The Rev. Dr. Charles Packer is Adjunct Professor, teaching courses in theological writing and research methodology, pastoral theology, biblical interpretation, and inter-religious dialogue for the Ecumenical Theological Seminary. He is the Senior Minister of the Pine Hill Congregational Church in West Bloomfield, Michigan, currently holding worship services and having office space in Temple Shir Shalom, a Reform Jewish congregation. In addition, Dr. Packer is the Dean of the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies for the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC), assisting seminarians academically, financially, and spiritually who are called to serve Congregational churches upon completion of their Master of Divinity degrees.
He is very active in interfaith engagement, serving on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit. Dr. Packer co-chairs the Education Committee and has developed with the Community Building Committee the “Ask a…” program in which practitioners of various faith communities to share in an informal setting about their traditions.
Dr. Packer is very involved in his association of churches, on the national, state, and regional levels, having chaired for many years the Church and Pastoral Relations Committee for the Michigan Conference of Congregational Christian Churches (MCCCC) and the Church and Ministry Committee of the Southeastern Michigan Association of Congregational Churches (SEMACC). He is Chaplain-Director of the Congregational Retreat Society and a member of the Theological Commission of the International Congregational Fellowship (ICF) that produces the scholarly publication, the International Congregational Journal. With the growing need for training of not only ordained, but lay ministers, Dr. Packer has written curricula for the Online Congregational History and Polity Course related to the biblical foundations of Congregationalism and Congregational theology and spirituality, as well as teaches or co-teaches both Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures and Advanced Bible in the Lay Ministry Training Program for the NACCC.
A resident of Waterford Township, Michigan, Dr. Packer joined with concerned clergy and lay leaders of several faith communities to form the Waterford Refugee Welcome Alliance when elected representatives affirmed an ordinance in October 2016 indicating a non-welcoming stance toward the potential of Syrian refugees being settled in Waterford Township. The organization continues to hold educational events and provides ongoing support to area refugees from several countries through material donations to agencies that aid refugees and at-risk immigrants.
Bachelor of Arts in Religion (Concentration: Hebrew Bible and Its Contexts), University of Iowa, 1997
Master of Divinity (Concentration: Biblical Studies), University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, 2001
Doctor of Ministry, Ecumenical Theological Seminary, 2012 (Dissertation Title: All the Right Friends: Toward the Development of Spiritual Friendships in the Local Church)
“Simeon’s Embrace: Intentionality in Theology and Administration of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper in Early Puritan New England,” in Are We Who We Say We Are?: Toward a Definition of the Mission of the Congregational Church in the New Millennium (Proceedings of the Theological Symposium of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, Derry, New Hampshire, November 9-12, 2000).
“The Apostle of Roxbury: A Portrait of John Eliot, Puritan Pastor-Scholar,” in International Congregational Journal, February 2002, Volume 2, Issue 1, 90ff.
“An Unfamiliar Wilderness: The Rhetoric of Reorientation in Second Isaiah,” in International Congregational Journal, Spring 2011, Volume 10, Issue 1, 91-108.
“The Environment of Awakening: Dream Incubation, Spiritual Maturation, and the Local Church,” in International Congregational Journal, Summer 2019, Volume 17, Issue 2, 41-55.
“Wisdom for the Silenced: Reading Psalm 32 as Cautionary Counsel in Response to 2 Samuel 13-19,” in Biblical Wisdom, Then and Now, Edited by Frances Flannery and Nicolae Roddy. New York: Routledge Press, 2021, 114-128.
Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society
Society of Biblical Literature
Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality