Menninger Clinic, 1964 - 1966
Courtesy of Laurent Nouwen. Used with permission.
Encouraged by the well-known psychologist Gordon Allport, Nouwen applied for a fellowship at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, in the Religion and Psychiatry Program. He spent two years there, from 1964 to 1966, working in clinical pastoral education, research and writing. He hoped to introduce the combination of psychology and theology pioneered at Menninger into a religious education program in The Netherlands.
Nouwen also grew more politically aware during this period, participating in Martin Luther King’s great civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. He wrote a moving account of his experience in a Dutch publication, Sjaloom, in October 1965.