Counseling and Spiritual Direction Support for Students

Pastoral Care, Counseling, and Spiritual Direction

Pastoral care is the shared ministry of the SFTS community. Pastoral Care Associate, Rev. Lucas Walker, is available for help with pastoral care needs, and for support and information in accessing the SFTS Counseling and Spiritual Direction Program and other emotional and mental health services. Services are available at no cost to all SFTS students of all degree programs (including DMin. and those on internship) and their partners. 

Contact Info

Rev. Lucas Walker
Pastoral Care Associate
(970) 691-0977, which you can use to contact me by text, audio, or WhatsApp.

My primary focus as Pastoral Care Associate is to be a safe, confidential, non-judgmental space for you to discuss whatever may be on your mind and heart. I affirm all spiritualities and moral philosophies; the goal is to support you in your own journey, no matter the issue or question you are holding. Meeting with me is always confidential to the highest degree. I seek to always offer a safe place to discuss whatever issue or concern is on your mind. I am also available after hours for urgent needs or crises.

For instance, over my years here, I have assisted students with:

  • Personal life and meaning;
  • Challenges with school, work, home life, and personal relationships;
  • Changing spiritual paths;
  • Bereavement & grief;
  • Chronic illness & disability;
  • Partnerships and children;
  • Coming out, transitioning, and living as a queer/LGBT person;
  • The challenges of the living as a minoritized or marginalized person;
  • Coping with trauma, PTSD, and CPTSR;
  • Emerging crises and urgent needs;
  • Theological and philosophical questions, and more.

Basically, if it is on your mind and heart, we can talk about it! This goes for the ‘big’ questions, but also the daily stresses of life. My role is to support you. I believe in the widest networks of care possible. So we can work together to find resources and referrals for counselors, therapists, spiritual directors, drug and substance dependency, and more, if needed.

SFTS Counseling and Spiritual Direction Voucher Program:

The seminary encourages its students—as a part of their spiritual and personal formation—to seek the support of professional counselors and spiritual directors. The seminary provides subsidized vouchers that can be used by students to participate in the following services at a substantially discounted cost. This voucher program is available to MDiv and MATS students and their families, and in exceptional circumstances to other students in crisis, as determined by the Dean.

  1. Counseling and psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families by certified pastoral counselors or licensed therapists. In counseling, a therapist helps you explore your inner conflicts, family of origin issues, and troubling psychological dynamics that may be causing you distress in life. Therapy may occur individually or in family sessions. Usually, therapy sessions are weekly, lasting 50 minutes.

  2. Spiritual direction services by spiritual directors. Spiritual direction is a one-to-one conversation in which you focus intentionally upon your relationship with God and your various spiritual practices. Spiritual direction is designed to strengthen and deepen your spiritual life. Spiritual direction sessions generally occur monthly.


Any of these services begin with an assessment interview with Rev. Dr. Scott Sullender, at which time your needs will be clarified and a referral made. The SFTS referral program has developed a list of approved providers in the above categories of service.


For SFTS students, there is a discounted fee structure for these services through the use of pre-paid vouchers. Vouchers are available through the Dean’s Office. This voucher program is available to MDiv and MATS students and their families, and in exceptional circumstances to other students in crisis, as determined by the Dean. Within the academic year, each qualifying student/family may use up to 15 discounted vouchers under this program.

If you have questions about the voucher program or would like to utilize these services, please contact the Dean's office:

Christine de Chutkowski
Executive Assistant to the Dean
(415) 451-2813


Your participation in any of these services is private and confidential. The counselors or spiritual directors to whom you may be referred are not employees of SFTS, nor do they have any influence upon a student’s academic or ecclesiastical standing, except as permitted by the student.