SFTS Counseling and Spiritual Direction Support for Students

Pastoral Care, Counseling, and Spiritual Direction

Pastoral care is the shared ministry of the SFTS community. The Seminary Interim Chaplain, Rev. Allie Utley, and the Pastoral Care Associate, Lucas Walker, are 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. Additionally, Dr. Scott Sullender, Clinical and CE Coordinator at the Interfaith Counseling Center (and former SFTS Faculty), is available for counseling referrals.

Contact Info

Allie Utley
Interim Chaplain
(415) 451-2833

Lucas Walker
Pastoral Care Associate
(415) 451-2840

Dr. Scott Sullender
Clinical and CE Coordinator
Interfaith Counseling Center
415-450 0956

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:

Renee Hassle
Executive Assistant to the Dean
(415) 451-2860


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.