The Rev. Dr. Debra May Cerra


Rev. Dr. Debra May Cerra, or Debbie (as she likes to be called), was ordained by the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) in 1996. Debbie served 3 different PCUSA churches during her 21 years in ministry. She is honorably retired and still serving the Lord’s people

Debbie earned her Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Drew Theological Seminary in 1996 and her Doctorate of Ministry (DMin) from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA in 2012. Her doctoral paper is entitled “Grief and Community: How the Incarnate Christ can work through community to comfort and heal those who grieve.”  (A copy of her paper is available on this website) 

In 2015 Debbie earned a certification in Creative Grief Support through In 2016 she received a certification in Contemplative Leadership with Oasis Ministries. She has offered Grief Support to those who mourn for over 10 years.

About grief, Debbie writes:

“Grief is a normal and expected response to a loss – particularly a loss of someone or something to which an attachment has been established. Though grief can create similar reactions within people, such as anger, regret, and depression, grief is also personal and unique to each individual’s loss.

“Grief initiates a roller-coaster ride of responses. On the painful side of grief the sense of alienation and loneliness, the reality of insomnia and weariness, the onset of tears and fear, and the feelings of being lost in life and disconnected from others might be experienced. The more tender side of grief embraces the joy of remembering, the realization that a loved one’s pain and suffering have ended, and the assurance that there are others who grieve and share this journey.

“For those who believe, there is the hope that God cares, the gift of life eternal, and the assurance of a future reunion. (John 3:16, 11:25, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

“Indeed, the journey of grief is multifaceted.”