M. Jan Holton

Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling

CV | jan.holton@yale.edu Denomination: United Methodist

Professor Holton’s research, broadly speaking, uses ethnographic methodology to investigate issues of pastoral care in conflict (or post-conflict) and disaster zones. She is the author of Building the Resilient Community: Lessons from the Lost Boys of Sudan (2011), a study that focuses on field research in South Sudan. Here, she challenges conventional Western models of healing and explores how faith serves as a resource for resilience in refugee communities facing traumatic circumstances in times of war and displacement. Professor Holton’s current book project examines the unique aspects of pastoral care practices related to care in communities facing various forms of displacement. She has also begun field research for a project on faith communities and care for victims of sexualized violence and torture in eastern Congo. Other research and teaching interests include intercultural pastoral theology, travel seminars to former conflict areas (Uganda and Bosnia), ethnographic perspectives of suffering, pastoral care in times of crisis, death and dying, addiction, the transition of hope, and ritual in pastoral care. Her pastoral and clinical experience includes chaplaincy at a level-one trauma center. Professor Holton is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.

Read a feature article about Professor Holton.


B.A. Randolph Macon College
M.Div. Union Theological Seminary (Richmond)
Ph.D. Vanderbilt University


Building the Resilient Community:  Lessons from the Lost Boys of Sudan (Cascade Books, 2010).