Jesus taught His disciples by modeling, instructing, working alongside, and helping them to practice under His supervision.  We use these same principles in the Master of Arts in Counseling program at Western Seminary. Our faculty are all active counselors in the community who teach what it looks like to reach the brokenhearted through counseling. We demonstrate integration of our faith and practice in both the classroom and the counseling office, and it is a beautiful example of the life-changing power of the gospel at work among us.  

Like a proven medical school model of, “See one, do one, teach one,” this approach is equally as effective at Western through A New Day Counseling Center. A New Day provides an affordable source of help to hurting people in the greater Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area by providing an inspiring place of equipping for the next counseling generation. From this place, we see shattered lives heal cognitively, emotionally, and spiritually, counselors being birthed and matured, and the school operating as a light in the greater community. God’s faithfulness is on full display, and we get to be active participants in His work.  

While observing faculty throughout their program, counseling students begin by learning basic skills from a class held in A New Day. They can then advance to starting their clinical practice through the counseling center.

Many students also come back to counsel at A New Day after graduation and become supervisors to the new students.  Luke 6:40 states, “…everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” With Jesus as our primary example, faculty members follow, students learn from faculty, and students become teachers, counselors, and leaders. 

In 2012, our counseling program took a giant step forward when we realized that students would have an even greater opportunity to learn if they could see faculty in a counseling setting (not just an academic classroom) and get to practice under their direct supervision.  This idea included two other major benefits of being able to provide a tangible service to the community and create a center where gospel-centered transformation is a regular occurrence, something not easily found in the counseling profession.  

A New Day was constructed and launched in June of 2012 with state-of-the-art counseling rooms, a waiting room, a business office, bathrooms, and a staff room. Each counseling room remains equipped with webcams to record sessions for supervision purposes, computers for electronic record keeping, and comfortable furniture to welcome clients.   

One of our goals through A New Day places an emphasis on extending help to the needy and oppressed, just like the Bible so often mentions.  We are always excited to share with clients that they have the option to pay only $20 to see a student counselor, should this fit their needs. A range of professional counselors with various rates offer help and hope to all kinds of people—clients of faith, individuals who are wounded and distant in their relationship with God, and those without a faith perspective. Clients of all ages seek help to address a wide variety of problems. A New Day has become so busy that, on average, we see at least one new client for every day of the year! This year, newly added rooms house additional sessions to fit our growing clientele 

Today, A New Day Counseling Center is a thriving hub of activity. Students learn basic skills and see their first clients for practicum. Students are observing and doing counseling, side-by-side, with faculty members who themselves see clients and provide supervision to students. When students progress to another agency in the community, their counseling is just a continued extension of what they have already learned and practiced, a gift of discipleship modeled perfectly through Jesus Himself. We could not be prouder of the work God does through our students!  

Dr. Kay Bruce serves as Professor of Counseling and Counseling Program Director for Western Seminary. She has been an integral part of the team since 1996. Talk about an incredible legacy of training students!

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about opportunities to get connected with A New Day Counseling Center, or would like to discover more information on Western’s Master of Arts in Counseling programcontact us today!