Peter Capretto

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Culture and Religion

Dr. Peter Capretto is a pastoral theologian and philosopher of religion, who trained as an interdisciplinary scholar through the Ph.D. in Religion, Psychology, and Culture at Vanderbilt University. His research explores how social experiences such as empathy shape the ethics and politics of care—specifically around trauma, disability, and race. His publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Journal of Religion and Health, Los Angeles Review of Books, Political Theology, The Heythrop Journal, as well as scholarly anthologies. He is co-editor of Trauma and Transcendence: Suffering and the Limits of Theory (Fordham University Press, 2018).


Trained clinically as a hospice chaplain, pastoral psychotherapist, and crisis counselor, Dr. Capretto uses his teaching and writing to situate theories of care in close proximity to cultured and lived experiences of psychic trauma, loss, and mourning. Prior to joining Phillips, he completed a six-year Fellowship in Theology and Practice, which is designed to train future leaders in practical theology. Dr. Capretto is also a former Graduate Writing Fellow with Vanderbilt University’s Writing Studio, where he worked as a transdisciplinary writing consultant and instructed in writing pedagogy.

Education and CV

PhD – Vanderbilt University, 2019

MA – Vanderbilt University, 2016

CPE – Nashville Clinical Pastoral Education Partnership, 2013

MTS – Vanderbilt Divinity School, 2012

BA – Allegheny College, 2010

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