Skip to main content

2022 Pastoral Counsellors Network

  • Image
    Pastoral Counsellors Network Image
Equipping Christian counsellors with a biblical worldview

The European Pastoral Counsellors Network is for leaders involved in pastoral care or personal discipleship ministries. The Network will focus on common pastoral issues with the aim of building basic counselling skills grounded in a biblical understanding of, and approach to, the human heart. This year’s programme focuses on the character and spiritual life of the counsellor, understanding how to truly care for those who experience evil and suffering, discipling the whole person, the power of the relationship in counselling, and other topics relevant to those involved in pastoral care and discipleship.

Applicants should be leaders involved in pastoral care or personal discipleship ministries. The Network will focus on common pastoral issues, with the aim of building basic pastoral skills grounded in a biblical understanding and approach to the human heart.

Network Leadership

Jelena Sivulka was born and raised in Serbia, where she got her master’s degree in psychology and in theology. She became a Christian 25 years ago and a few years later got involved in ministry with her husband Greg, planting churches, distributing humanitarian aid, and partnering with Joni and Friends, serving people with disabilities. Jelena has also worked as a counsellor in Serbia’s schools and a social worker, and she is currently working as therapist in a medical clinic. She is the founder and director of the non-profit organisation Hana's Hope. She has been blessed with three children: Benjamin, Sara, and Hana, who has autism.

Network Speakers

Andrew Fellows was appointed pastor of a church in Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1988 where he served for seven years. In 1995 his family moved to the English branch of L’Abri Fellowship, where they lived and worked for 21 years. From 2011 to 2016 Andrew was the chairman of L’Abri International. Now based in Cambridge Andrew is the pastor of a newly formed church alongside his work as Director of Apologetics for Christian Heritage. He has a special interest in reaching sceptics and encouraging followers of Christ to develop the life of the mind so it includes the whole gospel to the whole world with all of its implications. Later this year IVP are publishing his book 'Smuggling Jesus Back Into the Church; How Not to be Worldly'. Andrew is married to Helen. They have four children and two grandchildren.

Rick Hill is a speaker, leader and writer from Belfast in Northern Ireland. He works for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in the areas of discipleship and leadership and has recently published his first book, Deep Roots of Resilient Disciples. Rick also serves as an elder in Carnmoney Church and has recently been coordinating discipleship ministry there. Prior to this, Rick comes from a background in youth ministry with both Scripture Union and in a local church. Rick is married to Sarah, they have two young sons, and in his spare time, he enjoys running.

Eric L. Johnson is professor of Christian Psychology at Houston Baptist University, serving in the Gideon Institute of Christian Psychology & Counseling. He taught psychology for 10 years at the University of Northwestern and counseling for 17 years at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to writing more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, he edited Psychology and Christianity: Five Views and was a co-editor of Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World. He has written Foundations for Soul Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal and God and Soul Care: The Therapeutic Resources of the Christian Faith. He was the first director of the Society for Christian Psychology and has been doing pastoral counseling for 20 years. He’s married to Rebekah, and they have two children, Laura and Iain, and a son-in-law, Rich. They have two grandchildren, Cash and Jedi.

Jay Mosser has served in pastoral roles for 40 years – about 20 years in various assistant pastor capacities and the rest as senior pastor. Through those years he has served in three churches ranging from smaller (less than 50) to larger (about 1,000). Along the way he has worked with children, teens, worship ministry, pastoral care, preaching, and leadership. Jay has an M.Div. from Western (Conservative Baptist) Seminary and a D.Min. from Corban University in Oregon, where his doctoral thesis was titled “How a Pastor’s Theology of Shepherding Affects the Health & Growth of a Church.” He is married to Kathy and has three daughters and four grandchildren. In his spare time, he loves to read, hike, travel, watch sports, and spend time with his family.

Dave Patty has been involved in training youth leaders and leading national and international youth movements in Europe for over 30 years. He serves as the president of Josiah Venture. He is also a founding member of Global Youth Initiative, which mobilizes and equips youth ministry trainers in over 60 countries of the world. Dave is an ordained pastor with a BA in theology and a MA in education. He has also done graduate work in leadership development at Harvard University. For the past 27 years he has lived in the Czech Republic, and he spent the 10 years before that in Germany. Dave is married to Connie and has three grown children, Tyler, Caleb, and Claire.

Network Programme

Sunday, 22 May

What are the key factors that maximize spiritual growth in yourself and others? How can you purposefully cultivate them? Learning from Paul's letter to the Colossians, we will explore these key factors and consider some practical ways to cultivate them.

This side of heaven, grief is a frequent visitor to us all. Ministry leaders certainly need to process grief in a healthy way themselves, but it is also essential that we prepare our ministries for seasons of grief, and then lead wisely through those times of loss. While some aspects of processing grief are defined by the culture around us, other elements of grief are common to us all as humans made in the image of God. How can we see gospel-growth take place in seasons of loss?

Monday, 23 May

What does it mean to set your mind on the Spirit? How does this bring life and peace? How does the flesh war against the mind–and the Spirit? In this session, we will examine Paul's teaching about these questions in Romans 7-8 and consider the practical impact for ourselves and the people we minister to. 

The Reformation occurred during a time of spiritual renewal within the Christian church, and many of its defining themes are extremely relevant for distinctly Christian counselling. We will focus on a number of these themes, drawing out their therapeutic relevance, and consider how we might make use of them in counselling with Christians.  

Tuesday, 24 May

The problem disciples face isn’t just a crisis itself, but the lack of preparation for a crisis. There is a critical need to prepare people for difficulty in the Christian life. This session explores preparing disciples for trials so that their faith isn’t suddenly troubled. Of course, there is a Covid parallel, but it also touches on the seasons of life.

Christ’s earthly ministry of physical healing conveyed symbolically God’s intention to promote psychospiritual healing in the coming centuries through faith in him and his death and resurrection. Benefitting from modern research on psychological change, we will discuss the largely untapped therapeutic resources that Christian therapists can use with their Christian clients, and offer to any who are interested.

Wednesday, 25 May

How can we foster personal and spiritual growth among members of our communities? What is it that encourages people to wrestle with deep questions and engage with problems and pain? This talk is a personal reflection on how God has used the conditions at L’Abri to substantially transform lives. What can be learned from these conditions for transformation and how we can support such growth in our own contexts?

Humanity is in the midst of a sexual and gender revolution. To help the Christian community hold fast to God’s design plan for human life in these areas and also to help our culture begin to question the results of this revolution, we will consider its sources and novel ethical norms, how to reframe value differences about sex and gender, and how to engage our culture winsomely, but without compromise.