Herbert Anderson

Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology



PhD, Drew College



Herbert Anderson is a Lutheran pastor who taught Pastoral Theology at Catholic Theological Union from 1985 until he retired in 2000.  He currently lives in Sonoma, California and continues on the Core Faculty of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Chicago.  After serving as a parish pastor in California and a hospital chaplain in New Jersey, Herbert began his teaching career at Princeton Theological Seminary in the fall of 1969.  He has also taught at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa: Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry; Fuller Seminary extension in Seattle; and Yale Divinity School.  After retiring, he was Director of Pastoral Care at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, Washington from 2001-2004.


Anderson is the author or co-author of over 100 articles and 13 books on topics such as death and grief, family living, ritual and narrative, empathy, leaving home and living alone, men’s spirituality, suicide, outpatient care, hospitality, and ‘sense and nonsense in the wisdom of Dr. Seuss’.  His most recent book was co-authored with Karen Speerstra and is entitled The Divine Art of Dying: How to Live Well While Dying. This book was the 2014 Gold Winner from INDIEFAB. It also received the 2015 Gold Winner award and Best of Small Press from the Nautilus Book Award.  A book co-authored with Kenneth Mitchell, All Our Losses, All Our Griefs, is generally regarded as a classic in grief literature. He has co-authored five books on the family life-cycle entitled Leaving Home (also available in a Korean translation), Becoming Married, Regarding Children, Promising Again, and Living Alone. He also co-authored a book with Edward Foley on worship and pastoral care entitled Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals.  Essays collected in his honor were published in Mutuality Matters: Family, Faith, and Just Love.  In addition to his writing, he has served on several editorial boards. For eight years, he was the Editor of Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry.  A recipient of numerous awards including the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Congress in Pastoral Care and Counseling.  Dr. Anderson is a nationally and internationally known speaker in the areas of bereavement, family, care of the dying, and pastoral and practical theology.

The Divine Art of Dying: How to Live Well While Dying (Divine Arts, 2014)


Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals (Jossey-Bass, 2001)


All Our Losses, All Our Griefs (Westminster John Knox Press, 1993)