What is the Samaritan Institute?
The Samaritan Institute, located in Denver, Colorado, is the international headquarters for a network of 91 professional counseling Centers located across the United States and in Tokyo, Japan. It began in Elkhart, Indiana in 1972 when a physician, two parish pastors, and a seminary professor observed that by working together, ministers, therapists, and physicians were very effective in helping people with stress-related problems. This team approach became the foundation of the Samaritan program which moved to Denver in July of 1983.
Samaritan Counseling Centers, of which Sanctuary Counseling Group (SCG) is an example, offer professional counseling, preventive educational programs, and consultation services. Over 499,500 hours of service were provided for children, adults, and families in 2008; thousands of clergy, congregations, and other organizations were also helped. Annually, more than $20 million of subsidized counseling is provided for those who cannot afford the full cost of counseling. Samaritan Centers promote holistic health: integrating mind, body, spirit, and community. The Centers are supported by 26 denominations and faith traditions and have an active relationship with about 4,000 congregations.
The Samaritan Ministry is one of the largest providers of professional counseling in the United States. There are 481 Samaritan Center offices in 389 cities in the United States and Japan. This growth has been in direct response to the needs of congregations and communities. It is also a tribute to the thousands of people who have realized the importance of having a local Center and who have made the Center a reality through faith and hard work.
Accreditation by the Samaritan Institute is a requirement for each Center affiliated with the Samaritan Ministry. The goal of the process is to help ensure that affiliated Centers maintain sound organizational structures, efficient management and administration, high-quality clinical processes, careful financial and personnel practices, and professional accountability. On a four year cycle, Centers prepare an extensive self-study, undergo a two day on-site review by an Institute staff member or appointed Center director, and receive a written report on the findings. The careful review and accountability process of accreditation is identified by Center leaders as one of the most helpful aspects of Samaritan Institute affiliation.
Clergy & Congregation Care (CCC) program is a research, development, and training effort to help Samaritan Centers nationwide serve clergy, congregations, and judicatories by delivering quality education, consultation, counseling and related services. Currently in its eighth year, the CCC program was awarded a second grant by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. in November 2007. The grant will fund two primary activities: leadership development and establishing standards for quality CCC programs.
Ethics in Business Awards programs (EBA) are conducted by Samaritan Centers around the country. The purpose is to honor businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders that stand apart in some or all of these ways:
- Dedication to corporate social responsibility
- Exemplary employment practices
- Civic activities and civic mindedness
- Environmental concern
- Ethical conduct
EBA programs enable Samaritan Centers to serve their communities and raise funds for client assistance. The Samaritan Institute offers assistance to Centers that want to start EBA programs.