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Rev. Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D.

A pastor and clinical psychologist, Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk has counseled and cared for many people in crisis. Recognizing the need to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:12) to expand that care beyond what anyone can do alone, he developed the Stephen Ministry system of lay caring ministry, which has reached over 13,000 congregations worldwide. As the founder and Executive Director of Stephen Ministries St. Louis, he has devoted his professional life to helping congregations train their members to minister to those who are struggling with a wide range of life difficulties.

His ministry took on deeper significance as he dealt with the death of his wife, Joan, in early 2002 from ovarian cancer. In writing Journeying through Grief and Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart, Dr. Haugk drew from his professional work, his own experience of grief, and what he has learned from others experiencing suffering in their lives.

In 2003, he received the National Samaritan Award from the Samaritan Institute for the significant contributions he has made to the field of caring ministry.

His newest book, The Gift of Empathy—coauthored with Joel Bretscher, Stephen Ministries’ Program Director—offers a fresh approach to the familiar topic of empathy, providing practical insights and real-life examples that equip readers to better understand, connect with, and care for others.

Dr. Haugk is a nationally known speaker and educator, as well as the author of numerous books and resources, including: