The Wisdom of Pelicans by Donald McCullough

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews


Donald McCullough, a respected Presbyterian pastor and president of San Francisco Theological Seminary, found his world crashing down around him when a private confession of past infidelity became public knowledge. He lost his position, suffered the estrangement of family and friends, was cut off from church and community, and almost overnight found himself facing a bleak and uncertain future with his faith utterly shaken.

Having lost the joy he once took for granted, McCullough hit bottom and stumbled forward, with nothing left to do but walk the ocean shore near his home. Then he began to notice the pelicans. Meditating on these evolutionary "survivors," he marveled at their development of graceful, yet resilient techniques for flourishing on the margins of the earth, a strange and mysterious place at the border of land and sea. Drawing strength from nature almost unconsciously, he gradually recovered a sense of hope about the life he thought had been lost to him forever.

Courageously written and profoundly moving, The Wisdom of Pelicans is the story of a path to healing and renewal and a deeply affecting meditation on life, loss, and faith. It is a heartfelt and moving tale of a survivor who, in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, found a new spirit, a deeper faith, and, ultimately, a clearer understanding of himself.

"This is a searingly honest account of one man's descent into a personal hell of despair and recrimination, only to be surprised to find God there and the subsequent exhilarating discovery of grace as he surfaced, guided by the wisdom of pelicans. A beautiful and deeply moving story." (Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu)

"An honest and unsparing account of a dark time and of a search for light." (Frederick Buechner)

About Donald McCullough

See more books from this Author
Donald McCullough is president of Salt Lake Theological Seminary and a former president and professor of theology and preaching at San Francisco Theological Seminary. The author of seven books, his writing has appeared in Christianity Today, Christian Century, and many other magazines and journals.
Published July 22, 2002 by Viking Adult. 158 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help. Non-fiction

Rate this book!

Add Review