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Serving Individuals, Families Part of Calling

July 20, 2015

Over the past few months, we have been talking about stewardship.  We’ve looked closely at 1 Peter 4:10, explored stewardship and participation, and talked about how we, as a seminary community, use our gifts to come alongside those called to a journey of theological education.  What you might not realize is that, in addition to serving in the kingdom by providing systems of theological education, providing integrative counseling is also part of Sioux Falls Seminary’s kingdom calling.

Because this is a vital part of how we serve others, we are going to look at how our counselors and therapists use their gifts to serve individuals of all ages, couples, and families in our community through Sioux Falls Psychological Services (SFPS) and how they help students become excellent integrative therapists.

Just over forty years ago, Ernie Zimbelman was invited to become a professor at Sioux Falls Seminary, which was known as North American Baptist Seminary at the time.  In order to be a seminary professor and make a living, Ernie and his wife, Dorothy, sought permission to have a psychology practice on the side.  That practice later became known as Sioux Falls Psychological Services.  Later in his career, Zimbelman gifted his psychological practice to Sioux Falls Seminary.  Through his generosity, the impact of Sioux Falls Psychological Services has expanded to include the Community Counseling Clinic, an onsite training clinic for counseling students at the seminary.

Over the past forty plus years, thousands of clients have been served through SFPS by receiving quality care in a Christ-centered environment.  This includes people with many different kinds of psychological and relationship needs, people of faith struggling to make sense of how God is at work in the midst of their personal struggles, children and adolescents experiencing trauma, and married couples and families trying to work through some of life’s greatest challenges.  Also during this time, dozens of counseling and therapy students have received the education and experience they need to serve others effectively as excellent integrative therapists.

A few of the many ways that Sioux Falls Psychological Services is making an impact in the lives of others through their service is by:

• offering a wide range of mental health services for individuals of all ages, couples, families, and groups;

• maintaining a team of nearly thirty professional and student therapists who are called to serve others;

• providing approximately 11,000 sessions of therapy this past fiscal year;

• meeting the growing needs of children, adolescents, and the people who care for them through the development of the new Child & Adolescent Therapy Clinic;

• bringing counseling services to the rural community of Platte, SD, through its River Counseling Services branch;

• bringing real-life experiences into the classroom by providing instruction and supervision in the seminary’s Master of Arts in Counseling program.

Each and every day, our team of integrative therapists at Sioux Falls Psychological Services serve others by meeting them where they are and offering them hope.  They think of their work as ministry and thank God for the opportunity to use the gifts they “have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).  To learn more about the ways in which Sioux Falls Psychological Services serves our community, visit www.offermehope.com.

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