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Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

Home Office Counselors

Counselors

CCEF’s counselors are trained to deal with all of life’s challenges in light of God’s revelation to us in the Bible. Therefore, every counselor is available to counsel on a variety of issues.

Laura Andrews

Laura has a Master of Divinity degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri. She completed the CCEF internship prior to beginning her work as a counselor and has participated in various ministries through her church. She is the Counseling Intern Coordinator and teaches the Counseling Observation Intensive class at CCEF. She enjoys cooking with her husband, Joel, photography, singing, playing games with friends and listening to movie scores.

Joel Bassett

Joel holds an M. Div. degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary, as well as a B.S in Psychology from Belhaven University. In addition to serving as a Counselor, Joel also works as the Events Administrator at CCEF. He has served as a community group leader at his church for many years, and has additional experience in college ministry as well as extensive experience in music ministry. He loves playing the piano, cooking meals for friends, Sacred Harp singing, Marilynne Robinson’s fiction, and Wendell Berry’s poetry.

Cecelia Bernhardt

Cecelia is the director of counseling and is a faculty member at CCEF where she has served for more than 10 years. She holds an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary and has earned the advanced counseling certificate through CCEF. She has worked in various Christian ministries for many years, including women’s ministries at her church. She enjoys her large family, reading, music, and flowers—live and in watercolor.

Wendy Budnick

Wendy is a counselor at CCEF. She has a Masters of Arts in Counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary. She has been counseling at CCEF for over a decade. She has also worked in ministry with her church, including teaching, leading small groups, in addition to working with youth and young adults. Wendy is married to her husband David and they have four children. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, music, the beach, swimming, and spending time with friends and family.

Mike Emlet

Mike is a faculty member at CCEF where he has served for more than 15 years. He holds an MD from the University of Pennsylvania and an MDiv degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. He worked as a family physician for twelve years before joining CCEF. Mike has counseled for many years and is the author of CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet, which explores the use of Scripture in counseling. Mike is married to Jody, and they have two children. He is active in his urban church and enjoys gardening, camping, and creating wheel-thrown pottery.

Michael Gembola

Michael holds a Master of Arts in Religion (Biblical Studies) and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Westminster Seminary, and a Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling from the Biblical Seminary Graduate School of Counseling. He serves as Director of Congregational Care and Discipleship at City Line Church and is under care of the Philadelphia Presbytery (PCA). He is also a lecturer in practical theology at Westminster Seminary. He enjoys basketball, guitar, local history, and exploring big cities with his wife Kelly and their son, Adriano

Monica Kim

Monica teaches Essential Qualities of a Biblical Counselor at CCEF. She has worked in church ministry for more than fifteen years and is currently a part of the pastoral staff at her local church. As a part of the staff she speaks, teaches Bible studies, leads women’s groups and counsels youth and families. Monica has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Toronto, Canada and a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary. She is married to Danny, an ordained Pastor, and they have three boys.

Katie Leander

Katie has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish from Dartmouth College. She completed an internship at CCEF and has counseled in partnership with CCEF and her church, New Life Philadelphia, in the northern Philadelphia community where she and her husband, Chris, live and work. Katie has lived and worked cross-culturally and has experience working with children and youth ministries both locally and in Honduras. She and her husband have three children and enjoy playing outside, exploring parks and cities, gardening and reading.

Gregory F. Lowe

Greg has a depth of training with a Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary, a Master of Social Work from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology. His many years of counseling experience include formal counseling and counseling the severely mentally ill. He also has work experience in hospice and end of life issues. Greg and his wife, Julie, have five children and serve as foster and adoptive parents. He enjoys hiking and outdoor activities, weight lifting and keeping up on health issues.

Julie Smith Lowe

Julie is a faculty member at CCEF where she has served for more than 15 years. She holds an MA in counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary. She is a licensed professional counselor with over fifteen years of counseling experience. She has extensive experience with women’s issues, sexual abuse, body image issues, parenting, and child maltreatment issues, and regularly speaks at events on these topics. Julie is also a registered play therapist and has developed a play therapy office at CCEF to better serve families, teens and children. Julie has trained a therapy dog that she works with both professionally and on a volunteer basis. Julie and her husband, Greg, have five children and serve as foster and adoptive parents.

