About Us

The Center for Help and Hope

At The Ecumenical Center, we serve as a catalyst to bring together community leaders in the research, education, medical and mental health professions. The purpose is to allow us to offer professional help and hope in a caring atmosphere. Our counselors and educators recognize that the body, mind and spirit are interrelated. They are people of personal faith with an openness and understanding of other faith expressions, trained to incorporate, when requested, the understandings and traditions of the client’s individual beliefs in the growing and healing process.

How we see ourselves18999-01_shutterstock_137307233

Like the hub of a wheel, we’re a place of balance – between those with needs and those with solutions. Between those who seek to be caregivers and counselors and the training or certification they need. And between the physical and scientific aspects of healing and the spiritual and emotional aspects required to make that healing complete.

How we serve

  • Counseling for children, adults and families.
  • Training for clergy, religious workers and healthcare professionals.
  • Community-based educational programs.

Those we serve

  • People who seek to find release from depression, anger and a variety of issues that can disrupt lives and families.
  • Healers from our health community as they provide care in a chaotic and changing world.
  • Business and religious leaders as they seek to create a more prosperous, healthy, just and loving community.
  • Students being shaped and molded as they gain a greater appreciation for the gifts with which God has blessed them and earnestly seek new understandings and new ways of utilizing those gifts on behalf of others.

Our fees

Fee adjustments are available based on personal financial need and available funding. Many of our educational programs, counseling training and consultation services are underwritten in whole or part by generous businesses, organizations and ministries.

Our mission

The Center is an ecumenical force for hope, dedicated to alleviating suffering and facilitating spiritual, ethical, physical, emotional and intellectual healing and growth for our community and God’s world.

The Center is affiliated with and accredited by three prominent faith-based, standard-setting organizations: The Samaritan Institute, the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

Our vision

The Center where knowledge, faith and healing unite

Our history

The Center was established in 1967 as the vision of Episcopal Bishop Everett Holland Jones, Rabbi David Jacobson, Methodist Bishop Eugene Slater, Archbishop Robert Lucey and others. Created within San Antonio’s newly growing medical complex, it was intended to embody and promote the vital integration of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being in health and wholeness. Specifically, we formed it as a first line of defense in the ever-increasing fracturing of our lives under the stresses of continuous cultural change. As such, we believe it remains as relevant today as it was at its founding. Since that founding, we’ve had four executive directors:

Frank Bockus, Ph.D. (1968 -1971)
Rev. Donald Anderson, Ph.D. (1972 -1997)
Rev. Paul Parks, D.Min (1998 – 2012)
Mary Beth Fisk (2013 – present), who currently serves as CEO/Executive Director

Our affiliations

The Center is affiliated with and accredited by three prominent, faith-based, standard-setting organizations:

We also maintain affiliation with a number of purely professional and scientific organizations, including: