Princeton Theological Seminary’s Board of Trustees recognize that preparation for ministry includes psychological, relational, and spiritual formation. They understand that the opportunities and challenges that are part of seminary training encourage students and spouses to stretch, grow, and in many cases to heal from experiences, habits or beliefs that are causing injury. The seminary has committed resources to support this dimension of formation in various ways, some of which are outlined on this website.
Effective ministry is not just a function of knowledge and skills, but requires interpersonal capability and emotional and spiritual health. Strengths such as self-knowledge, self-acceptance, personal accountability, internalization of grace, empathy, ability to deal with anger and pain, clear communication, good self-care, the ability to negotiate boundaries, are among the components of confident leadership. While developing these capacities is the work of a lifetime, growth can be accelerated in the structure and safety of counseling and support groups.
Many drawn to the helping professions have experienced significant personal pain. What makes an effective "wounded healer" is not the wound, but the compassion, healing and growth one has gained. Counseling is a way of mining for grace in the sand of one's life. As distress and confusion are heard and sifted through, wisdom comes to light. New possibilities for change, wholeness, and joy emerge.
Common Counseling Issues
Students and spouses often address a wide range of issues in counseling. These include:
Stress, depression, anxiety, family of origin issues, low self-esteem, boundary-setting, academic and vocational concerns, health challenges, dating, perfectionism, procrastination, premarital counseling, marital issues, parenting challenges, eating disorders, sexuality, sexual orientation, faith issues, grief and loss, sexual abuse, trauma, and compulsive behaviors.
Confidentiality and Informed Consent
Information discussed in counseling is confidential and can only be shared with explicit, written permission from the client. However, in certain extreme instances, confidentiality becomes secondary to a concern for life. In the rare event that injury to self or to others is an imminent danger, a breach of confidentiality is required to take the appropriate steps to insure the safety of the individual and the community.
Download Student Counseling Brochure (PDF)
Download Student Health Benefit Program Information (PDF)