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Photo of Leslie Van Dover, Ph.D., PN, RN

Leslie Van Dover, Ph.D., PN, RN

Professor, Graduate Programs
Phone: (626) 815-5378
Leslie Van Dover is currently a professor and a former chair of the Graduate Nursing Department at Azusa Pacific University (APU). She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Nursing Research from the University of Michigan. Van Dover stays very involved while serving on many committees and sticking to her service goals. In addition to teaching graduate students, she recently accompanied senior undergraduate student nurses, teaching courses in APU's South Africa "Semester Abroad" program. She served the APU Appointments, Rank and Contracts Committee, APU University Assessment Committee and contributed to the school's self study for national accreditation in 2008. She continues an active program of research on spiritual care in nursing practice. It is faculty like Leslie Van Dover that give such a good reputation to our university.


PhD, Clinical Nursing Research, University of Michigan, 1985
MScN - Nursing Education/Maternity Nursing, University of Western Ontario, 1975
BN - University of New Brunswick, 1973
DipN - Montreal General Hospital, 1970

Board of Registered Nursing – CA, USA #553516, 1998 - 2011
College of Nurses of Ontario – Ontario, Canada #74-3331 1, 1970 - 2009
PN - The Parish Nurse Institute Phase I and II, 1997


  • School of Nursing
    • Graduate Programs


  • Community Health Promotion - Smoking Cessation
  • Maternal-Child Health, particularly Adolescent Reproductive Health
  • Parish Nursing
  • Spiritual Care

Courses Taught

GNRS 508A – Research and Theory in Advanced Practice Nursing
GNRS 530 – Theory and Practice in Parent-Child Nursing
GNRS 531 – Clinical Specialization in Parent-Child Nursing
GNRS 597 – Comprehensive Examination Directed Study
RNRS 307 – Theoretical Frameworks in Nursing
UNRS 410 – Community Health Nursing
UNRS 425 – Nursing Research
UNRS 496 – Senior Seminar: Ethics and Issues in Health Care
GNRS 501 – Theoretical Thinking in Nursing

Professional/Scholarly Presentations

Van Dover, L. & Pfeiffer, J.M. (2008). Renewed spiritual identity: Receiving spiritual care from a parish nurse. Nurses Christian Fellowship International Quadrennial Congress and 50th Anniversary: September 12-19, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. Abstract: p. 7 of document, under "Global Response";

Van Dover, L. & Pfeiffer, J.M. (2008). Bringing God near: The nurse's process of providing spiritual care in health ministry. Nurses Christian Fellowship International Quadrennial Congress and 50th Anniversary: September 12-19, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. Abstract: p. 6 of document, under "Global Response"

Pfeiffer, J. & Van Dover, L. (2008). The healing power of gratitude in health ministry relationships between parish nurses and their patients - Workshop. Health Ministry Association (National) Annual Meeting. June 13-14, Irvine, CA.

Van Dover, L. & Pfeiffer, J. (2006). The challenge of providing spiritual care in Parish Nursing. 20th Annual Westberg Symposium, St. Louis, Missouri, October 6-8.

Van Dover, L. (2006). Spiritual care by RN's in health ministries. Health Ministries Track. Healthcare Ministry and Missions Conference, Fuller Seminary, Pasadena. August 4-5.

Van Dover, L. & Pfeiffer, J. (2007) Spiritual Care in Chrisitian Parish Nursing-Bringing God Near. Journal of Advanced Nursing 57(2), 213-221.

Van Dover, L. (2006). After the storm: Nursing in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Crossnetwork Journal. 1(1), November/Winter, p. 46-59,

Van Dover, L. (2006). Fearing failure and finding God. In R. Knott (Ed.). College Faith 3, Berrian Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.

Van Dover, L. & Pfeiffer, J. (2005). Trusting God: Foundations for spiritual care. Journal of Christian Nursing, 22(1), Winter: 18-21.

Van Dover, L. & Bacon, J. (2003). A theory of spiritual care giving in Parish Nursing practice. 14th Sigma Theta Tau International Research Congress. St. Thomas, V.I. July 12., (2003).

Van Dover, L. & Pfeiffer, J. The process of receiving spiritual care from a Parish Nurse.

Van Dover, L. Invited to submit proposal for patient perspective of spiritual care-giving by Parish Nurses. APU Research Grants. Received $ 1,369; 2005

Van Dover, L. The experience of giving and receiving spiritual care in Parish Nursing practice. APU Research Grants - $ 4,740; 2000 - 2003

View All Professional/Scholarly Presentations

Professional Experience

Academic Experience
Professor & Chair, Graduate Nursing Program, Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing, 1998 - 2008

Associate Professor of Nursing; McMaster University School of Nursing; Hamilton, Ontario; 1987-1998.

