The Loise Henderson Wessendorff Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation at Seminary of the Southwest is founded on the principal that God calls all Christians to the service of the Gospel. For both lay and ordained persons using the gifts and skills God has given us, ministry is part of the fruitfulness of baptism. The mission of the Center is to support Christians in discerning what it means to respond faithfully to God's call in their particular lives and circumstances. Through its programs and degrees, the Center provides educational opportunities for men and women from any denomination (or from a non-denominational community) to strengthen their knowledge of scripture, history, theology, and ethics as well as pursue more specific training in chaplaincy, counseling, pastoral care, and spiritual formation.
Because of the almost unparalleled access chaplains, counselors and spiritual advisors have to the inner lives of others, it is vital that each caregiver process their own emotional and spiritual wounds. Each Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) and Master of Arts in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (MCPC) student in the Center will engage in at least six confidential counseling sessions offered by a licensed psychotherapist. Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation (MSF) students will have at least six spiritual direction sessions from a qualified spiritual director. The Seminary will subsidize these six sessions and supply a list of providers who use a sliding scale of payments based on income and need. Each student will provide a brief essay on what he or she learned in the process.
The Center offers the following degrees, which are open to and designed for lay persons: