Erik Kolbell is a writer, psychotherapist, and ordained minister.
A Yale Divinity School graduate, Kolbell was the first Minister of Social Justice at Riverside Church in New York City where he worked on fair housing, racial equality, nuclear disarmament, prison reform and other issues. His work took him to Nicaragua as an official US observer for the first democratic elections, to Cuba with Pastors for Peace delivering medical supplies, and to South Africa on a fact finding mission during the apartheid years.
As a Congregational minister with a concentration in Judaic studies, Kolbell has a broad understanding of religious issues and where they intersect with American culture. Prior to his ministry at Riverside Church, Kolbell worked for several years as a college chaplain. His psychotherapy practice incorporates his expertise in family and couples counseling.
Kolbell has appeared on The Today Show and Dateline on NBC, The Early Show on CBS, The Charlie Rose Show on PBS, Morning Joe on MSNBC, The Jane Pauley Show, Your Total Health, local television, and numerous radio programs.
Kolbell's writing has covered a wide variety of topics, from the spiritual to the practical, with a common theme being that of tying ethical principles to everyday living.
He is the author of The God of Second Chances and Were You There? Finding Ourselves at the Foot of the Cross. His book, What Jesus Meant: The Beatitudes and a Meaningful Life, received a "Best Spiritual Books 2003" from Spirituality and Health Magazine. He also authored Lifescripts for Family and Friends: What to Say in 101 of Life's Most Troubling and Uncomfortable Situations, a guidebook for difficult conversations.
Kolbell contributed frequently to the "Everyday Ethics" column in Family Circle magazine, and has written for Child, Parents, Town and Country, and the New York Times. His essays have been published in Town & Country's Modern Manners: The Thinking Person's Guide to Social Graces, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories for a Better World.
Numerous books for Rodale Press co-authored by Kolbell include two consumer guides offering practical advice for navigating everyday transactions, Beat the System and For the People plus Prayer, Faith and Healing, and The Power of Prayerful Living