my faith, sociological imagination, and commitment to caring practices come together. I remain grateful to learn, and never quite sure about career.

Dissertation Title: 
Lay Counseling in the Evangelical Christian Church: A Case Study