Western Theological Seminary is launching a search for a Professor of Counseling and Director of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The director will lead in the design and implementation of a CACREP-aligned Master of Arts (MA) program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, as well as teach the program’s first courses. 

“With the mental health crisis taking place throughout this country, we are grateful for the opportunity to offer this new program,” said Dr. Kristen Deede Johnson, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and G.W. and Edna Haworth Professor of Educational Ministries and Leadership.  “Rooted in the theological convictions that have long shaped Western Theological Seminary and offering contemporary, research-based training, we hope and pray that this new degree will equip our graduates to be wise, competent, and faithful therapists and practitioners.”

Dr. Chuck DeGroat, Professor of Pastoral Care and Christian Spirituality, has been one of the lead architects of the program. He has over 20 years of experience as a pastor and counselor, including starting two church-based clinical counseling centers.

According to Dr. DeGroat, “WTS is uniquely positioned to offer a relationally-oriented and trauma-informed, research-based program which, at the same time, remains deeply rooted in a longstanding Christian soul care tradition.”

The Clinical Mental Health degree will be rolled out over the next two years.   

“Over the years, Western Theological Seminary has emphasized the formation of the whole person, tending not only to the head and hands but also to the heart and inner life of our students,” shared President Felix Theonugraha. “In the next couple of years, we envision graduating counselors who are deeply formed to meet the mental health challenges that we see in our churches and communities today.”

Western Theological Seminary is accredited through the Association of Theological Schools and will seek accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), which is a nationally recognized accrediting body for counseling education.

Western Theological Seminary (WTS) is a Christian theological seminary affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. Located in Holland, Michigan, WTS offers 16 graduate programs online, in residence, in English, and in Spanish, for women and men preparing for faithful Christian ministry. Home to the Eugene Peterson Center for Christian Imagination and the Center for Disability & Ministry, WTS is committed to providing excellent theological education and to forming students spiritually. WTS was founded in 1866 when seven of the eight members of Hope College’s inaugural graduating class wished to become ministers and petitioned the RCA to allow them to complete their education in Holland.