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Pastoral Counsellors Network

Detailed information about the 2021 Forum is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the information from the 2020 Forum for a look at the quality of instructors, teaching, and content that will be available in the 2021 Forum's Networks. 

2020 European Pastoral Counsellors Network

The European Pastoral Counsellors Network is for leaders involved in pastoral care or personal discipleship ministries. This year’s programme focuses common pastoral challenges on the issues of addiction, sex and raising children. The first half will develop a biblical worldview on psychology and therepy. The second half will focus on the difficult topics of sex, sexuality, and raising children.

The programme will feature lectures, small group discussions and a case study. Each session will have small groups in which the lectures and lecturer-provided questions will be discussed. Participants will be given a written summary of the case prior to the Forum. At the Forum, the cases will be discussed in small groups in order to provide a more participatory style of learning.

Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.



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.



Richard Winter is Professor Emeritus of Counseling and Applied Theology at Covenant Seminary in St Louis, USA, and has served as one of the leaders of the European Counsellors Networks.  He is also a psychotherapist and counsellor - who trained in medicine and psychiatry in England before – and was on staff and was director of the English branch of the L’Abri Fellowship for 14 years. He has served in a variety of pastoral and teaching leadership roles in the church.  He is the author of When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression (IVP, 2012); Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism (IVP, 2005); Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder (IVP, 2002); and numerous professional journal articles.  He is married, with four children and nine grandchildren.


Eric L. Johnson is professor of Christian Psychology at Houston Baptist University. He taught psychology for 10 years at 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



Day 1

Christianity and Psychology
Eric Johnson

Because contemporary psychology and counseling is fundamentally secular, Christians have developed a number of approaches towards contemporary psychology and psychotherapy. Summaries of the major positions of evangelicals will be presented, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each model, focusing on an approach that combines sophisticated theology and a respect for science.

Psychotherapy in Christ
Eric Johnson

Union with Christ in his life, death, resurrection, and exaltation gives Christians transcendent resources for the healing of their souls. Discussion will focus on how these resources can be utilized in Christian psychotherapy and counselling.

Day 2

Justification by Faith
Eric Johnson


The Value of Negative Emotions
Eric Johnson

Humans are wired to favor happiness over unhappiness. Yet, they were created with the ability to experience a number of negative emotions: sadness, anger, anxiety/fear, shame, and guilt. The purpose of these emotions in a fallen world will be discussed, along with some basic guidelines for how to deal with them Christianly.

Day 3

The Beauty and Brokenness of Sex: Sexual Addiction - Part 1
Richard Winter

Sex is a wonderful gift from God to be enjoyed within the boundaries our Creator has revealed in Scripture. It points us to the deep intimacy we will one day have with the Lord. Sadly, it is also profoundly misused in many ways, especially with the constant temptation of pornography.  We easily become addicted to the rituals and pleasure of sexual arousal and release, thus damaging ourselves and others who are caught in the porn and sex trade industry throughout the world. To break free from compulsive and addictive dependence on sex, we need the help of others in the body of Christ to understand the broken places in our hearts.  We also need the grace and forgiveness of our loving Father and a restored vision of the goodness and beauty of God’s plan for our flourishing as sexual beings.

The Beauty and Brokenness of Sex: Sexual Addiction - Part 2
Richard Winter

Day 4

How to Not Ruin Your Children
Jelena Sivulka

Christian parents want their children to grow up to be self-sufficient adults who love and obey God and His Word.  But how do we do this? What do we believe about discipline, expectations, punishment and family rules?  How do love, forgiveness, encouragement and deep connectedness in a healthy Christian family look according to God’s word?  In this lecture and discussion, participants will talk about these challenges and receive guidelines for helping parents raise healthy children by Biblical principles.

Case Study
Jelena Sivulka

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