Ellens, J. Harold 1932–

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Ellens, J. Harold 1932–

(Jay Harold Ellens)

PERSONAL: Born July 16, 1932, in McBain, MI; son of John S. (a mechanic and engineer) and Grace Ellens; married Mary Jo Lewis (a clinical social worker), September 7, 1954; children: Deborah Lynn, Jacqueline, Daniel Scott, Rebecca Jo, Harold Rocklan, Brenda Leigh, Brett Alexander. Ethnicity: "English/Dutch/German: Caucasian." Education: Calvin College, B.A., 1953; Calvin Theological Seminary, B.D., 1956, M.Div., 1986; Princeton Theological Seminary, Th.M., 1965; Wayne State University, Ph.D., 1970; University of Michigan, M.A., 2002, Ph.D., 2006. Politics: Independent. Hobbies and other interests: Studying the development of human linguistics, archaeology, art history, general history, and philosophy.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—26705 Farmington Rd., Farmington Hills, MI 48334-4329. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Ordained Christian Reformed minister, 1956; Newton Christian Reformed Church, Newton, NJ, pastor, 1961–65; University Hills Christian Center, Farmington, MI, pastor, 1965–69, director, 1969–78; Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, Presbytery of Detroit, Detroit, MI, pastor and psychologist in special ministries, beginning 1978, now pastor emeritus. Westminster Church of Detroit, interim senior pastor, 1984–85. Private practice of psychotherapy, 1965–; certified social worker, 1984; national certified counselor, 1984; Midwest Mental Health Clinic, staff therapist and member of board of directors; Farmington Community Arts Council, member of board of directors. National Defense University, resource leader, 1980, 1981; U.S. Military Academy, West Point, liaison officer, 1982–85. Former faculty member at U.S. Army Staff College, Calvin Seminary, Oakland Community College, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University, Oakland University, Wheaton University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary; conducted research and lectured in Europe, the Near East and Far East, South America, Africa, China, and Japan. Appeared on media programs in the Detroit area, including host of a one-hour show sponsored by Christian Communications Council, Detroit Council of Churches, 1968–75. Military service: U.S. Army, chaplain, 1956–61. U.S. Army Reserve, chaplain, 1955–56, then 1961–92; became colonel (now retired).

MEMBER: Christian Association for Psychological Studies International (life member; executive director, c. 1974–89), Eirene Internationale, International Christian Studies Association (member of board of directors), International Council of Psychologists (life member), American Academy of Religion, American Association for Counseling and Development, American Association of Pastoral Counselors, American Institute for Archaeology, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Association for Reformed Communication, Century Scholars Society (founder and executive director), Institute for Antiquity and Christianity (member of board of directors; board chair, 1987–90), Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (member of board of directors), Institute for Religion and Wholeness (board member), National Board of Certified Counselors, Paul Tillich Society, Process Psychology Institute, Society of Biblical Literature, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Speech Communication Association of America, University Professors for Academic Order (member of board of directors), Association of the United States Army, Military Chaplains Association (life member; member of board of directors), Military Order of the World Wars, Reserve Officers Association (life member; national chaplain, 1978–79, 1982–83), Oriental Institute (University of Chicago).

AWARDS, HONORS: Awarded Maltese Cross as Knight of Grace, Knights of Malta, 1974; military awards include four Meritorious Service Medals and Legion of Merit.


Format Development in Religious TV, Wayne State University (Detroit, MI), 1970.

Models of Religious Broadcasting, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1974.

Chaplain (Major General) Gerhardt W. Hyatt: An Oral History, U.S. Army War College (Carlisle Barracks, PA), 1977.

Eternal Vigilance, Reserve Officers Association of the United States, 1980.

God's Grace and Human Health, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1982.

Psychotheology: Key Issues, University of South Africa Press (Johannesburg, South Africa), 1986.

(Coauthor) Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy, Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI), 1987.

(Editor, with LeRoy Aden) The Church and Pastoral Care, Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI), 1988.

(Editor, with LeRoy Aden and David G. Benner) Counseling and the Human Predicament: A Study in Sin, Guilt, and Forgiveness, Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI), 1989.

(Editor, with LeRoy Aden) Turning Points in Pastoral Care: The Legacy of Anton Boisen and Seward Hiltner, Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI), 1990.

(Editor, with LeRoy Aden and David G. Benner) Christian Perspectives in Human Development, Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI), 1992.

Sin or Sickness: The Problem of Human Dysfunction, Calvin College Press (Grand Rapids, MI), 1998.

