Stories of Transformation


Risa HobsonMA in Counseling, Class of 2005

I came to Western on the recommendation of two of my colleagues who were graduates. Counseling wasn’t something I had previously intended to pursue, but God had better plans! Some of the things I appreciated most about Western were the community, and their gospel-centered, global-minded focus. From my first day, I felt at home on campus; not something easily achieved by an adult third culture kid (TCK). My professors genuinely cared about me as a person, and many of my classmates became life-long friends. My courses were both professionally and personally challenging, and I graduated from Western feeling not only equipped for my profession, but also confi dent in who I am in Christ, and ready to take on whatever God has in store for me.

Throughout my time as a student at Western and beyond, my husband and I have been involved in church plants. Participating in a variety of worship, men’s, women’s, and children’s ministries, we have seen the good, bad, and ugly of being in ministry. As we navigated the joys and challenges of church planting, I found that Western had also equipped me to hold fast to the truth of scripture, and cling to Jesus during the storms.

It was, in part, this time spent experiencing the ups and downs of ministry that has helped fuel a passion and desire for caring for those on the front lines of Kingdom work. Currently, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in ministry workers, professional helpers, and adult children of missionaries and pastors. My family and I are also Appointee Missionaries with The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), preparing to move overseas to provide member care full-time to pastors and missionaries and their families


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Western Seminary is an accredited graduate school founded in 1927. It offers trustworthy and accessible training for gospel-centered transformation at both the graduate credit and personal enrichment levels for those currently serving, or aspiring to serve, in key ministry leadership roles. The Western system consists of four campuses (Portland, OR; San Jose and Sacramento, CA; and Online) and a teaching site (Seattle, WA) that together serve approximately 950 credit students annually.