Sioux Falls Seminary: Hub, Provider, and Network
November 18, 2019
After being out of the state for most of the past six weeks, I am back in Sioux Falls (but still with coffee…lots of coffee). Over the next few weeks, the seminary is meeting with various groups of people to talk about what God is doing in and through this organization.
Over the years, a common question I have received is, “What is happening at Sioux Falls Seminary?” For many good reasons, the answer to that question has been increasingly difficult to answer in a succinct fashion. With the growth of Sioux Falls Psychological Services, the expansion of the Kairos Project, and the number of partners who now utilize space within our building at 2100 S Summit Ave, I find myself sharing many stories, talking about the life change happening—basically talking a lot! As we have prepared for the conversations we are having over the next few weeks, I have tried to find a succinct way to describe who we are and what God has invited us to do.
Here’s where I have landed.
We believe God has called us to:
Serve in the Kingdom by providing systems of theological education and integrative counseling that are affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful for the purpose of empowering people where they are, thereby offering a journey toward God’s hope.
In practice, this means we are:
- A ministry hub serving local churches, nonprofits, and faith-based businesses.
- A leading provider of mental health services in Sioux Falls and the surrounding region.
- A global network of students, mentors, seminaries, churches, denominations, nonprofits, and faith-based technology companies engaged in theological education.
I think those two brief paragraphs capture the essence of what we do while also giving a glimpse to the scope of our work. As you will see, our mission extends well beyond “training pastors for the church” or “doing counseling.” We are called to partner with others as we develop people.
If someone asks for more information, which usually happens, here are a few things I share with them about each area listed above
Sioux Falls Seminary is a ministry hub serving local churches, nonprofits, and faith-based businesses. Working with nearly 40 different organizations, the seminary serves as a catalyst, service provider, host, and/or conversation partner. As a result of this work, the number of people who participate in some type of service at our location on South Summit Avenue has quadrupled over the past six years. Our presence in the community has become one that is generative, meaning other partners within the community have had the opportunity serve more people or develop new initiatives. To put it another way: making space and services available to partners has had a direct impact on the community through the thousands of people served by our dozens of partner organizations.
Sioux Falls Seminary is a leading provider of mental health services in Sioux Falls and the surrounding region. Through our counseling system, Sioux Falls Psychological Services, we operate:
- Community Counseling Clinic, where people who cannot afford mental health services can be offered hope through services once beyond their reach.
- Therapy and Assessment Clinic, where we work with individuals, corporations, and denominations to provide counseling services.
- Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic, which accounts for nearly 1/3 of our clients, where we work with people from 1 to 18 years old, the vast majority of whom are at-risk youth and are either uninsured or underinsured.
- River Counseling Services, a location that offers holistic mental health services in Platte
- Augustana Student Counseling (where we serve as the student counseling center of Augustana University).
Each is growing and there is significant need for each.
As a whole, our counseling system has 24 multi-disciplinary therapists, 9 therapy groups, 39 areas of expertise, three locations, a growing telemental health practice, and nearly 17,000 therapy sessions each year. This system provides services that directly impact the health and well-being of the region. In short, healthy individuals and healthy families build healthy communities.
Finally, Sioux Falls Seminary is a global network of students, mentors, seminaries, churches, denominations, nonprofits, and faith-based technology companies engaged in theological education. The best glimpse of this work is the image below.
Every day, we have the privilege of seeing lives changed through the work we are called to do. I could share countless stories of students, clients, partners, and more whose lives and work are better as a result of what God is doing in and through Sioux Falls Seminary.
It is a blessing to serve!