Chaplain Danita Perkins, second from right, shown working with fellow chaplains at Nash UNC Health Care.
Danita Maria Perkins, MDiv, a chaplain at Nash UNC Health Care, was recently honored with Campbell University’s 2017 Outstanding Alumni Service Award in recognition of the work she has done on the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at the hospital.
The CPE program is a graduate level course of clinical training in ministry consisting of 100 hours of structured group and individual training, accompanied by a minimum of 300 hours of working directly with patients, family, hospital staff, as well as church and community members.
It is a seminary level course and is provisionally accredited by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. Perkins introduced the program in 2015 at Nash; 16 students have now completed the course, including three Nash nurses. She serves as a diplomate supervisor in clinical pastoral education training and as a full-time staff chaplain.
Danita Perkins was the first African-American female graduate of Campbell University’s Divinity School. She has also recently been honored with the establishment of a scholarship, known as the Letaz Jones and Danita Perkins Endowed Scholarship of Campbell University Divinity School. Letaz Jones was the first African-American male graduate in the program. Funded by alumni, faculty, and friends, the scholarship seeks to provide financial assistance to African-American students in the Divinity School.
“Danita’s soft-spoken manner and genuinely kind heart are perfect for chaplaincy. She is an incredible listener and our patients love sharing with her. As the one person handling our pastoral education program, she touches the lives of many in training who will become pastors and hospital chaplains. Danita is a true asset for our hospital,” said Amy Winham, Director of Service and Operational Excellence at Nash UNC Health Care.
Perkins started at Campbell University as a part-time student while working full-time with North Carolina Wesleyan College as a software engineer and computer programmer analyst. Previously, she served in the US Army and Colorado National Guard as a photographer and photojournalist, and while on active duty, she was assigned to the Pentagon with a secret security clearance. She has also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer.
Before going into ministry, she graduated State University of New York College at Buffalo with a BSEd in Special Education and Teaching. She is a member of Living Faith Fellowship in Rocky Mount, NC.