Kristin Maguire

Kristin has a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies from Cairn University. Kristin completed the counseling internship at CCEF, and also has experience in youth ministry and domestic violence advocacy. She has a passion for urban ministry and serves as a counselor in her local church. Kristin enjoys summer weather, thought-provoking movies, board games, and road trips.

Janet Nygren

Janet has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and a BA in Anthropology from Stanford University. She has many years of experience in ministry through the local church, particularly with women’s ministry and small groups. Besides completing the CCEF internship, she has counseled at a crisis pregnancy center, and through referrals by local pastors, both in the US and in Malaysia, where she served for a number of years with her husband, Tom. She is the mother of two adult children, whom she loves to visit. She also loves learning about other cultures (and their food), enjoying the outdoors, watching movies, and playing Scrabble.

Darby Strickland

Darby has a Master of Divinity degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bio-psychology from the University of Chicago. She has been doing formal counseling for over a decade. In addition to serving as a missionary to Northern Ireland for two years, she has also supported the ministry of the church as a speaker at women’s retreats, bible study teacher, and support group leader. While focused on marriage and family counseling, Darby has a special interest in working with abused and developmentally delayed children. She and her husband, John, have three young children. Her hobbies include photography, swimming, reading, and word games.

Todd Stryd

Todd is the counseling coordinator and a faculty member at CCEF where he has served for more than 10 years. He holds a PsyD from Immaculata University and an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. His dissertation work explored the relationship between a reformed Christian narrative and the experience of schizophrenia. He has experience as a hospital chaplain, crisis worker, and university counselor. Todd is married with three children. He considers himself a coffee connoisseur and fills his off days with reading Winnie the Pooh and making Lego creations.

Ed Welch

Ed, M.Div., Ph.D. is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF where he has served for more than 35 years. He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written many books and articles on biblical counseling, including When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame It on the Brain?; Depression; Running Scared; Shame, Interrupted; and Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love. He and his wife, Sheri, have two married daughters and eight grandchildren. In his spare time, Ed enjoys spending time with his wife and extended family and playing his guitar.

Lauren Whitman

Lauren holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. Before beginning her work as a counselor, Lauren was a high school English teacher. In addition to serving as a counselor, Lauren also works as an editor for the Journal of Biblical Counseling. Lauren is married and has one daughter. She enjoys reading and writing, book clubs, cooking, and big cities.

Eamon Wilson

Eamon holds a Master’s of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary with an emphasis in counseling and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Psychology from Widener University. He has served as a youth pastor, and has extensive experience in youth ministry. Eamon and his wife Kathryn have three children. Eamon enjoys basketball, long-distance running, board games, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Kathryn Wilson

Kathryn holds a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Lakehead University. She has completed the internship at CCEF and also has extensive ministry experience with women and youth through her local church. Kathryn and her husband Eamon are the proud parents of three children. Kathryn enjoys gardening, fishing, reading, baking, and spending time with friends and family.

Jimmy Adkins

Jimmy holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Liberty University. Jimmy has spent the past three years working in the communications department at CCEF. He is married and has two young boys. Jimmy enjoys coffee and reading, long walks outside with his wife, and chasing his little ones through the house.

In Loving Memory of Rosemary McElhenny

Rosemary McElhenny

Rosie was diagnosed with untreatable cancer and went home to the Lord on Sunday, February 21, 2016. She counseled at CCEF for over a decade and assisted in the training of counselors and interns. Rosie also worked in church ministry for over twenty years in teaching, leading, and serving. She is survived by her loving husband, John. Rosie’s faith and life were illustrated by her love of gardening. She invested long hours and hard work in tending her garden, knowing that her care could yield a harvest of beauty and nourishment. But she also knew that the Lord himself was the One to produce the fruit from her efforts. At CCEF, she invested time and care by walking alongside many people in seasons of hardship. In life and death she faithfully pointed us to Jesus. She is greatly missed.