(Editor and contributor) The Origins of Enochic Judaism, Henoch (Turin, Italy), 2002.

(Editor and contributor) God's Word for Our World, two volumes, T. and T. Clark (New York, NY), 2004.

(Editor and contributor) The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, four volumes, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2004.

(Editor, with Wayne G. Rollins, and contributor) Psychology and the Bible: A New Way to Read the Scriptures, four volumes, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2004.

(Associate editor) Gabriele Boccaccini, editor, Enoch and Qumran Origins: New Light on a Forgotten Connection, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

Sex in the Bible: A New Consideration, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2006.

Schleiermacher's Praktische Theologie: A Post-modern Translation, Edwin Mellen Press (Lewiston, NY), in press.

Wisdom: Fruits of an Odyssey in Bible Study, Edwin Mellen Press (Lewiston, NY), in press.

Creator of video training packets. Contributor to books, including Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology: A Historical and Biographical Sourcebook, edited by D. Moss, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1999; Seeking Understanding, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001; The Psychology of Terrorism, Volume 3: Theoretical Understandings and Perspectives, edited by Chris E. Stout, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2002; The Psychology of Resolving Global Conflicts: From War to Peace, edited by Chris E. Stout and Mari FitzDuff, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2006; Just War and Jihad: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, edited by R. Joseph Hofmann, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2006; and to dictionaries and encyclopedias. Contributor of more than 125 articles to periodicals, including Archaeology Odyssey, Banner, Cross Currents, Journal of Psychology and Theology, Pastoral Psychology, and Reformed Journal. Editor in chief, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, c. 1975–90, and Bulletin of Christian Association for Psychological Studies, 1976–81.

Some of Ellens's work has been published in Spanish and Portuguese.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Research on "the son of man in Second Temple Judaism and Christian origins" and "Jesus as the son of man in John's gospel."

SIDELIGHTS: J. Harold Ellens once told CA: "My childhood in the Depression impressed me indelibly with the scope of human need and suffering. My training in a German pietist family oriented me on the spiritual/psychological dimension of human need as well as in the physical/social dimensions. My father's patient and theological/philosophical orientation in thought and behavior, particularly in terms of a dynamic and congenial notion of divine providence, imbued me with a durable strength and sense of the inherent hopefulness of things. My experience as a military officer clarified for me that change can be achieved with the appropriate method and strategy, if the objective is clarified. Opportunities for pastoral ministry and psychotherapeutic care of people channeled the above and structured the arena in which I invested my energies as an author.

"I began to write by publishing articles in popular journals and rewriting for publication the essence of my Ph.D. dissertation. I was ambitious to do so because it seemed to me I had generated key information and conceptualized insights that could be genuinely helpful to the potential readers and professional scholars especially in the helping professions.

"Through my books I hope to achieve an increased appreciation in the mind of the technical professional and of the thoughtful general reader for the significant relationship between the insights of historic Judeo-Christian theological thought and practice on the one hand and the contemporary message of the psychosocial sciences. This relationship is particularly crucial in the matters of anthropology or an understanding of the nature of persons. It has definitive potential impact upon the shaping of human self-understanding and world views. Such an appreciation of the significant relationship will enhance scholarship universally and will provide improved satisfying perceptions for the unquenchable human quest for meaning.

"I have only moderate appreciation of most of the work that is being done today in literature, theology, social science, and ethics. We seem to be living in a growing vacuum of creative skill, genuine innovation of conceptual models, and stimulating address to the cosmic issues and images which have driven the great writers of the past. A paucity of vision and courage for reaching across the boundaries and frontiers of thought prevails. The great prophets of our century are virtually all dead. We seem now, for the most part, to be living off the scraps snatched rather superficially from the thought, method, images, and issues of the past prophets. I am anxiously looking for the possibility that the onset of the new century will see a breakthrough for a new age of prophetic thinkers. That will probably require the reduction of the large amount of energy currently expended in dealing with the anxiety of the present thermonuclear age and its contest of forces. Only a freeing of the psychological energies of our culture and some significant breakthroughs in the horizons of our cultural and technological world will sufficiently stimulate the human community and inspire it with the hopeful worthiness of things to make great ideas and great writing likely. Until then there is likely to continue to be a general preoccupation with the sordid, violent, depressive, and cynical in life."



Science and Theology News, July-August, 2004, "Templeton Foundation Discoveries, Research and Ideas from Around the World."

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Ellens, J. Harold 1932–

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