A minister and student of individuals,communities, and cultures that have experienced historical trauma

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_MG_8286_bwThe Rev. Dr. Paula Owens Parker is a Presbyterian minister and senior program developer of Roots Matter: Healing History, Honoring Heritage, Renewing Hope, a course of study that specializes in ways to heal generational trauma in families. Though Roots Matter’s approach to generational healing is rooted in the traumatic experience of chattel slavery and the African American spirituality created out of that experience, it has a deep and powerful connection with other groups and cultures who have experienced historical trauma.

Rev. Parker, adjunct professor of Spiritual Formation at Union Presbyterian Seminary (Richmond, VA.), is also a retreat leader, spiritual director, and healing prayer minister.

Rev. Parker is the founder and former executive director of The Daughters of Zelophehad, Inc., an ecumenical Christian transitional housing program for women in crisis and their children. She is co-founder of SOZO* School of Christian Healing Prayer at Richmond Hill, an urban ecumenical retreat center, and co-founder of Seven Sisters Sharing Seven Sayings, a Good Friday service that is held each year in the Richmond metropolitan area.

Rev. Parker received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Fisk University (Nashville, TN), a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary (Richmond, VA.),  and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary (San Anselmo, CA.) Rev. Parker’s dissertation topic was “Using the genogram as a tool for healing generational trauma in the African American church community in Virginia”.  She has completed training in the School of Healing Prayer under the direction of Francis and Judith MacNutt of Christian Healing Ministries (Jacksonville, FL) and at the Pecos (N.M.) Benedictine School of Spiritual Direction.

Rev. Parker is a graduate of Higher Ground: the Grace E. Harris Leadership program at Virginia Commonwealth University (2004), Leadership Metro Richmond (2007) and the Pastoral Excellence Program of the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention (2011). She is the recipient of the 2007 YWCA Outstanding Woman Award in Religion, and The Resource Center’s 2007 Outstanding Christian Education Award for Ministry and Spiritual Seekers.  Rev. Parker was awarded the 2009 Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders by the Louisville Institute, a Lilly Foundation funded program that supports the work of ministry and clergy and is the recipient of the 2013 Union Presbyterian Seminary Black Alumni/ae Trailblazer Award.

Rev. Parker also offers services in spiritual formation, group facilitation, spiritual direction, healing prayer, discernment committee facilitation (in the Quaker tradition), and retreats.

*SOZO –  to save; to heal; (Greek)



„The healing service was a very personal and reflective event for me. … You seldom get a chance to use a stretch of time to ponder, to reflect and to experience transformation in your everyday life. I felt that the service was very much a process of closure and an opening of the spirit to embrace a new beginning of life experiences.  I find myself very emotional and compassionate to concerns that surround me after class.“

Participant, CS