The Rev. David Lee Jones, ThD

The Rev. David Lee Jones, ThD

Affiliate Professor of Pastoral Theology | (512) 809-1640

ThD in Pastoral Counseling, Emory University
AAS in Drug & Alcohol Abuse Counseling, Sullivan County Community College
MDiv concentration in NT, Princeton Theological Seminary
BA in Bible/Communication (dual major), Messiah College

Get to Know Dr. Jones

The Rev. David Lee Jones was born and raised in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and nurtured in Bethel Presbyterian Church. David currently lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife Jennifer Jones, M.D. They have two children—Faith and Morgan.

David sensed a call to ministry in early childhood and was officially endorsed as a Candidate for Ordained Ministry by his home congregation while in college. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister (PCUSA) in October 1982 and served as Assistant Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Southampton, NY—the oldest Presbyterian Church in the United States (founded in 1640). He then served as pastor of congregations in Jeffersonville and Roscoe, NY.

David completed the Doctor of Theology program in Pastoral Counseling at Emory University, where his doctoral research focused on helping persons wounded by problem drinkers discover forgiveness.

He pastored two Presbyterian Churches in Atlanta Presbytery while finishing his Th.D. degree and received Atlanta Presbytery’s Small Church Pastor of the Year Award, and the church simultaneously received The Small Church of the Year Award. He served as the Executive Director of the Harmony Grove Counseling Center (a Methodist church-based pastoral counseling center) for 12 years and worked as an emergency room crisis counselor for several county mental health centers. He achieved Fellow status in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

From 2003 to 2012, he directed Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry Program. He served a two-year term as President of the Association for Doctor of Ministry Education (ADME) and has received all three of ADME’s awards. He twice received The Barnabas Award. In 2008, he received ADME’s highest award: The Outstanding Leadership Award in Doctor of Ministry Education. In 2015, he received The Distinguished Past President’s Award.

He has been studying and implementing Bowen family systems theory for over 30 years, working closely with Dr. Peter Steinke until his death in July 2020. David is a popular speaker/consultant on leadership development and conflict management. He has authored numerous academic articles and his essay “Peace is Systemic” won first place in Bethany Theological Seminary’s Peace Essay Writing Contest.

He taught adjunctively in the Seminary of the Southwest’s (Episcopal) master’s degree programs in Chaplaincy and Counseling from 2008 through 2018.

David is a trained Interim Minister and from 2012 through 2018, he served as Interim Minister for five Presbyterian churches in the Austin, Texas, area.

David directed the Doctor of Ministry Degree program at Nashotah House from November 2018 through June of 2020

Selected Publications

  • Articles
    • “Remembering Peter Steinke,” The Presbyterian Outlook 203/2 (February 8, 2021).

    • “Managing Secrets Maturely,” The Presbyterian Outlook 201/1 (January 7, 2019).

    • “Becoming Ecclesial Geologists,” The Presbyterian Outlook 200/18 (December 17, 2018).

    • “Parking Lot Meetings,” The Presbyterian Outlook 200/12 (September 3, 2018).

    • “The Power of Family Mottos,” The Presbyterian Outlook 200/8 (May 21, 2018).

    • “Over or Under-functioning? A Constant Challenge,” The Presbyterian Outlook 200/7 (May 7, 2018).

    • “Anxious Emotional Fields,” The Presbyterian Outlook 199/14 (October 9, 2017).

    • “Reframing: Family Systems for the Church,” The Presbyterian Outlook 199/13 (September 18, 2017).

    • “Open and Closed Systems,” The Presbyterian Outlook 199/10 (July 10, 2017).

    • “Differentiated Pastoral Care: Historical and Practical Reflections on Family Systems Theory,” The Presbyterian Outlook 199/5 (March 27, 2017).

    • “Managing Ecclesial Polarization: A Systems Approach,” Presbyterian Outlook 196/09 (April 28, 2014).

    • “Resentments Part II,” Recovery Today Online, April 2014.

    • “Resentments Part I”, Recovery Today-Online, March 2014.

    • “Emptiness,” Recovery Today-Online, December 2013.

    • “Confidentiality;” “Pastoral Counseling and Addiction;” and “Pastoral Diagnosis” in Springer’s electronic: The Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion, August 2013.

    • “Liminal Space on the Edges of Life” in Journeys, the magazine of The American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Fall 2010.

    • Five Pastoral Implications Essays. Lectionary Homiletics, October-November 2009.

    • Assessing Self and Ecclesial Contexts Through Family Systems Constructs: Why it is so Critically Important to Doctor of Ministry Education. The Journal of Christian Ministry, the E-journal of The Association for Doctor of Ministry Education, Spring 2009.

    • Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortensen & David Oliver Relin. Viking Press: 2006, 338 pages. In Insights, fall 2008.

    • “A Door Ajar” in Journeys, the magazine of The American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Summer/Fall 2008.

    • “Peace is Systemic” in Messenger, the magazine of The Church of the Brethren, September 2008.

    • “On Being a Disciple” in The Living Pulpit, April-June 2008.

    • “How Faith Helped Me See” in Journeys, the magazine of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Winter/Spring 2008.

    • “Visitation, Declaration, Trepidation, Implication, and Anticipation.” The Living Pulpit, April-June 2007.

    • "The Stewardship of Vocation.” The Living Pulpit, July-September 2006.

    • “The Ambiguity of War.” The Living Pulpit, October-December 2005.

    • “Reflections on My Home Church.” The Five Stones 11/1 (Winter 1993).