In 2006, Shalem implemented a pilot program to test drive a model of service that could be used by churches as a means to provide professional faith-based counselling support to their parishioners.
The model of service was named the Congregational Assistance Plan (CAP). It began as a trial program with just 2 churches, but the benefits were quickly recognized and the program has grown. It expanded to include other churches from several denominations. When schools began inquiring about making the program available to their students, the Counselling Assistance Plan for Students (CAPS) was developed.
As CAP celebrates its 10-year anniversary, it is now serving 55 churches from 5 denominations, 3 High Schools and 1 University!
Through the CAP/CAPS ministry, in 2015 there were 3,043 counselling sessions provided to persons from 624 households.
In addition to providing counselling for parishioners, Shalem offers services specifically designed to address the unique needs of clergy and their families. Through our Clergy Care (CC) program, we provide counselling as well as conferences and professional development opportunities.
In 2015, the Clergy Care program provided 99 sessions to 17 households, representing a steady increase of usage since 2013.
On January 20, 2016, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada hosted a webinar on Clergy Wellness. The webinar focused on topics such as the state of mental and emotional health of our Clergy in Canada. It asked questions about what well-being looks like in a busy pastoral life that is often full of demands and ripe for burnout, and how a church can better care for their ministry leaders.
The webinar was facilitated by Karen Stiller, a Senior Editor at Faith Today, who interviewed Mark VanderVennen, Executive Director of Shalem, and Dr Wanda Malcolm, Professor of Pastoral Psychology at Wycliffe College. A recording of the webinar can be accessed on Shalem’s website.
As the CAP, CAPS and Clergy Care ministries continue to grow we are also very pleased to report an increase in office hours and availability of Melanie Vaartjes, our CAP Administrative Support!
We are grateful for these past 10 years, knowing the lives these programs have touched, and we look forward to continuing to provide these professional, faith-based counselling resources.