Areas of Expertise
Religion and Psychology
Faith, Wellness and Mental Health
B.A., Hope College
M.Div., Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
LPC, Center for Religion and Psychotherapy
Ph.D., Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary
Dr. Petersen has been an auxiliary faculty member and guest lecturer at LSTC since 2017. She has also taught at McCormick Theological Seminary and New Brunswick Theological Seminary and has been a guest lecturer at North Park University and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Dr. Petersen received a PhD in Pastoral Theology, Personality and Culture from Garrett in 2017, writing a dissertation entitled “Religious Estrangement and Return in the Experience of Queer Persons” which specifically highlights the impact of religious trauma on queer persons.
She is a psychotherapist at The Spiritual Life Center in Chicago and a volunteer therapist for Porchlight Counseling Services/Greenlight Family Counseling, an organization providing free counseling for survivors of sexual assault in college or graduate school.
Dr. Petersen's research interests include trauma as well as the intersection of psychological theory, mental health and pastoral theology.
Dr. Petersen graduated with her MDiv from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 2006, going on to serve Irving Park Lutheran Church in Chicago for 6 years. From 2017-2018 she served as an interim pastor at St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square.
Forthcoming Book with Lexington Books, "Religious Trauma: Queer Stories in Estrangement and Return."