The Rev. Dr. Deborah L. Patterson

The Rev. Dr. Deborah L. Patterson

Best-Selling Author ~ Ordained UCC Minister

Deborah Patterson is executive director of the International Parish Nurse Resources Center and Deaconess Parish Nurse Ministries in St. Louis, Missouri.  She is also an ordained United Church of Christ Minister.  Patterson is the best-selling author of Health Ministries (2008), Healing Words for Healing People (2005), and The Essential Parish Nurse (2003).

Best-Selling Titles:

The Healing Word
The Healing Word is a practical and much needed resource for parish nurses and ministers searching for new ways to approach the subject of healthcare from a viewpoint that integrates spirituality and well-being. Patterson’s years of healthcare and ministry experience, both home and abroad, highlight her insightful views on how parish nurses and church leaders can connect with one another and work together in the vast healthcare arena in order to supplement their professional and spiritual knowledge and bring it to their patients and congregations.

Health Ministries
Patterson tackles head-on the unique questions and concerns clergy have about starting and maintaining a health ministry program within their congregations. She has compiled stories and experiences of parish nurses from within the U.S. and around the world and put them together in an interesting, accessible format. This book will appeal to clergy and convince them to introduce this much-needed ministry to their congregation.

Healing Words for Healing People
As executive director of the International Parish Nurse Resource Center and author of the highly successful The Essential Parish Nurse, the author is keenly aware of the resources that are needed in the health ministry profession. This insight has enabled her to create a unique and inspiring prayer resource for parish nurses and other health professionals that helps them minister to their patients more effectively.

The Essential Parish Nurse
The Essential Parish Nurse is a practical and useful resource for churches that are interested in developing a parish nurse program. Covering a broad range, it discusses the need for such ministry, a brief history of parish nursing, the role of the parish nurse, and other matters of interest to those wishing to establish such a ministry. 


Articles About Deborah Patterson:

A Ministry of Service

The Rev. Dr. Deborah Patterson is Executive Director of the International Parish Nurse Resource Center. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and the author of many books including her newest book, The Healing Word: Preaching and Teaching Health Ministry.  She spoke with about how parish nursing can effect change in congregations and communities. What led you to parish nursing?

DP: When I was a pastor serving a local congregation I realized most of my work was health related. There were five women in our parish who were in a head-on collision on the highway and all ended up in Intensive Care at different hospitals in the area. I had all kinds of questions as I ran between the different ICUs. I wished that there had been someone in the church who could help me figure out what it meant if someone had a head injury. Or how to borrow durable medical equipment? Or help a family understand if the physical therapy services in their areas accepted their insurance? We needed more information to help us support the families as a congregation.

I had heard about parish nursing at that time and thought that would be a huge help to me in my ministry. There was also someone who was getting medicine from her doctor, what the patient called “nerve pills.” to keep her sedated. I suggested she get a second opinion and when she got a second opinion it turned out she had breast cancer. She was being sedated for symptoms of disease. Another person had a daughter who was living in the basement of her home with OCD. She kept washing her hands and could not leave the basement. So I helped that family get access to Mental Health resources where she got effective treatment. She was able to get out of the basement and get a job. I thought, “We are called to preach, teach and heal, but this healing stuff is taking all my time in a way that I am not equipped to do.”
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