Counseling & Member Care Seminar
October 6-18, 2024
Cross-cultural workers are frequently called upon to support, counsel, and care for a great variety of people and needs. They often experience trauma, distress, and loss in their own lives and families. Academic and pre-field training rarely equips them to adequately deal with the many problems they encounter themselves or in serving others.
This intensive seminar offers practical training in lay counseling and member care skills and also lays a foundational understanding of how all Christians grow. Instructors emphasize a strong integration of biblical truth with practical psychological insights and counseling techniques.
Who May Apply
This seminar is for member care providers, team leaders, administrators, and counselors – anyone caring for people or personnel on field or hoping to begin or improve a structure of caring. The sessions include a broad range of stimulating topics on theological foundations of member care, counseling, personal growth, and current issues that apply to anyone in a lay counseling, training, member care, or leadership role. It provides a rich opportunity to grow personally and spiritually as well as professionally through education and training, elective workshops, networking, and confidential consultation and counseling with staff.
We highly recommend that married couples attend the conference together to maximize the benefits for them personally, in marriage, and in ministry. Much may be lost when only one partner attends since he or she will learn and grow in ways that his or her spouse may not understand and will not have experienced. Regrettably, we are unable to provide childcare.
All participants must attend the entire seminar. We are able to accept 40 individuals.
When and Where
NCF has offered the Counseling and Member Care Seminar nearly every October since 2002. Past seminars have been held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Antalya, Turkey. Since 2018 we have hosted the seminar in Greece on the beautiful island of Evia near Athens. With over 60 years of experience offering intensive seminars in personal growth, counseling, and member care, NCF is committed to serving cross-cultural workers close to where they live and work.
Seminar topics cover a wide range of practical and thought-provoking areas, such as Learning from the Emotional Life of Jesus; Lament: Journeying through Grief, Loss, & Adversity; Member Care Essentials & Resources; Guiding Teams Through Conflict; Responding to Anxiety & Depression; Journeying Through Grief, Loss, & Adversity; Why Workers Don't Rest; Serving Single: Member Care Considerations; Sexuality & Cross-Cultural Ministry; TCKs: How to Love & Care for Today's Teens; Navigating Gender Identity Questions in Member Care; and Distress & Trauma: Practical Member Care Interventions.
Early in the seminar, participants will meet individually with one of our counseling staff to confidentially discuss their needs and interests pertaining to the seminar. In addition, staff members, each a licensed professional psychologist or counselor, are available throughout the seminar for personal, confidential consultations and counseling.
Participants learn and grow through instruction and practice, through individual and marital counseling, if desired, and through informal interactions with the staff and other participants. Upon completion, conferees are better equipped for ministry and member care, and refreshed, challenged, and spiritually strengthened. Each person who completes the seminar receives a Certificate of Completion suitable for framing.
Afternoon and Evening Sessions
Each afternoon participants attend the "Member Care & Counseling Skills" workshop from which they are divided into small groups of 3-4 individuals to learn and practice key member care skills by using personal experience and role playing. Each group is coached by one of our professional counselors. Optional evening sessions are also offered. Ample opportunities are available for personal consultations and counseling.
Seminar registration is Sunday, October 6, 1:00-2:45 pm. The opening session begins at 3:00 pm.
The daily seminar schedule, Monday through Friday, is 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, with a two-hour mid-day break. No meetings are held on the weekend so that participants may use the time for personal relaxation and reflection, worship, networking, shopping, or sightseeing. The seminar ends on Friday, October 18, by 11:30 am.
Participants must arrange their arrival and departure transportation so that they attend the entire seminar. This may necessitate an arrival one day early or an additional night’s stay at the conclusion of the seminar. Extra hotel nights of stay are at personal expense.
Cost and Registration
Private Single Room: $2,900 USD*
Shared Double Room: $2,000 USD* per person or $4,000 USD* per couple
Shared Triple Room: $1,850 USD* per person
*NOTE: Your room fee includes lodging (12 nights), all meals, tuition, all seminar materials and activities, and the 2024 "Climate Crisis Resilience Fee" assessed by the Greek government of 10€ per night per person for those staying in 5-star hotels March - October.
Although the actual cost of the seminar is over $4,000 per person, friends of Narramore Christian Foundation provide financial support so that the seminar can be offered at the above rates. Advance payment by check or credit card to Narramore Christian Foundation is requested. You may with prior approval also pay cash in US dollars only during conference registration.
Registration is limited to 40 participants, so apply early to avoid disappointment.
Contact Cindy Hibma, Seminar Coordinator, at email@example.com for additional information.
