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A pastor and scholar, speaker’s concern is for marginalized groups

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – An intense experience with a troubled, suicidal young woman took Gregory Ellison II off his college pre-med track and in a different direction.

Ellison, assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta, will be in North Newton and Newton, speaking twice at Bethel College as well as giving the keynote address for the Offender-Victim Ministries annual meeting.

At Bethel, Ellison delivers the Staley Lectures Sunday, March 4, at 7 p.m., and Monday, March 5, at 11 a.m., both in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center and both free and open to the public.

Ellison is a graduate of Emory and earned both a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary.

His research examines the intersections of pastoral care, personality development, theologies of hope and marginalized populations. His book-in-progress is a revision of his dissertation, The Unacknowledged Self: A Pastoral Theological Response to Muteness and Invisibility in African American Young Men, while his current project is based on his years of counseling youth and young adults transitioning out of correctional facilities.

In 2011, Ellison, an ordained Baptist minister, received the Candler Faculty Award, as voted by Candler’s student body.

His Sunday night lecture at Bethel is entitled “Cut Dead, But Still Alive: Caring for Marginalized Populations.” His Monday morning lecture (part of Bethel’s convocation series) is entitled “Fantasy as Addition to Reality?: Fantasy Aggression and Fantasy Aggrace-ion in Violent Media.”

To hear Ellison describe the experience that led him into pastoral care and counseling, see

The Staley Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series was established in 1969, named for its benefactors, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Staley of New York, who set it up to honor their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Staley and Mr. and Mrs. H.H. Haynes. Bethel College has been hosting Staley Lectures periodically since 1972.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2011-12. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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