Rev. Sharon Clark (‘71) Bryson, MA, MAR, MSSW, LCSW, began her professional career as a Physical Education teacher and coach after receiving her B.A. from Asbury University. During her early teen years, she sensed God calling her into ministry. The only place for women in her denomination was missionary service, so she prepared to follow that call. After several years of teaching in public school and completing her M.A. in Education at Western Kentucky University, she followed God’s call to Medellin, Colombia, South America. There she taught grades 5-8 in the George Washington School for English speaking students, mostly missionary children.
While living in Colombia, she sensed God calling her to teach in the teacher training school in Colombia, preparing teachers to live throughout the country teaching in the Compassion schools, as well as teaching those preparing for ministry. Upon returning to the states, she enrolled in Asbury Theological Seminary for further preparation in Bible. While completing her M.A. in missions and evangelism, she met her future husband, Ed Bryson.
Ed and Sharon followed God’s call to ministry first in language school in San Jose, Costa Rica then in Guayaquil, Ecuador. With a heightened awareness of the varied needs of people, particularly in the area of counseling, when she returned to the states, Sharon enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work.
Sharon’s emphasis area at Kent School was clinical social work with children and families. Over the next 20 years, Sharon worked with adults with mental illness in a day treatment program, children with severe learning problems and other issues, director of home studies at an adoption agency, outpatient counselor at a large hospital and the child victim therapist at a children’s advocacy center. Her years of experience as a social worker in the central Kentucky area provide a vast network from which to build the practicum sites offered to students in the MSW program.
Sharon and her husband, Ed, have served churches in Ecuador, South America, with OMS, and with the Free Methodist Church in Lafayette, Indiana and Nicholasville, KY. Sharon is an ordained elder with the Free Methodist Church of North America in the New South Conference. The opportunity to serve as the Director of Field Education at Asbury University with the Master of Social Work program provides the perfect opportunity to pull together her background in education, religion and social work.
She is married to Rev. C. Ed Bryson and they have one daughter and two grandchildren, who know her as Nana. Over the years their home has been open to missionaries, college students, students in transition or returning to the area to relocate as well as Sharon’s mother. It is truly a blessing to have so many friends and family share their home.