Graham Standish, PhD, MSW, MDiv, MA
Director of Caring for Clergy and Congregations
Graham Standish joined Samaritan Counseling, Guidance, Consulting in November, 2017 as the Executive Director, as well as Director of our Caring for Clergy and Congregations program. Under his leadership, Graham formulated a new vision for Samaritan and executed an organizational restructuring and a substantially improved business model. These accomplishments have encouraged insurance agencies to compensate us fairly, increasing Samaritan's income by 29% and allowing us to put more of our fundraising efforts into client aid. Graham continues to direct expansion efforts that have already resulted in the opening of three more satellite offices with more on the horizon.
In addition to overseeing Samaritan's fundraising, clergy and congregational services, financial and clinical operations, Graham presents workshops and provides spiritual direction/coaching to pastors. Prior to coming to Samaritan, he served for 22 years as the pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, PA, where he tripled the size of the congregation and garnered national attention in several studies. One of these studies was done by by Diana Butler-Bass who included Calvin Church in her ground-breaking book, Christianity for the Rest of Us.
Before his ministry at Calvin, Graham served as a therapist in a pastoral counseling agency, as a drug and alcohol therapist, an intern as a hospital chaplain, and as an associate pastor at a growing church in Murrysville, PA. Graham is an experienced teacher, retreat leader, spiritual director and has a background in individual, marital, and family therapy. Furthermore, he had served on Samaritan’s board of directors as well as on the editorial board of Presence, the journal of Spiritual Directors International.
Graham earned his Ph.D. in formative spirituality from Duquesne University, his Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh, and his Master of Divinity from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Graham is the author of ten books and numerous articles on the topic of spirituality, spiritual direction and spirituality in congregations, including his new book, Preaching to Those Walking Away, as well as his 2020 book, …And the Church Actually Changed, which is based on his work as a spiritual director and coach for clergy." (CHECK OUT Graham's latest book.)
He continues to write articles for national publications and blogs. Graham has been an adjunct professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry program and Certificate in Spiritual Formation Program, and at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Toronto, Ontario, focusing in the areas of spirituality and congregational leadership.
Graham and his wife Diane are the parents of twin daughters, Erin and Shea.