CUC gerontology expert counsels openness to life-enriching wisdom of “maturing adults”

Dr. John Holton, visiting associate professor of gerontology at Concordia University Chicago, delivered the keynote address during the plenary session at the 18th annual conference of the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network (POAMN). The conference, titled “Savoring the Journey,” was held June 5-8, 2018, at the Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center near Lake Tahoe, Nevada and attracted 80+ participants. The conference convened Presbyterian church workers concerned about meeting the needs of older adult worshippers.

Dr. Holton was invited to present at the conference after meeting POAMN representatives during the 7th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality, sponsored by the Center for Gerontology and hosted on the Concordia-Chicago campus in June, 2017.

“In my conference presentation, I wanted to blend the secular—gerontology—and the sacred —principally, the calling of Love—as I envision service to maturing (older) adults,” explained Dr. Holton. “The role of the church is never more invaluable to parishoners as they pioneer life’s longevity challenges and opportunities.”

Dr. Holton joined the Concordia University Chicago faculty in 2015 as the Director of the Center for Gerontology and visiting associate professor of gerontology, in which capacity he is course instructor for program management in aging. Dr. Holton is a former faculty member at the School for Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and the School for New Learning at DePaul University. In addition, he has held numerous distinguished administrative positions, including Director of the Illinois Department on Aging; Associate Director for Transformation, Division of Mental Health, Illinois Department of Human Services; and Vice President for Research and Director, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Research. Dr. Holton's research interest is analysis of disparities in the delivery of health services to older adults.

POAMN defines itself as “a network of persons who are engaged in ministry with older adults. These people work in presbyteries and synods, they are leaders in congregations, and some serve in specialized ministries such as chaplains in care facilities and presbytery staff who are involved with older adult ministry committees.”

Read article about Dr. Holton’s conference presentation in the Presbyterian Outlook.

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