Emmanuel Lartey

Emmanuel Y. Lartey

Charles Howard Candler Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spiritual Care


PhD, The University of Birmingham (England), 1984
BA Hons., University of Ghana, Legon, 1978


(404) 727-6594


The Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Y. Lartey teaches pastoral theology, care, and counseling at Candler, as well as in the Person, Community, and Religious Life program in Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion. Lartey came to Candler in 2004, and previously taught pastoral and practical theology at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. In 2020, he was appointed Suffragan Bishop for the North American Mission Diocese of The Methodist Church Ghana.

Lartey’s research examines pastoral and spiritual care theories and practices operating in African, European and American cultures. An internationally acclaimed scholar, Lartey is recognized as a pioneer in the development of an intercultural approach to pastoral care and counseling, which argues for and models respectful engagement across racial, gender, class, cultural and religious boundaries. His 1997 book, In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling (Jessica Kingsley, 2nd ed., 2003), now in its second edition, is internationally used as a textbook in pastoral care.

An ordained elder in The Methodist Church (Ghana), Lartey works across religious traditions, preparing chaplains to serve in religiously plural environments. His 2013 book, Postcolonializing God: An African Practical Theology (SCM, 2013), provides inspiration for all concerned with human liberation and a more just and compassionate world.

Lartey serves on numerous advisory and executive boards in the church and academy, including the Trans-Atlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race and the executive committee of Emory’s Religion and Public Health Collaborative. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Black Theology: An International Journal. Lartey holds leadership roles in two professional guilds, the African Association for Pastoral Studies and Counseling and the International Association for Spiritual Care, and is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for the Study of Black Religion, among several other professional organizations. He has been a guest lecturer and visiting scholar at universities, conferences and churches around the world.


Co-editor, Postcolonial Practices of Care: A project of togetherness during Covid-19 and Racial ViolenceWipf & Stock, Pickwick Publications, 2022

Co-editor, International Handbook of Practical TheologyWalter De Gruyter Publishers, 2022

Co-editor, Postcolonial Images of Spiritual Care: Challenges of Care in a Neoliberal AgeWipf & Stock, 2020

Co-editor, Pastoral Care, Health, Healing, and Wholeness in African Contexts, Wipf and Stock, 2017

Postcolonializing God: An African Practical Theology, SCM Press, 2013

Pastoral Theology in an Intercultural World, Wipf and Stock, 2013

Co-editor, Spirituality and Culture in Pastoral Care and Counseling: Voices from Different contexts, Cardiff Academic Press, 2004

Co-author, Pastoral Care and Counseling: Redefining Paradigms, Abingdon Press, 2004

In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Care and Counselling, Second Edition, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003

Co-editor, The Church and Healing: Echoes from Africa, Peter Lang Publishing, 1994

Pastoral Counselling in Inter-Cultural Perspective: A Study of Some African (Ghanaian) and Anglo-American Views on Human Existence and Counselling, Peter Lang Publishing, 1987


“Postcolonializing Pastoral Theology: Enhancing the Intercultural Paradigm,” in Pastoral Theology and Care: Critical Trajectories in Theory and Practice, Wiley Blackwell, 2018

“The Ancestors are Everywhere: Black Church Studies and the African Context,” in The Black Church Studies Reader, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

“‘When I am weak, then I am strong’: An African Christian reflection on the ambiguities, paradoxes and challenges of pastoral power,” in Soft Shepherd or Almighty Pastor: Power and Pastoral Care, Wipf and Stock, October 24, 2014

The Provost’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellent in Graduate and Professional Education for the Laney Graduate School, Emory University, 2023

Appointed Suffragan Bishop (Presiding Bishop’s Deputy) for the North American Mission Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana, 2020

Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa), awarded by the University of Pretoria, South Africa

ATS Lilly Theological Research Grant for the project Postcolonializing God: An African Practical Theology, Faculty Fellowship

Global Perspectives on Pastoral Care

International Perspectives on Pastoral Care

Inter-religious Spiritual Care

Introduction to Pastoral Care

Spiritual Care in African Religious Traditions

In the media

May 6, 2021

Candler Black Excellence: Emmanuel Lartey on Pastoral and Spiritual Care

May 18, 2020

Choosing Life for One Another: Emmanuel Lartey

Decorative SVG Decorative SVG