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Oct  2014 01
Dr. Pittman to Speak at Tyson Chaplain Conference

Dr. Nancy Claire PittmanDr. Nancy Pittman, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Phillips Theological Seminary, will speak at Tyson Foods’ annual Chaplaincy Services Training Conference taking place Monday, Oct. 6 through Thursday, Oct. 9. Pittman will be offering Tyson’s chaplains tools and practices to help them become more effective leaders.

Pittman says being a part of the conference fits well with Phillips’ mission to learn and teach how to act with God to transform the world. She says interacting with Tyson’s chaplains will help the seminary better prepare students for ministry.

“It’s a natural conversation place for us because it’s with ministers in the field,” she said. “Our core work is still about training ministers in leading these communities.”

Tyson Foods’ Chaplaincy Program, which began in 2000, provides spiritual support for employees regardless of faith background or tradition. Pittman says Tyson’s chaplains help employees live out their faith at work, a task she calls “really tough work.” At the conference she plans to address sótéria, a Greek word for describing the health and well-being of a group or society.

“Helping other people discern and remain faithful to their vocation can make us crazy unless we also are nourishing our own sense of wholeness, our own sense of sótéria,” Pittman said. “What I want to help pastors see is to live in sótéria is to live in spiritual health, wholeness and shalom (peace).”

Pittman believes there is a strong sense of narcissism in culture that focuses many messages on individual well-being and individual responsibility. She says the focus on the individual can make chaplains and other ministers feel like they are the primary source of wholeness and well-being for the communities they serve, a concept she says is misguided.

“In chaplaincy and in ministry, there is a tendency to fix things,” she said. “But most of life’s issues are not things we fix; they’re things we live into.”


Tyson Foods’ full corporate name is Tyson Foods Inc. 

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