What Participants Have Said
"It was an amazing opportunity, and the caliber of the presentations was superb! The professionalism, authenticity, and compassion of the staff kept me engaged throughout. A real quality team that presented excellent information has left me better equipped to serve in my field." - Chaplain, Guinea
"It was a very thorough course with enveloping deep spiritual and Biblical emphasis. I appreciated the care and emphasis for equipping leaders and member care people." - Missionary, Tajikistan
"[The seminar] exceeded my expectations. I came hoping for insight as I lead my team and felt like I learned so much. I also learned a lot about myself which I hope will be helpful in the future." - Program Manager, Indonesia
"Really amazing and helpful that the speakers/leaders shared their testimonies. It was so encouraging to hear how God worked in and through them throughout their lives. It also set the tone of openness and vulnerability." - Member Care Coordinator, Jordan
"As a HR director for a major organization, I feel more equipped in these two weeks to care for cross-culture workers than anything I’ve been a part of in 15 years of ministry. Personally, I was ministered to in ways unimaginable. Saying thank you alone is not enough..." - HR Regional Director, China
"Very informative and the experiential part (counseling skills) was a good way to learn." - Member Care Consultant, Taiwan
"I can honestly say that it was one of the best experiences of my life! Not just what was taught, but how it was all modeled by the spirit of humility and servanthood of the highly trained and experienced professionals." - Missionary and Chaplain, Brazil
"This seminar was time and money well spent. I learned much that I am sure will be useful in my work and team relationships. On a personal level, I was renewed in my healing of past emotional wounds." - Director of School Development, Zimbabwe
"I thought it was so well done. I deeply appreciated the integration of psychology and theology. I felt stirred by individual testimonies and your commitment to honesty and vulnerability. I so appreciate all your hearts for the Lord and for people (us)!" - Pastoral Care Provider, Germany
"What an amazing resource not only to benefit missionaries in their care for others but also in benefitting the attendees personally." - Member Care Facilitator, Zambia
"In the South American country I am from, mental health is not recognized nor treated in a truly Biblical sense, so these tools will truly be revolutionary to help my own people (as well as people who work cross culturally in my country) in a context where this kind of knowledge is very much lacking." - Missionary, Paraguay
"This was a safe place to share inner thoughts/struggles. The testimonies of those sharing their journey with God through many things was helpful and challenged me." - Member Care Provider for Singles, France
"I will be recommending that all our team leaders within our organization take this training with the first year of their deployment if possible." - Team Leader, Turkey
"Thank you very much for providing such an excellent seminar. You have modeled member care by taking such good care of us. I feel exhilarated and re-energized by the challenging, excellent teachings and the very meaningful times of devotions. The enrichment group provided a lot of insight and I very much enjoyed our time together as a group. It is so encouraging to know that there are so many wonderful believers in the world trying to make a difference. Thank you, staff, for staying in the same hotel and having your meals with us - this made you all very available." - Senior Chaplain, West Africa
"This was the most helpful member care type training I have attended in 15 years of doing this type of work." - Member Care Facilitator, Guinea
"Excellent all around. Worship very meaningful. Appreciate hard work and commitment of all staff. Would recommend this to anyone who does member care." - Member Care Coordinator, Zambia
"Thank you all for the work you put into this seminar. And that includes all the years of study, struggle, and effort to grow in your understanding of the love of Jesus and the marvelous intricacies of the human body, mind, soul and spirit." - Regional Member Care Provider, China
"The material was pertinent, the presenters knowledgeable, the environment peaceful, and the participants diverse. I loved getting to know participants from different areas." - Chaplain & Member Care Provider, Madagascar
"Probably the most noteworthy characteristic of the seminar was the biblical foundation upon which the therapists' attitudes toward diagnosis and treatment are founded. Christ, The Word, was not just referenced, but was always invited to participate in our own lives. It was a grand smorgasbord feast." - Regional Member Care Provider, China
"I loved understanding more the integration of theology and psychology, and I have a greater understanding of how to read the Bible." - Team Member Care Developer, Iraq
"The seminar was a blessing beyond measure for us. The venue was great, which gave us the possibility of refreshment and renewal coming from the field after some stressful months there. The sessions were great, combining clinical psychology with Christian counseling and giving us some very practical tools to use in our work. I appreciated having trained counselors available for us to work through some of our own issues and having enrichment times in groups." - Member Care Provider, Tajikistan
"This was probably the best seminar that I have attended. It was well planned and executed. The content was exactly what I needed to improve my work." - Member Care Coordinator, Spain
"So grateful for this experience...Can't imagine doing my role in MCare without this training. So vital!" - Director of Missionary Care & Development, USA