Francesca Debora Nuzzolese

Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Care

Th.D. (Pastoral Counseling): Columbia Theological Seminary
Th.M.: Melbourne College of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia
Bachelor of Divinity: Ruschlikon Theological Seminary , Zurich, Switzerland
Diploma in Classical Studies: Liceo Classico Cagnazzi di Altamura, Altamura, Italy

"What excites me most about teaching in the areas of pastoral care and spritiual formation is the opportunity to engage in a journey of formation and transformation, which involves not only my students, but also myself.  As we work together to integrate spiritual growth and the commitment to serve God and neighbor, we become a community of seekers, enriched and challenged by the new things we learn about God, about ourselves, and about the ministries we are called to do."

Dr. Nuzzolese has been on the faculty at Palmer Theological Seminary and Eastern University since 2005, teaching in the areas of spiritual formation, pastoral care and counseling, and pastoral theology. Her academic teaching, research and pastoral ministry beyond Palmer and Eastern have taken place in very diverse cultural and denominational contexts around the world including Europe, South-East Asia, Australia, and parts of the USA beyond greater Philadelphia. Her expertise includes extensive experience in chaplaincy and pastoral psychotherapy, theological and psycho-spiritual education, mission work, and spiritual direction.

As a scholar, activist and clergywoman, Dr. Nuzzolese is committed to the organic and intentional integration of theory and pastoral praxis, issues of faith and social justice. She leads spiritual retreats, teaches internationally, and offers educational workshops on a variety of psycho-spiritual and social issues (such as the new forms of slavery experienced by the most vulnerable in our society). Her latest project of research and writing focuses on the young victims of the sex and labor trade and on their tales of de-humanization from a psycho-spiritual and ethical perspective. In her current work-in-progress, Pathways out of Hell: imagining wholeness for the victims of sex trafficking -and the rest of us, she urges the Church and society to combat the evil of human exploitation in all its dimensions and expressions. In Pathways, she will argue vehemently that the denunciation of exploited vulnerability must be accompanied by a radical theological and ethical posture -- a posture that is informed and shaped by the traumatic experiences and voices of those who have not been fully heard in local and global contexts.

Dr. Nuzzolese’s book publication includes Just Care: pastoral counseling with socioeconomically vulnerable women (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012). Other publications appear in Prism Magazine, The Journal of Pastoral Psychology, The Journal of Pastoral Theology, The Baptist Witness of Australia, and in Women out of Order (Fortress Press, 2009).

She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Pastoral Theology, Spiritual Director Internationals, The American Association of Pastoral Counseling, The Guild for Spiritual Guidance, and Friends of Julian and currently serves as Theologian in Residence at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia.