Remembering Dr. Archibald Hart
Remembering Dr. Archibald Hart
Categories: AACC BLOG
The Memorial Service for Dr. Archibald D. Hart
July 21, 2021
Today, we remember and celebrate a beloved colleague and friend, outstanding educator, administrator, author, and former board member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, Dr. Archibald Hart.
To know him was to love him. His passion and communication skills, wrapped in one of the most beautiful South African accents in the world, kept you spellbound. Our AACC family would sit on the edge of our seats every time he spoke.
A pioneering Christian psychologist and leader, he challenged and pushed his generation to be excellent and passionate about counseling and psychology— assisting today’s generation in finding help and hope in Christ. He blazed a trail to help us understand issues like depression, stress and anxiety, sexuality, divorce, and sleep. As Dean of the School of Psychology at Fuller Seminary, he especially loved research and scholarship and staying on the cutting edge of what was happening in the field while training leaders worldwide. However, he always anchored this passion in his love for God and fidelity to God’s Word.
I have to share a little story about him. He flew to Virginia once to spend some time with me, and we found ourselves laughing a lot but then discussing 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, a favorite passage of his on soul care. At that moment, he told me to be careful and not get too enamored with counseling and psychology, which puzzled me. He went on to challenge me to stay anchored and excited about God and His redeeming work in our lives. Then, he told me something that I will never forget, and has influencedmuch of what I do… he was concerned that we, as a movement, had run at times too far ahead of our biblical and theological roots. I suppose a great deal of this thought was due to his deep affection for God and pastors like my dad. Maybe he saw himself in a similar role of pastoring, discipling, mentoring, and caring for those around him, especially leaders and internationals.
And then, he put a stress indicator dot on my hand and said, “Oh my… you are overstressed… you need to slow down, son” (smile).
I do not think we ever had a conversation where he did not tell me about his family—his wife, Kathleen, whom he loved so much, and his daughters, Catherine, Sharon, and Sylvia, whom he loved and was so proud of, and their families.
The Bible says to give honor to whom honor is due.
As a way of honoring Dr. Archibald D. Hart and his outstanding contributions to the Christian mental health community, the American Association of Christian Counselors has established the Dr. Archibald D. Hart Christian Counseling Pioneer Award—for Excellence in Research and Scholarship in Training and Educating the Next Generation of Leaders in Mental Health and Caring for Others.
It is very fitting that the first recipient of this prestigious award will be Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., posthumously, at our 2021 AACC “Way Maker” World Conference at the magnificent Orlando World Center Marriott this September 15-18. Future award recipients will be announced at the biennial AACC World Conference.
Well done, my friend. We are all better individuals, counselors,and followers of Christ because of your work and ministry. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be in the presence of the One we serve and with your beloved wife, Kathleen.
And as you taught and lived… it is because of Him that we will see you again.
Catherine, Sharon, and Sylvia, know of our love and prayers for you, your loved ones, and your ministries that carry on the work of your amazing father.
Tim Clinton, President of the American Association of Christian Counselors