The Reverend Doctor Howard W. Whitaker is a priest of the Episcopal Church canonically resident in the Diocese of Newark.
In the mid-late 1980s, he served on the staff of the Bishop of Lexington (KY). He was an early director of St. Timothy's, Mission, Barnes Mountain. In the early 1990's, he was Rector of the pre-colonial North Sassafras Parish on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. From 1995-2004, he was Director of Clinical Pastoral Services in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With Georgia Homestead, he helped develop the first in-home family therapy interventions for families at risk of losing custody of minor children.
He came to New Jersey with the American Red Cross after the 9/11 WTC attacks and served two tours as Chief Chaplain for the NJ Family Assistance Center at Liberty Park. For the eight years following that, he was Director of Pastoral Services of the 600 bed Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris Plains, New Jersey, where he served on the Governing Body and chaired the Ethics Committee. After leaving Greystone, he continued to commute north, doing clinical interventions in churches in the mid-Atlantic region for another decade.
Fr. Whitaker is a graduate of Columbia Military Academy and American University. He received his Master of Divinity from Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky and his Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC. Dr. Whitaker is a Board Certified Chaplain (Retired) of the Association of Mental Health Clergy and the Association of Professional Chaplains. He received his initial clinical training at Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, and Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, Knoxville, and his advanced and supervisory residencies at The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Psychiatric Hospital, Baltimore.
He is the author of a Pastoral Commentary on Dissociative Disorders and numerous articles, sermons, letters and reviews in professional publications. He is known as a clinician and educator in religious issues and psychiatric illness, particularly related to trauma-based personality disorders. He has lectured across the United States on such topics as suicide; sacred creativity and manic depressive illness; mysticism and trauma; self-injurious behavior; and the intricacies of pastoral relationship with persons adaptively shaped by personality disorder.
Dr. Whitaker still maintains a small private practice focused on religious psychopathology. When not in COVID lockdown, he still works occasionally on the east coast. With his spouse and partner, Kay E. Hamick, R.N., M.Div., he is a principal in several other businesses, including New York Books and Scottsboro Bee Company in Scottsboro, Alabama.