Public Health Associate; Hamilton-Wentworth Department Public Health; Hamilton, Ontario; 1988-1996.

Clinical Work
American Red Cross Nurse. Hurricane Katrina Disaster, September 2005. Lake Charles, LA.

Health Ministry Nurse (Parish Nurse), Mount Hamilton Baptist Church, Hamilton, Ontario, 1996-1998.

Staff Nurse, Victoria Hospital, Ontario, 1973-1974.

Staff Nurse; Hotel Dieu St. Joseph; Perth-Andover, NB; 1973.

Staff Nurse; Sensenbrenner Hospital; Kapuskasing, ON; 1970-1971.

Consulting Engagements
Member, Advisory Council. Cedarville Univesity, Department of Nursing, 2003 - 2007.

Consultant, Parish Nurse and Health Cabinet, Whittier Area Health Partnership, Whittier Area Community Church, 2000-2004.

Assisted with development of health ministry, Pomona First Baptist Church, 2004.

Reviewer, several chapters for book on Parish Nursing, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Reactor, Arista3-Pacific Think Tank Meeting, Sigma Theta Tau International, 2001.

Industry Experience
Abstract Reviewer, Western Institute of Nursing Research Conference, 2001-2004.

Abstract Reviewer, Sigma Theta Tau International, Regional Research Conferences, 2001-2005, 2007.

Abstract Reviewer, Sigma Theta Tau International, National Conferences, 2001-2004.

Reviewed/Critiqued several chapters for book on Parish Nursing, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003

Chair of Scientific Review Committee, Christian Spiritual Care Research – Celebration 2003, May 19, Chicago, IL, 2002 - 2003

Professional Involvement and Accomplishments

Honors, Awards, Recognition
Nominee and Finalist, McMaster Student Union Teaching Award, 1993
Career Scientist Award, McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences, Ontario Ministry of Health, 1988-1990

Training and Special Projects Grants:
Van Dover, L. Health Resources and Service Administration:Nurse Traineeship Grants and Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS). 2000-2008

Associations, Boards, Committees
Member and Scientific Panel Reviewer, Western Institute of Nursing, 2003–2005
Previous President, Iota Sigma Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau, 2002–2004
President, Iota Sigma Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau, 2000-2002
American Nurses Association, California, 1998-2006
Chair, Research Awards Committee, Canadian Nurses Foundation, 1996-1998
Leader, Golden Horseshoe Parish Nurse Network, Ontario 1996-1998
Board Member, Canadian Association for Nursing Research, Ontario, 1996-1998
Assistant developer, Spiritual Care Research Conference, Azusa Pacific University,
Invited member, Task Force to define Scholarship for APU, 2001-2002
Member, Steering Committee, Center for Research on Ethics and Values, Azusa Pacific University, 1998-2000
Chair, Research Awards Committee, The Canadian Nurses Foundation, 1996-1998

Supervisorships/Dissertation Comittees:
Doctoral Goddard, N. Metamorphosis: Spiritual Transformation as Response to Suffering and Trauma. PhD Thesis. University of Alberta, Edmonton Alberta, Canada. External Examiner: September 18, (2003).

Special Interests and Activities

External to University
Member, Advisory Council, Cedarville University Department of Nursing, Cedarville OH, 2003-2006; 2008-present
Member, Advisory Board, Parish Nursing, Nurses Christian Fellowship USA, 2000-2002
Member, Advisory Board, Providence/Holy Cross Parish Nursing Partnership, Mission Hills, CA, 2000-2001
Service to Azusa Pacific University
Elected Member, APU Appointments, Rank and Contracts Committee, 2005 - 2008
Member, APU University Assessment Committee, 2003 - 2005
Member, SoulQuest Board. Project to support spiritual growth in APU graduate students, 2004 - 2005
Member, Search Committees for three key administrators (faculty & staff) across the University. (Dean of Theology, Director of the Graduate Center,
Dean of Nursing), 2001 – 2004
Member, Doctoral Task Force, Development of Collaborative/Interdisciplinary Research and Courses, Spring 2003
Invited Member, Provost’s Task Force to Define Scholarship for APU, 2001 - 2002
Co-Chair with M. Whyte (Assoc. Provost) of Task Force to identify and plan for implementation of spiritual resources to support APU graduate students, 2001 - 2002
Member, APU Graduate Studies Council – Program Exceptions Committee, 2000 - 2002