Developing and training biblical counselors has been a hallmark of our ministry since we were founded. One of the ways we train biblical counselors is through our internship program. Over the last three years, we have worked with interns from around the world, multiplying wise, loving, Christ-centered counseling in churches and counseling centers throughout our community and beyond. This week, Hope intern Shannon Suh shares her story. Shannon first participated in our Track 1 summer internship in 2021, and this fall began our Track 2 internship.
One treasure I have found in Hope Counseling Services has been the opportunity to counsel within my own local church context. I have loved my church for years, felt an internal desire to counsel, and was engaged in my Master of Arts in Counseling program which collaborates with the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) – but felt that I was missing the support and structure to practice concretely.
During my internship with Hope, I have been able to exercise counseling in a place I deeply love, while being supported by a cohort of other interns, and given active feedback by experienced counselors on staff. The counseling is grounded in a biblical view of the authority of the Word, our primary relationship with God, and our design as image-bearers who operate in a fallen, but grace-filled world.
It has been a joy to be able to take my first steps into practical counseling with such a system of support, to be pushed outside of my comfort zone, and to be given the opportunity to go deeper with others, all while listening intently and discovering together what God is doing in each of their lives. It is pure, indescribable joy to be able to witness people draw closer to Christ, to grow in their understanding of their need for Christ, and to know him in deeper and fuller ways. My time with Hope Counseling allows me not only to grow in practical counseling, but also to grow in my own reliance, love, worship, and trust in Christ. For that, I am eternally grateful.