The Teaching Years, 1966 - 1985
|Courtesy of Laurent Nouwen. Used with permission.
Nouwen accepted an invitation to teach psychology at the University of Notre Dame in 1966 and spent two years there. He developed courses in pastoral theology that reflected his knowledge of psychology. His first two books came out of this period.
In 1968 Nouwen returned to The Netherlands to teach pastoral psychology and spirituality and once again recognized his preference for theology. He pursued a doctorate in theology, which he received in 1971. These studies confirmed his passion for educating in pastoral ministry.
Nouwen spent ten fruitful years (1971 - 1981) at Yale Divinity School and became a fellow at the Ecumenical Institute at Collegeville, Minnesota. This study opened him to men and women of other faiths. He also spent five months as a scholar at the North American College in Rome, where he wrote Clowning in Rome.
In 1983 he accepted a part-time professorship at Harvard Divinity School. Meanwhile, he crisscrossed North America on speaking tours about conditions in Latin America. This was a painful time because his energies were scattered and he was unable to feel at home either as a professor at Harvard or as a 'missionary' to the South. He resigned from Harvard in 1985.