With an undergraduate double major in Bible--Theology, and Education--Psychology, from Gordon College, in Massachusetts, she taught school, then received a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island, in Library Science and shifted from classroom teacher to school librarian.
With two more degrees – an Ed.S. in Educational Administration, and a PhD. focusing her dissertation on “Pastoral Care of Urban Youth and Families” – time was also spent as a stay-at-home-Mom, during which time she wrote materials for Christian publishing houses where her husband, John, worked: Union Gospel Press in Ohio, and the Mennonite Publishing House in Pennsylvania. John also connected Barbara to writing opportunities for Urban Ministries, Inc. of Chicago, for whom she wrote Sunday School materials.
Christian Life Skills, emerged from a God-given vision, after a season of prayer and fasting when Barbara viewed the televised Bill Moyers documentary, The Vanishing Black Family, depicting the challenges of African American family life. Her vision for addressing the issues was shared in casual conversations at the bus stop, as she walked her children to school each morning. Her neighbors, Dr. Leon Haley and Dr. Jerome Taylor, learned of her vision while they waited for the local bus and she and her children waited for the green light to cross the busy street. Dr. Haley and Dr. Taylor convened a city-wide group of pastors to consider working on this vision since Pittsburgh, at that time, had one of the highest black infant mortality rates per capita and it was known that the answer to the problem was wider than basic health issues. It was life skills and mentoring!
Life Skills based in scripture, grounded in the church community, in mentoring/caring relationships, could make a difference! With support and encouragement from her husband, Dr. John A. Rogers, and their daughters, Aubrea and Deborah, Christian Life Skills, Inc. emerged, with a curriculum and a nurturing way of doing ministry that can make all the difference in the lives of entire families. Dr. Rogers presently serves as CLS Director for Training and Education.