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The Church Cares

Free extensive training for churches in listening ministry of lay-helping

Marriage Ministry

Access the Grace Together and Loyal Love Marriage Ministry Curriculum created by the Charis Institute.

Couples Counseling

Combining the power of psychological and faith-based resources to impact the care and support for couples and families for good.

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Welcome. I’m Dr. Jim Sells, co-director of the Charis Institute at Regent University in the School of Psychology & Counseling.

And I’m Jennifer Ripley. The co-go director as well of the Charis Institute.

We have four areas of investment – four places where we are seeking to make a difference: that of training, education, research, and social transformation.

So, in the education realm we are part of a university, and we train graduate students in counseling and psychology in marriage and family work. We also provide things in continuing education and in ongoing consultation work with clinicians all around the world who are working with families to provide them the support that they need.

The second level of intervention has to do with the training of pastors, lay leaders, ministers, who are working with couples and families within church contexts or within faith-based Christian education contexts. What we’d like to do is to be able to present the power of psychological literature in a way that can impact Christian Ministry and the vision that you have for care and support for the men and women, the parents and the couples who come to your church. That training component focuses on preparing pastors to do really good ministry, using what you do best in the integration of your theology – your Christian ministry – with your couples and with your families, with what we do best in having a knowledge of the psychological science literature.

We also do research. We’re very dedicated to ensuring that we actually test and see whether the work we’re doing is helping families, is helping ministries to grow and flourish. So, we are constantly doing research to examine the work we’re doing to see, “Does it really help anyone. And, if so, in what ways?”

The fourth area has to do with social transformation to parents, to spouses, to couples who seek to find resources for specific needs within your family, within your marriage. We are a clearinghouse of information, both print information, online detail – online content – that you can use to address needs within your family.

So, we hope that you will enjoy partnering with us and become a part of Charis Institute.


September 11, 2023

AACC Presentation Materials 2023

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