The Ouachita Baptist University Pruet School of Christian Studies in partnership with Henderson State University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary will host “Caring for the Caregiver,” a conference on issues in Christian counseling, on Friday, Feb. 24.
Dr. Bill Viser, associate professor of Christian ministry at Ouachita, has been the driving force behind the conference, which is in its second year. “This has been on my heart for a long time,” Viser said. “OBU has always been a leader in education; I wanted to take that to a level beyond undergraduate. I wanted to be able to equip pastors and caregivers to better help people.”
Mental health professionals from the host institutions as well as Central Baptist College will lead sessions such as “Ethics Work!” “Balancing Personal and Professional Priorities,” “When Crisis Comes Home,” “Crisis Responders and Christian Counseling Self Care and Spiritual Resources,” “Compassion Fatigue,” “Survival Skills for Therapists Treating Children of Trauma,” “Ministers and Coping: Issues Facing the Shepherd” and “Psychoanalyzing the Psychotherapist: How Healthy Are You?”
This year, in addition to pastors and mental health professionals, social workers and nurses are invited to the conference and can receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the sessions they attend.
Viser said that when he designed the conference, he was looking for a format that would bring pastors and mental health professionals together. It also presented “a fabulous opportunity to partner with NOBTS and HSU,” he said.
For pastors, the registration fee is $70 each ($90 with spouse) and includes catered lunch, snacks, written materials and a certificate of attendance. Including all this as well as eight available CEUs, registration for mental health professionals, nurses and social workers is $90 each. Students are invited to register and attend the sessions for free; they may also register for $15 each to receive the materials and food.
Register online at tinyurl.com/counselingconference or by phone with Tracey Knight at (870) 245-5599. For more information about the conference, contact Bill Viser at (870) 403-3904.
By Nicci Fillinger