Christian Counseling Center of Odessa
|American counseling center helps the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ukraine |
ул. Пастера, 62, г.Одесса, 65023, Украина
In July 2007, a group of 25 Presbyterian businessmen/women met in Birmingham, Alabama -- almost all of whom had been to visit us in Ukraine. they decided to form the Odessa Christian Business Center and the Odessa Christian Counseling Center. They agreed to work with Erika Shteker of Odessa to organize these, as well as to promote Christian ethics and life skills in the Odessa church, as well as outreach to the community.
Those interested in news of these centers or participation can contact Erika at this address:
HISTORY OF UCIPTS AND THE COUNSELING CENTER
Our church provides Pastoral counseling, but the needs of our people are often quite complex, especially given the dearth of solid marriages and family networks across the former Soviet Union. There is a great need for Christian counseling here, and the pastors are already overwhelmed with the pastoral responsibilities. The social structures in Ukraine rarely provide much support for individuals or families which could be considered compatible with Christian principles. Even Christians who are counselors have invariably received no instruction on how to integrate their skills with their Christian beliefs.
When professional counselor Langston Haygood visited Odessa in 2005 with a team from Birmingham, AL, he felt a burden to fill this void. He taught pastoral counseling in our seminary (www.ersu.org) and established a series of professional-level seminars in Odessa. He has made good use of the many resources of the Christian Counseling Center of Birmingham, of which he is president. Agreements were made with the Free Christian Humanitarian/Economic University of Odessa, and UCIPTS was born (the Ukrainian Christian Institute of Psychology and Theological Studies).
These students, however, many of whom are already practicing at some level in a limited way, have no place to practice in an openly Christian manner. New practices and new techniques need to be formed within this context. A Center is badly needed to which pastors and psychologists can send referrals, and where Reformed biblical principles can be lived out.
In July, 2007, a group of businessmen in a meeting in Birmingham decided to form the Odessa Business Center, and the Counseling Center will be one of its first businesses.
The Odessa Counseling Center will have 4 main areas of activity:
1) Offering education in Christian counseling through UCIPTS, cooperation with KGU (Christian Humanitarian and Economic University), Samford, Belhaven, etc.
2) Accepting counselor trainees as apprentices and helping them integrate their training and begin operating on a professional level (including the establishment of their practice as a new business),
3) Establishing a place where actual counseling activities can be carried out, where training can take place, and which will become a hub and orientation for the activities of the counselor trainees.
4) Carrying out effective Christian counseling for pay, but also partially as a service to church and community, paid by sponsors as a ministry to the needy.
The Counseling Center is not a ministry of the church or under its oversight, but it is made up of an international board, whose Ukrainian members are members of the Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ukraine.
In the USA (a 501(c)(3) organization):