OLOGY | Past Events
October 2023 | HIghland Park Presbyterian Church
OLOGY | Diverse Perspectives on Loneliness, Friendship, the Psyche, and the Soul
Inspired by the longest running study of human flourishing in history and the U.S. Surgeon General’s report on American loneliness, OLOGY hosted an awe-inspiring conversation against the backdrop of some grievous global events in Europe and the Middle East. An Imam, a Rabbi, a Catholic Priest, and a Baptist Minister sat down with three psychologists to discuss the social and spiritual impacts of loneliness and the ways courageous everyday neighbors can forge healing friendships across great divide. Anchored in scientific research examining the whole impacts of loneliness and the social utilities of empathy, faith leaders shared moving insights into the ways religious communities and mental health care providers can collaborate to nurture human flourishing.
January 2023 | First UMC Richardson
OLOGY | The Spiritual Child
OLOGY welcomed renowned researcher and New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Lisa Miller. As the founding director of Columbia University’s Spirituality Mind Body Institute, Dr. Miller has taken her place at the forefront of a social science concerning religion, faith, and spirituality in youth. In a keynote address equal parts scholarly analysis and warm hug, she discussed the research that culminated in her book The Spiritual Child. This half-day event also featured an interprofessional panel comprised of mental health care providers, educators, and youth ministers. And breakout sessions covering everything from pandemic-era ministry to child medical trauma rounded out the experience.
Together, as representatives from helping institutions across North Texas, we confronted the problems facing youth of the day. And we collaborated together to encourage solutions that are both relevant and wholistic. As was stated by one of our panelists, we practiced looking outside our professional silos in search of collaboration. This was a worthwhile gathering garnering exceptional feedback from attendees, each having the opportunity to connect with Dr. Miller personally.
April 2022 | In-person and via Zoom
OLOGY | Seminar
OLOGY goes hybrid, offering our 70+ attendees in-person and virtual options for participation. Jamie Aten and Kent Annan of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute graced our beautiful new training space to lead what was perhaps our most timely OLOGY discussion to date. Experts in faith-integrated mental health responses to large-scale disasters, Dr. Aten and Mr. Annan spoke of their empirically informed Spiritual First-Aid model. Addressing specific needs of our time—the COVID-19 pandemic and the refugee crisis out of Ukraine—they coached attendees through the ways helpers can identify and triage needs among disaster survivors in ways both existential and holistic. Again, as in the past, the Texas Psychological Association endorsed the training and continuing education credits were provided.
May 2021 | Webinar
OLOGY | Continuing Education
A cherished opportunity. It is difficult to overstate the impact Dr. Kenneth Pargament has had on psychology as a field. He is professor emeritus of psychology at Bowling Green State University. His career has produced hundreds of academic articles that have been cited by thousands more. He is a recipient of the distinguished Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association, and he is often listed as one of the most influential psychologists living today.
Dr. Pargament spoke to a web audience of over 140 about that sacred relationship between faith and mental health. He highlighted the ways that people draw on faith to cope with life stressors, instructed ways that clinicians and approach faith psychotherapy, and suggested that faith leaders might address spiritual struggles among their congregants.
The webinar link can be found here.
August 2020 | Webinar
OLOGY | A Dialogue
Thank you to the 100+ attendees including faith leaders, nonprofit leaders and mental health professionals who joined us via Zoom to begin and continue a conversation about understanding racism and anti-racism and how psychology and theology can bridge the racial divide.
In the wake of national tragedies, members of The Center community came together for an online panel discussion, sharing ideas, experiences, and clinical reflections of the roles race plays in individual therapy, ministry, and in society at large. Drawing on the expertise of The Center’s own staff and board, the diverse panel wove together scientific literature, candid expressions of personal experience, and clinical/ministerial insights that might build bridges across the chasms apparent in American life. Ongoing continuing education credits provided.
Because of COVID-19 this was The Center’s first webinar and deemed a success. The webinar was covered by Baptist Global News.
The webinar link can be found here.
March 2020 | Continuing Education
OLOGY | A Seminar
An hour-long continuing education breakfast for mental health care providers and faith leaders alike. Dr. Nathaniel R. Strenger, The Center’s Director of Clinical Advancement, spoke to the myriad ways people draw on faith to cope with life’s stressors. As the social science illuminates, different approaches to religious coping yield different outcomes. Knowing the ins and outs, the ups and downs, can help the pastor and the clinician in surprising ways. In retrospect, a timely reflection as weeks later the world tumbled into a global pandemic that has forced all to grapple with existential stressors.
October 2019 | CFT
OLOGY | A Dialogue
Wisdom, hope, community, trust, and bridge-building were just a few themes attendees said they took from OLOGY 2019.
A heartfelt thanks to Rabbi Michael Cohen, Imam Azhar Subedar, Reverend Dr. Irie Session, Father Wade Bass, and Dr. Amy Fisher-Smith from the University of Dallas. These stellar individuals, each holding a position of leadership in her or his faith tradition, came together to discuss mental health, interfaith violence around the globe, and theologies of suffering with The Center’s CEO Dr. Brad Schwall. This luncheon event was a sobering, but undeniably hopeful, event that drew the attention of DFW’s public radio station, KERA. You can read more about the coverage here. This event was held at the Communities Foundation of Texas.
October 2018 | First United Methodist Church Richardson
OLOGY | Symposium
OLOGY’s big inauguration. A momentous gathering of mental health care providers, faith leaders, and other community helpers gleaned wisdom from our keynote speaker, Dr. Mark McMinn. If you are unfamiliar, Dr. McMinn is a widely published psychologist and academic drawing the attention of clergy and clinicians alike. Over lunch, he treated our OLOGY crowd to an enlightening and entertaining bunch of insights all a part of his book The Science of Virtue: Why Positive Psychology Matters to the Church. The half-day event was rounded out by an interprofessional panel and breakout sessions that included Dr. Holly Oxhandler of Baylor University and Dr. Sarah Feuerbacher of Southern Methodist University among others.