Dr. Robert W. Burns

Visiting Lecturer in Practical Theology

  • Practical Theology | Guest Faculty | Atlanta

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University of Maryland, B.A.
Covenant Theological Seminary, M.Div.
Westminster Theological Seminary, D.Min.
University of Georgia, Ph.D.


Bob Burns is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church of America with over forty-five years of pastoral experience having served in many varied ministry positions ranging from youth and singles ministry to worship and arts and senior pastor. He has also served as an Associate Professor, Dean of Lifelong Learning, and Director of the Doctor of Ministry at Covenant Theological Seminary, as well as a Guest Faculty at Reformed Theological Seminary. He is now Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Seven Hills Fellowship in Rome, Georgia. In addition to his service in the church, Bob was the founder of Fresh Start Seminars, a divorce recovery program that conducted seminars throughout the United States, Great Britain and Australia.

Bob is the author of numerous articles in periodicals such as Review of Religious Research, ByFaith Magazine, and Covenant Magazine. His books include Recovery From Divorce (the 1990 National Association of Single Adult Leaders book of the year), The Adult Child of Divorce (with Michael Brissett), The Fresh Start Divorce Recovery Workbook (with Thomas Whiteman), and Resilient Ministry and Negotiating Ministry (both with Tasha Chapman and Donald Guthrie).

Bob and his wife Janet have been married for 40 years. After their children were grown, Janet earned her masters degree in professional counseling. She has been in practice for 19 years. Bob and Janet have two sons and eight grandchildren.



Divorce Recovery (Atlanta, GA: Oliver-Nelson, 1989; reprinted with study guide, 1992).

The Adult Child of Divorce, co-author with Michael Brissett (Atlanta, GA: Oliver-Nelson, 1992).

The Fresh Start Divorce Recovery Workbook, co-author with Thomas Whiteman (Atlanta, GA: Nelson, 1992; revised and updated, 1998).

Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving, co-author with Tasha Chapman and Donald Guthrie (Dowers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2013).

Negotiating Ministry, co-author with Tasha Chapman and Donald Guthrie (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, submitted and in editing, publication in 2018).


"Divorce Recovery," in Singles Ministry Handbook, ed. Douglas Fagerstrom (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1988).

"Pastoral Learning after Seminary," in All For Jesus: A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Covenant Theological Seminary, eds. Robert A. Peterson and Sean Michael Lucas (Ross-shire: Christian Focus Publications, 2006).

"Caring for the Separated and Divorced in the Church," in The Struggle is Real: How to Minister to Mental and Relational Health Needs in the Church, ed. Jared Pingleton (Forest, VA: American Association of Christian Counselors, 2017). 


"Left Off the Ark," Covenanter Witness (Spring, 1987). 

"Our Responsibility to the Single-again," Follow Me (February 1989).

"Ministry to Single Adults: the Need," PCA Messenger (February 1989). 

"Raw Bible," PCA Messenger (January 1994).

"How Pastors Learn the Politics of Ministry Practice," Religious Education (Fall 2002).

"Issues Framing the Politics of Ministry Practice," Review of Religious Research 45:3 (2004), pp. 235-253.

"Getting Involved in a Friend’s Divorce," (co-author with Janet S. Burns) byFaith 6(November/December 2005), pp. 28-31.

"Developing Servant Leaders," Covenant Magazine (Spring 2007).

"What It Takes to Survive and Thrive in Ministry," The Gospel Coalition
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/author/bob-burns (October 2014). 

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