The Canadian Mental Health Association is observing Mental Health Week in Saskatchewan.

The subject of mental health is tough but timely, and likely one you’ve already heard much about or have direct experience with. With all the helpful and informative initiatives encouraging us to speak openly about our struggles and seek support, the reality is, there is still just so much struggle.

And, unfortunately, it is not going away anytime soon.

Luke Gordon, Associate Pastor of Next Gen Ministries & Elim Church Young Adults, shares that in a recent survey, 17% of the young adults in their church group indicated that they have thought about self-harm or suicide often in the past year.

“It’s alarming to me,” says Gordon. “Christ-followers are not immune to depression, anxiety, worry, or any other mental or emotional health issues.”

Photo Credit Nik Shuliahin

Pastors have so much on their plates these days, and many feel ill-equipped to effectively address the mental health needs of the people they minister to.

And the needs are many. According to Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:

  • In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or addiction problem, and 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness by age 40.

Our world is in desperate need of theologically sound and competently equipped pastoral counsellors.

In meeting with pastors and Christian leaders, Dr. Jeromey Martini, president at Horizon, says that “they repeatedly share the burden that they are more and more often called on to give mental health counsel, but they just don’t feel confident or prepared to do it well. We deeply feel this burden.”

Horizon’s mission is to prepare competent Christian leaders. A new seminary degree program aims to do just that: to prepare pastors and Christian leaders to give confident, competent mental health counsel to those in their care. This is not a burden they ought to bear alone.

Curated by Heather Tomes, M.Ed., R. Psych. (APE) #772, The Master of Arts in Pastoral Counselling offers counselling courses and practicums alongside biblical and theological studies. The degree equips ministry leaders to serve as counsellors in different ministry-based settings: local church, chaplaincy, or non-profit organizations.

This program is designed for pastors, church leaders, or for people who want to make a difference in the field of Christian counselling or chaplaincy.

More About the Program

If you have been stirred and burdened by the crisis of mental illness in our culture and want to be a part of positive change, consider developing your knowledge, skills, and discernment in the area of pastoral counselling.

Armed with counselling expertise, a biblical worldview, and proper training, you can be an agent of healing.

Master of Arts Pastoral Counselling
More About the Program

Jayna Snider

Jayna is the Communications Coordinator for Horizon College & Seminary

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