Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Spiritual Care, and Counseling
B.M., Columbus State University; M.Div., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; Cert. in Psychotherapy, Center for Religion and Psychotherapy at Chicago; Ph.D., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
A native of Atlanta, GA, Nicholas Grier’s writing, speaking, and counseling focus on the
experiences of Black and Brown people and engage a womanist critique of culture.
Privileging the experiences of persons on the margins of society, Grier enjoys fostering
cultures of self-awareness, resistance, healing, and liberation on the path to human
flourishing. He works to engage faith communities, clinical counseling practice, the
academy, and public on issues related to racism, sexism, Black male identity, liberating
faith, and depth understandings of the personality. As teacher, Grier works to inspire
present and future faith leaders to cultivate life-giving ministries of care and justice.
Grier is an ordained Baptist minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and
served as Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care at Second Baptist Church, Evanston, IL.
Most recently he served as Associate Staff Minister at Third Baptist Church of Chicago.
As pastoral theologian, he has taught for the course The Practice of Ministry at the
University of Chicago Divinity School.
He is a 2015-2016 Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Doctoral Dissertation
Fellow. His dissertation, Caring for the Mental Health of Black Men: Engaging
Invisibility, Hyper-Visibility, and Devaluation in Urban Black Males Toward Human
Flourishing, is a qualitative study drawing on the narratives of Black men in Chicago as
the starting point to develop a new grounded theory for pastoral care and counseling. The
narratives of Black men are put in dialogue with critical race theory, Black feminism,
238 CLAREMONT SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY
womanist pastoral theology, Black psychology, psychoanalytic theory, and Black pastoral
theology with an aim toward human flourishing.
Grier is the founder of Coloring Mental Health Collective, LLC, a community organizing
team advocating for the mental wellness of Black and Brown people and dismantling
oppressive ideologies, systems, and behaviors that cause emotional suffering. A primary
goal is to use innovation and creativity to foster safe and transformative spaces for
communities to imagine, dialogue, and actualize a future of material, spiritual, and
psychological well-being for persons on the margins of society.
In his downtime he enjoys sports, listening to jazz & neo-soul music, spending time in
nature, and connecting with life-giving friends & family.