Meet Christopher Beamsley
Hometown: Joliet, Illinois
Home church: St. John Lutheran Church (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), Joliet
Degree program: Master of arts in pastoral care and counseling (clinical track)
Other Degrees: Bachelor of arts degree in religion and psychology from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois; master of divinity degree from Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago.
My call to ministry:
For the past twenty years, I have served as an ordained pastor, and it has been such a blessing to serve in this way. However, in the past few years, I knew that God was calling me to something
different. It took a while to realize what God was up to, but with prayerful discernment (and the encouragement of my wife, family, and friends) I recognized that God was calling me “out” of the ordained ministry and into ministry as a clinical counselor/psychotherapist. While it was hard resigning from the congregation I was serving and saying “good-bye,” many of the parishioners affirmed the gifts they believed I would bring to that vocation. I will always carry that support and confirmation of this new calling with me.
Why I chose Garrett-Evangelical:
As I was researching how I might gain the educational and clinical requisites for licensure, I came across the unique partnership between Garrett-Evangelical and the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago. I appreciated how such a program would embody a fuller understanding of how people come to understand their own identity, purpose, meaning, and their relation to others.
What has surprised me:
I was struck from the very beginning by the welcoming spirit of the staff and faculty at Garrett-Evangelical. Since day one, I have felt that they not only care, but are invested in me as a student and a person. I have also appreciated the passion of professors and fellow students for what they are teaching and learning.
My future plans:
I look forward to opening my own practice—a practice that I hope will be a partner with, and resource for, local pastors and church leaders in providing the care people need in their journey toward living the life God dreams and intends for them.