This is the second post in a 9 part series on frequently asked questions about Summit’s counseling ministry. The 9 questions in this series are:

  1. What is the difference between meeting with a Summit campus pastor and a member of the counseling team?
  2. What is the relationship between Bridgehaven and Summit? (This Post)
  3. What are the differences between a Summit small group and a G4 group?
  4. How do I know if Bridgehaven or the graduate program is a better fit for me?
  5. How would the counseling provided by a formal pastoral counselor compare to a licensed counselor?
  6. How do I know if my life struggle merits counseling?
  7. What can I do to place myself in the best position to benefit from counseling?
  8. How do I find a good match in a counselor for my needs?
  9. How do I find a good counselor in [name of city]?

Bridgehaven Counseling Associates is a distinct 501c3 parachurch ministry that is a subsidiary of The Summit Church (TSC). Bridgehaven is one part of a holistic pastoral counseling strategy at TSC; which we also want to be blessing to our sister churches in RDU. You can learn about the other parts of our pastoral counseling strategy in the links above and in this Summit counseling ministry overview brochure (inside panels // outside panels).

TSC saw the need for a counseling center that provided the highest quality, gospel-centered, pastoral counseling for our members and community who desired to receive care in a formal and confidential setting. We wanted to be able to make this high quality pastoral counseling available on a scale that a church with a weekend attendance of 10,000+ would require.

Four phrases capture the relationship between Bridgehaven and Summit.

  1. Functionally Controlled – A ruling majority of Bridgehaven’s Board of Directors is comprised of elders or officers from TSC. We do this to ensure that the ministry of Bridgehaven remains true to the mission and values that we intended when we launched the ministry. The Board of Directors oversees the adding-removing of counselors for the ministry, ministry budget / accounting, and approves new ministry initiatives.
  2. Fully Accountable – Our Pastor of Counseling serves as ministry strategist and supervisor for the staff at Bridgehaven. The Board of Directors serves as the first point of appeal for complaints those receiving care at Bridgehaven might have.
  3. Financially Self-Sustaining – Bridgehaven and its staff are supported through the counseling donations and teaching registrations from the ministry provided by its staff. The compensation for Bridgehaven counselors is not underwritten by the TSC.
  4. Formal Confidentiality – Information discussed in counseling is considered privileged unless there is a signed release of information or relevant mandated reporting laws. While counselors at Bridgehaven greatly value the support or involvement of pastors or small group leaders in counseling, the involvement of these individuals would only occur with the written consent of a counselee.

The launch of the downtown Raleigh office of Bridgehaven was an excellent example of how we want Bridgehaven to be seen and utilized by area churches. Several churches, led by Christ the King Presbyterian Church, expressed their desire for us to help them start a counseling center.

As we learned what they wanted in a counseling center and they learned more of what Bridgehaven was, we realized we were like-minded and launching a second office of Bridgehaven close to them met both our needs. This allowed TSC to have a center closer to our Blue Ridge, Cary, and North Raleigh campuses and for these churches to have a quality pastoral counseling resource near them.

Our goal for the TSC-Bridgehaven relationship is to continue to do three things:

  • Provide the high quality, gospel-centered, pastoral counseling on the scale our members need
  • Be a blessing to our sister churches in RDU by helping them meet the same need for their congregations
  • Provide this pastoral counseling in a context of privacy and confidentiality when that is what best serves an individual or family