Is Christ on the Couch?

By Scott Courey on August 7, 2017

Throughout the middle of every week, tens of thousands of Christians bring their deepest life troubles to a private therapist, and most likely, keep quiet about it on Sunday morning. Here's my question: When Christians go to therapy, is Christ on The Couch? "Well of course he is! Christ goes where ever his people go"! I agree. But what I'm asking is this: Do Christians go to therapy expecting to be…

Introducing: Dr. Jenny Chien, Assistant Professor of Counseling

By Kris Rolls on April 5, 2017

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is undergoing an exciting season of growth! This fall we are excited to be welcoming two new full-time counseling faculty to our learning community. Faculty make incredibly important contributions to the culture of our school as they instruct students, make academic policy decisions and continue to labor in their disciplines through research and writing. Over the last…

Doing Your Own Inner Work: The Value of Engaging in Your Own Therapy for Counselors and Ministers

By Sean Harrell on January 30, 2017

I have learned a great many things about helping others from books. I have learned many more from therapy. The helping professions are, to my mind, among the most sacred vocations one may be a part of. We are allowed to witness those experiences that are often kept from the world; to hear what for many has been unsayable, unutterable. We are invited into the most sensitive areas of others' lives, and…

Compassion Fatigue

By Sarah Enck on September 14, 2016

When I sat in Dr. Lehman's Ethics course during the first semester of my M.A. in Counseling program, I never imagined the gravity of compassion fatigue during my future career as a counselor. I was mildly self-aware at the time, enough to realize that my strength in empathy would be my greatest asset and my greatest enemy when working in this field. I understood that I would be able to make quick connections…

What Are We Doing Here?

By Jo Anna Kelly on May 11, 2016

As adults, it seems we often view higher education in a similar fashion—as a means of personal or professional fulfillment. Often we pursue higher degrees in order to fulfill specific personal or vocational goals. Those who elect to return to college are often making the decision to gain a promotion or because they feel that they have plateaued in their current position. When we no longer feel fulfilled…

The Ultimate Final Exam: My First Interview

By Sarah Enck on April 20, 2016

I survived an interview for my first counseling job. After learning that my husband and I were being relocated to Indiana, I knew that I had to look for a new job. But where to start? I knew that part of the job-hunting process was having connections, but I felt lost when thinking about looking in a new town.

To Spank or Not to Spank

By Catherine Mueller-Bell on April 4, 2016

One of the most common challenges for parents is deciding how to respond when a child misbehaves. Caregivers who are parenting don't always agree; they each bring their own experiences and assumptions and have to work out what they will do in their own family. As we explore this issue from a Christian Worldview, I would suggest that the Word of God from the Christian Bible is our greatest resource…

What Does Christian Parenting Look Like?

By Catherine Mueller-Bell on March 30, 2016

So, what does this look like day-to-day when one is parenting a biological or adopted child or caring for a child in an orphanage, foster home, or correctional facility, or reaching out to children who are homeless? I would recommend that our best example is how Jesus treated children, and I invite you to investigate this issue with me.

Embracing the Journey of Seminary

By Dani Lauer on March 16, 2016

"Life is a journey, not a destination." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Journey. An act of traveling from one place to another. A long and often difficult process of personal change and development.

Destination. A place where someone or something is going or being sent.

What is it about us as humans that enjoys destinations? Think about it. We have all these milestones in our lives, and people often encourage…

Responding to the Opioid Epidemic and Shortage of Addictions Counselors

By Catherine Mueller-Bell on March 14, 2016

Last month, NPR ran a story about the opioid (e.g., heroin) epidemic and the shortage of addiction counselors to respond to the problem. New Hampshire had been in the news as having an acute addiction crisis with politicians calling for more treatment options. It's good news that addiction and the need for treatment are getting attention (although we should acknowledge the tragedy that communities…

M.A. in Counseling: A New Platform

By Sarah Enck on February 29, 2016

Damaris Garcia is one of eleven students in the first cohort of the new M.A. Counseling online program at Cornerstone University. She met the other members of her cohort for the first time on Jan. 7, the first day of their three- to four-year program together. The day started with an orientation in the morning and launched right into their first class that afternoon. The following two days were part…

I love the holidays, but now I'm in recovery mode.

By Tara Kram on January 6, 2016

Family is gone. The Christmas tree has returned to its box (no, I've never had a real one). WCSG is back to its regular family-friendly, non-Christmas tunes.  And I haven't seen the sun in a week. Yep, sounds like January in Michigan.

I don't know about you, but I'm in post-Christmas recovery mode. All the hype of the celebration has dissipated, and I'm left ho-humming around the house. What to do?…

Becoming the Client

By Sarah Enck on December 16, 2015

I'm not one for clichés, but I recently found this idea very convicting. As a student in the M.A. in Counseling program, I continuously advocate for anyone to seek counseling. I believe that anyone could use an unbiased person in their life to ask helpful questions and teach healthier habits. Why would anyone pass on an opportunity to grow?

Self-care is a counseling term that has been emphasized throughout…

Questions Every Future Counselor Faces

By Ashley VanBemmelen on December 9, 2015

Everyone who considers counseling has to wrestle with at least one basic question, Could I really do this kind of work? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get insight as to whether you would make a good counselor:

  • Are you passionate about helping hurting people find hope in a broken world?
  • Do you want to help individuals and families through difficult times?
  • Does your heart break…

The Transformative Power of the Classroom

By Graham McKeague on November 4, 2015

Dr. Catherine Mueller-Bell has 30 years of counseling experience in both local and global contexts. She teaches across multiple areas of the counseling curriculum including classes on multicultural counseling, child and adolescent counseling, counseling women through the life cycle, career development and addictions counseling.

Choosing a Career Path

By Tara Kram on October 28, 2015

Many graduates of GRTS's Master of Arts in Counseling program choose to pursue traditional counseling careers in agency or private practice settings. Although this is the most common career path, many choose other vocational avenues. We have alumni serving as human resources directors, professors, church ministry leaders and university student development staff. I also chose to go a non-traditional…

Getting Your Counseling Practice Off the Ground

By Ashley VanBemmelen on October 19, 2015

Where do I begin working when I graduate with the M.A. in Counseling?

This is the question I couldn’t get out of my head during my last year in the program. I knew I wanted to work with trauma, but I was nervous to start my own practice. What options were left?

I needed a site that would provide clients for me to see without much effort on my behalf. For this reason, I looked at agency work and small…

Step by Step: Applying for LLPC Licensure

By Ashley VanBemmelen on September 17, 2015

A question students often ask in their last year of the Counseling program is "How do I get licensed?" This post will walk you through the process of obtaining your Limited License Professional Counselor (LLPC) license in the state of Michigan step by step with a time frame (other states may have variations):

Two Months Before Graduation

Begin obtaining information on local counseling supervisors…

A Balancing Act

By Sarah Enck on September 2, 2015

When I began seminary three years ago, I thought I had a basic understanding of the changes I would experience by stepping into the M.A. in Counseling program. I was so excited to learn more about theology, Scripture and counseling, and I was eager to immerse myself into the graduate academic world. I knew I would grow as a Christian and a professional counselor.

The more I waded through concepts…

Listening that Leads to Hope

By Sarah Enck on August 5, 2015

We all live in a broken world. Within our churches we interact with people who are living with depression, experiencing adultery, or have experienced intense trauma and abuse. The church is not immune to this brokenness and sin. Ministry leaders are often in roles that require a listening ear for their congregants.