An expert in the field of pastoral care, John Patton demonstrates that pastoral care is a ministry of the church. He focuses on the community of faith as an authorizer and source of care and upon the relationship between the pastor and a caring community. Patton identifies and compares three paradigms of pastoral care: the classical, the clinical pastoral, and the communal contextual. This third paradigm emphasizes the caring community and the various contexts for care rather that focusing upon pastoral care as the work of the ordained pastor.
Dr. Patton is professor of pastoral theology emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Patton currently serves as a pastoral counselor and marriage and family therapist at the Samaritan Center in Atlanta, Gerogia. He is a past president of both the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the International Counsel on Pastoral Care and Counseling. In 1984, he received the Distinguished Contributor Award from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and in 1979 he was honored as the Pastoral Theologian of the Year in Pastoral Psychology. He is a retired minister of the North Georgia United Methodist Conference.