Ruth E. Krall is a mental health clinician-turned-pastoral theologian. Her family faith heritage includes a father whose religious tradition was the American Lutheran Church (now Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) and a mother whose faith tradition was located in the Lancaster County Old Mennonite Church (now Mennonite Church USA). Dr. Krall was baptized in the Old Mennonite Church when she was 11 years old. She is an ethnic Anabaptist-Mennonite and holds dual denominational memberships in the Mennonite Church USA and the United Methodist Church USA.
Graduating from Goshen College (Goshen, IN) in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, Krall completed graduate studies in Psychiatric-Community Mental Health Nursing and earned a Master of Science Degree in Psychiatric Nursing from the University of Cincinnati (OH).
From 1962 until 1981 Krall held a variety of clinical positions in Psychiatric-Community Mental Health Nursing. She rapidly moved into nursing service administration serving as the chief nursing supervisor in community mental health settings and a university medical center. In these settings she provided direct services to clients, supervised undergraduate and graduate students in their clinical practicum experiences, and provided supervision to a 24-hour staff. During the course of these years she also held teaching positions in several colleges and universities. She taught both in the public sector and in the private sector.
During the 1970’s Krall became involved in the beginning moments of the feminist women’s health movement – working for reproductive rights for all women. In addition, she began to be aware of sexual violence issues in the lives of women and small children. She worked with staff and students to develop skills in working with victims of sexual and domestic abuse. During the nearly six years she worked in a medical training hospital, she became involved in teaching human sexuality content to nursing students, medical students, social work interns, and clinical psychology interns. She was, therefore, part of the first wave of clinicians to teach human sexuality content to clinical practitioners and health profession students. During these years, she was in the first group of psychiatric nurses to be certified by the American Nurses Association for excellence in clinical practice. Subsequent to this national recognition and designation of clinical excellence, she became a member of the American Nurses Association Certification Test Construction Committee.
In the early 1980s Krall returned to graduate school – this time her focus of study was at the intersection of clinical theory, human psycho-sexual development, and Christian feminist theology. During her last 18 months in residence, she volunteered with the Project Sister Rape Crisis Line in Los Angeles County (CA). As part of her volunteer activities she met newly raped women in hospital emergency rooms. In addition, she completed a clinical practicum in small group work with rape survivors. Her doctoral dissertation, focused on young women’s experiences of affinity or acquaintance rape, was entitled Rape’s Power to Dismember Women’s Lives: Personal Realities and Cultural Forms. For the remainder of her academic career, Krall served as the Program Director for the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Program at Goshen College. In addition, she frequently served as a lay preacher and consultant on topics of personal violence (such as family and sexual violence) inside Christian peace church faith communities.
During the final years of her professional academic career, Krall completed educational programs in Imagery and Health taught by Jeanne Achterberg and Frank Lawliss, completed requirements for certification in Guided Imagery by the Academy of Guided Imagery in Mill Valley (CA), and completed requirements for certification by VERIDITAS in San Francisco (CA) as a labyrinth facilitator. She retired from Goshen College in 2004 as Emeritus Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Nursing and as Emeritus Program Director of Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies.
During her retirement years, she has continued to research issues of sexual violence and other forms of personal violence against women and small children. In addition, during these early years of retirement, she served as a dissertation director for a colleague on the general topic of feminist, post-colonial theology.