New Executive Director Announced

The Rev. Dorothea Lotze-Kola, Th.M. 

The Training and Counseling Center at St. Luke’s (TACC) is pleased to announce the hiring of its new Executive Director, Dorothea Lotze-Kola. Dorothea brings to TACC many gifts which represent her rich history as a CPE Supervisor and, more recently, a Marriage and Family therapist who is in the final stages of licensure. She is married to The Rev. Dr. Lewis Kola, and mother of twin daughters, Rachel and Grace. 

Dorothea was born in Westfalia, a Center region of former West Germany, where she grew up in a family of six in a traditional German parsonage of a reformed Lutheran church. She studied theology in the South of Germany and completed her M.Div. equivalent in 1993. She studied under the renowned Juergen Moltmann in Tuebingen and Bishop Wolfgang Huber in Heidelberg. 

After completing her studies, Dorothea came to the US and spent 18 months in a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency at Emory University, Atlanta. In order to become ordained, Dorothea then returned to Germany and worked for three years as an Associate pastor in a Lutheran and in a Methodist church in Iserlohn and Dortmund. After receiving her ordination in the Evangelical Church of the Union (EKU) in Germany, she married her West African husband, Lewis Kola, whom she met in Atlanta, GA.

The couple moved back to Atlanta in 1998 where Dorothea later transferred her ordination to the United Church of Christ (UCC). In addition to her education in Germany she completed a Masters of Theology in Pastoral Care and Supervision at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. For five years Dorothea trained as an ACPE supervisor at Northside Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. For five years Dorothea served as a supervisor and NICU Board certified staff chaplain at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. The past six years Dorothea held a leadership position as Director of The Institute for Chaplaincy and CPE, Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. Working toward her goal to be licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (2015), Dorothea has been in a training process at the Link Counseling Center in Sandy Springs. 

Dorothea has a deep passion for both counseling and CPE training and looks forward to being able to bring both of those experiences and skills to her role as Executive Director. She is excited about the amazing work TACC is doing and looks forward to collaborating closely with TACC’s staff and Board members as she offers leadership based on her gifts and experiences.
Founded in 1976 in the basement of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the Training and Counseling Center has served thousands of Atlantans in critical need of compassionate care and healing through its two-fold mission: Clinical Pastoral Education and Counseling. Today, the Training and Counseling Center (TACC) is an independent nonprofit organization in residence at the historic Edward Gay House on the beautiful campus of St. Luke’s. Click here to view our 2013 Form 990.


After serving in the role of Executive Director for the past 16 years, The Rev. Miriam Needham is retiring on May 31, 2014.  Under Miriam’s leadership, TACC has successfully grown its counseling and Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs, which are the two branches of TACC’s founding missions.  When she arrived, the Executive Director’s position covered multiple roles of administration, development, counseling and serving as CPE director.  She leaves in place a staffing structure in which there is a Director of Counseling, a Director of CPE and a Director for Administration.  As a result, TACC now delivers more creative programming, more extensive outreach, and a solid system of administration and governance.  Miriam has successfully focused her efforts on the duties of an executive through which she has attracted an outstanding staff and an excellent Board of Directors.  Under her leadership, TACC has established substantial endowments which provide ongoing financial support.  It has been a good 16 years and the future looks bright.


The Rev. Karen Miller brings a wealth of clinical and pastoral experience to TACC. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Karen began her career as a nurse working with disadvantaged populations in rural Tennessee. Her 20-year medical career took her to Honolulu, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and finally to Douglasville, Georgia, where she was the charge nurse for their Birthing Center. Helping women through life transitions prompted Karen’s call to become an ordained Presbyterian minister. After graduating from Columbia Theological Seminary, Karen’s first exposure to clinical pastoral care was as an intern for 2 units in TACC’s CPE program. This experience prompted her journey to become a CPE Supervisor working first at Emory Healthcare and later at Care and Counseling Center of Georgia.  And now following her excellent training, she returns to TACC as our CPE Director.  Please join the TACC staff and Board of Directors in welcoming Karen!

Executive Director & CPE Supervisor
The Rev. Miriam A. Needham
Miriam is an ordained United Methodist clergyperson having lived out many years of her ministry providing pastoral care in 3 local Atlanta hospitals (Grady Memorial, Emory University, and Crawford Long) from 1985 to 1997. During this period she was Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator (Grady), Director of Staff Support (Emory), and Director of Pastoral Education (Crawford Long). Miriam was certified as a full supervisor by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) in 1994 and started working with CPE students as a pastoral educator during her supervisory training process. She was appointed Executive Director of TACC in 1997 and is the first non-male, non-Episcopal Priest to hold this position. Central to any description of Miriam is to know of her Salvation Army rootage as a child of Salvation Army Officer parents. It was in the Salvation Army that Miriam learned the vital connection between faith and service.

Administrative Staff
Miriam A. Needham, Executive Director & CPE Supervisor
Meg Moye, Clinical Director
Page Gardner, Administrative Director
Karen S. Miller, CPE Director
Jen Moore, Development Consultant

2014 Board of Directors
W. Hampton Morris, Board Chair
Tim Killenberg, Board Chair Elect
Trey Shipp, Treasurer
Bette Hines, Secretary
Miriam A. Needham, Executive Director
Daniel Matthews, Jr., Rector, St. Luke's
Stuart Alston
Boyce Ansley
Kenzie Biggins
James Bland
Jane Bockel  
Russell Currey
Sally Fielding
Katie Ganske
Robert Glenn
Deirdra D. Glover
Mary B. James
Whit Lanier
Jane Long
Robin D. Morris
Leandrew Tabb
Charles K. Wright, MD  

Caring for You, Caring for Me

An Education & Support Program for Caregivers

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Nine 90 minute sessions.

Specifically designed for individuals who are in a care-giving role with a family member, a friend or as a professional, the program combines emotional and spiritual support for care-giving with educational information regarding resources in the community and topics related to care-giving.

TACC Launches First-ever CPE Program in Jamaica

In 2009 The Rev. Dr. Marjorie Lewis, a faculty member at United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) in Kingston, came to TACC to take her first unit of CPE. Marjorie loved her CPE experience so much that that when she became President of UTCWI last year she was determined to provide CPE to her students. Kingston has a growing urban context with many of the issues of poverty, homelessness and mental illness that are similar to the urban context in which TACC’s CPE students work in Atlanta. Although CPE has never been done in the West Indies Marjorie knew that clinical placements in Kingston would be rich places of learning for her students. And so TACC sent out the word that a CPE Supervisor was needed to go to Jamaica. Soon Rev. Deryck Durston, Associate Director of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education called to volunteer his services. On June 1, 2011, the first unit of CPE in the West Indies began on the campus of UTCWI. There are 7 students in the group and each of them are providing pastoral care in 5 clinical sites which include a psychiatric hospital, a residential care facility for babies and children whose parents have died with AIDS and other outreach services to marginalized adults and children. The unit will go through the summer and Deryck is already reporting that the students are eager and grateful for the experience.