Rev. A O Ferguson was awarded a Master of Divinity degree in 2010 from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts degree in Thanatology in 2011 from Hood College in Fredrick, Maryland. Following that they completed a fellowship in the Clinical Pastoral Education program at the University of Texas, M D Anderson Cancer Center. Ferguson joined the Spiritual Care and Education staff at M D Anderson as a staff chaplain for the Emergency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Lymphoma/Myeloma for one year until they transferred to the Palliative Care Department where they served for two years. In 2016, Ferguson accepted a position with the University of New Mexico Hospital serving as Spiritual Care provider for the palliative care division until March of 2020. Ferguson accepted a position with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine as Lecturer/Spiritual Care Specialist where they currently serve on both the inpatient and outpatient service.

Personal Statement

The practice of Palliative Medicine focuses on patient and family participation in patient centered care. My passion in healthcare has always been providing patient care that is relevant to the patient's wishes, particularly patient's who feel unheard. In my role as a provider of Spiritual Care, I cultivate a place for their voices to be expressed. I bring the unique perspective of someone who listens differently than the medical team. Patients and families often talk about their illnesses using words like hope, miracle, and prayer. Those terms often seem foreign in a world of symptoms, science and proof. I often get to interpret what the patient and families value from their language used. It helps to facilitate communication between providers and patients. Uniquely as a non medical faculty member at UNM, in concert with the Palliative Medicine team, I get to educate students, fellows, staff and faculty about engagement with oneself while providing care for others. We often facilitate discussion about family dynamics, culture, religion and end of life (to name only a few) and how they can impact the care we provide. In the summer and fall of 2020, I been in conversation with many faculty and staff members about how the work during COVID-19 is affecting them. I believe we have been able to have more open conversation because they have observed us working with patients and families to talk about where they are in this moment. Then I am seeing them reach out to one another. It is exciting to watch as present and future doctors, nurses, APPs, and other staff members awaken to a new approach to providing good health care.

Areas of Specialty

Spirituality in the practice of Palliative Care Care for the Marginalized LGBTQI+ and Spirituality


Board Certified Chaplain 2015


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