About the Author
Donald R. Koepke was ordained in 1967 into the Lutheran Church in America, a predecessor body to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He served three congregations until 1995 when he spent a year in chaplaincy training (Clinical Pastoral Education) at UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles CA. He was called as a chaplain by California Lutheran Homes and Community Services in two of their multi-level Long Term Care Retirement Communities.
In 2000, he became the founding director of the California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging where he studied the interaction between a person’s spirituality and their aging: How spirituality affects aging and how aging affects spirituality. He is the editor and an author of two books, Ministering to Older Adults: The Building Blocks, written for congregational leaders and The Essential Spirit: Providing Wholistic Spiritual Care with Older Adults, for professionals in Long Term Care. He has served on the Board of Directors and as Editor of the newsletter of the Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging, a constituent group of the American Society on Aging. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Aging, receiving its prestigious Spirituality and Aging Award in 2007.
Presently he is a reviewer of articles submitted to the Journal for Religion, Spirituality and Aging, of Rutledge Taylor and Francis Press. He has led seminars and workshops throughout the country as well as providing training in Older Adult Ministry for 20 congregations in Southern California, upon which “Growing an Older Adult Ministry” is based. He is a member of the Southern California Coalition on Spirituality and Aging which has designed and teaches a master’s level course on spirituality and aging for pastors and other professionals in gerontology, granting a certificate from the New Theological Seminary of the West. (For more information click S&A Certificate Program – Coalition on Spirituality and Aging (ntswest.org) In addition, he continues as a part time consultant to congregations for California Lutheran Homes and Community Services Retired, which means “working for free” since 2008, he now lives in Seal Beach CA with his wife, Judy Koepke.