The Wayne E. Oates Award

Photos from the 2017 Oates Award Ceremony honoring winner Harry Pickens:
Photos by Dr. Andrew Rawls.

The Wayne Oates Award was established in 1989 to honor persons who have demonstrated exceptional qualities in the ministry, leadership, and personal service in the field of Spiritual/Pastoral Care and Spirituality.

The Wayne Oates Award is given to a person who has demonstrated exceptional qualities in the following three areas of Spiritual / Pastoral Care:

Ministry – Demonstration of the healing, sustaining, guiding, and reconciling aspects of Pastoral Care in both personal and professional roles.

Leadership – Contributions to the field of Pastoral Care through education, creation of programs, and writing.

Personal Service – Longevity, excellence and faithfulness in the field of Spiritual / Pastoral Care and Spirituality to individuals, institutions, faith groups and professional organizations; demonstration of personal integrity in their lifestyle.

Past Oates Award Recipients

  • 2017 – Harry Pickens
  • 2016 – William Tuck
  • 2015 – Chris Hammon
  • 2014 – Georgian Buckhalter
  • 2012 – Loren Townsend
  • 2011 – Helen Jones
  • 2010 – Hardy Clemons
  • 2009 – Allan Josephson
  • 2008 – Kay Shurden
  • 2007 – Brooks Faulkner
  • 2006 – Larry VandeCreek
  • 2005 – Daniel G. Bagby
  • 2004 – C. Roy Woodruff
  • 2003 – Ron Oliver
  • 2002 – Vicki L. Hollon
  • 2001 – Teresa Snorton
  • 2000 – Ted Hodge
  • 1999 – G. Wade Rowatt
  • 1998 – D. Powell and Hélène S. Royster
  • 1997 – Jan Cox-Gedmark
  • 1996 – Walter Jackson
  • 1995 – James Hyde
  • 1994 – R. Wayne Willis
  • 1993 – Sarah Ewing Ernst
  • 1992 – Andrew and Judith Lester
  • 1991 – Sue Webb Cardwell
  • 1990 – William B. Rogers
  • 1989 – Clarence Barton

Additional awards presented include:


  • Outstanding Facilitator – Lee Whitlock
  • Outstanding Board Member – Sharon Perkins


  • Pastoral Leadership – David Platt, pastor, Deer Park Baptist Church
  • Spiritual / Pastoral Care Service – Chaplain Bob Cunningham, Norton Suburban Hospital
  • Outstanding Facilitator – Chaplain Dina Carroll, Hosparus Chaplain
  • Outstanding Board Member – Elaine Akin, Poet

About The Oates Institute

The Oates Institute has been providing collaborative continuing education and professional development learning experiences online for clergy, chaplains, physicians, therapists and lay caregivers for 25 years. The content includes spiritual caregiver best practices and the courses that integrate spirituality, ethics, theology, medicine, psychology, cultural diversity and much more. Yearly, 30 to 40 learning events are offered, reaching hundreds of professional and non-professional lay givers and other professionals. Created in honor Dr. Wayne E. Oates, The Oates Institute is a nonprofit organization that was and has served as a repository of his intellectual properties, including 54 published books. As with other nonprofits, the Institute is supported by membership dues, donations, sponsorships and grants.

Dr. Oates was a scholar, teacher, author, clinician, supervisor and pioneer in establishing the field of pastoral care and counseling. He taught at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and finished his career at the University of Louisville, School of Medicine.

“Wayne Oates put together the practice of pastoral ministry, with the wisdom and resources of psychiatry and psychology, in a masterful way.  He became bilingual, in theology and psychiatry, and could move back and forth with amazing agility.”  Dr. Roy Woodruff, Retired, Former Executive Director of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors

(a few presentation videos or audios of presentations by some of the former recipients – to be provided here soon.)