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Stephen Minister Training

Stephen Minister training is an engaging, energizing experience that includes a mixture of lecture, video, group discussion, skill practice, and spiritual growth activities.

“The Best 50 Hours of Training You'll Ever Experience!”

Here’s why Stephen Ministers frequently say that about their training:

  • Stephen Minister training teaches principles and skills that equip you to provide high-quality, Christ-centered emotional and spiritual care to others.

  • You gain insight into the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people who are hurting.

  • You develop relational and caring skills you can apply to all aspects of your life.

  • You deepen your faith as the Holy Spirit fashions you into a Christ-centered caregiver.

  • You feel a special bond with those in your class—experiencing real Christian community.

  • Stephen Minister training is a lot of fun!


Read what Stephen Ministers are saying about their training experience.

“God gave me a heart for other people. Stephen Minister training gave me the skills I needed to minister to people and bring God’s love into their lives during a time of deep need.”

Charlotte | Manager-Care/Case Management | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“Stephen Minister training taught me not just how to be a caregiver, but how to live life in a new way—being Christ to other people.”

Mike | Carpenter | Kennesaw, Georgia

“Stephen Minister training has helped me grow—personally, spiritually, and professionally. I use my Stephen Minister skills all the time with patients, peers, and physicians.”

Anna | Registered Nurse | Hendersonville, Tennessee

“Stephen Minister training has enhanced every relationship I have. Now I can listen and be there without feeling like I need to rush in and try to fix things. (My 15-year-old finds this a great blessing!) I’m much more at peace in difficult situations because I realize that it’s not me—but Christ within me—who does the work.”

Susan | Licensed Massage Therapist | Saint Petersburg, Florida

“Stephen Minister training has given me skills I use all the time with my patients, particularly when they experience a crisis, large or small. It enables me to provide a level of emotional care that enhances our clinical care.”

Barbara | Dental Hygienist | Saginaw, Michigan

“Stephen Minister training has helped me relate better to family, friends, neighbors—everyone I meet!”

Maria | Mother | Ridgefield, Connecticut

“One of the biggest things I learned is that it’s not about me, it’s about God. I am the caregiver, and God is the cure-giver. My job is to listen—to really listen and care—and rely on God to bring about healing.”

Paul | College Student | Clinton, South Carolina

How and Where the Training Happens

Stephen Minister training takes place in the congregation and is led by the congregation’s Stephen Leaders.

Stephen Minister training:

  • takes place in your congregation

  • is led by your congregation’s Stephen Leaders

  • is typically taught in 20 weekly sessions along with a weekend retreat

  • combines pre-class reading, devotions, lecture, video presentation, discussion, and skill practice

What the Training Covers

Initial training takes place before Stephen Ministers are commissioned and assigned to their first care receivers. Continuing education takes place during the months after commissioning.

Initial Training

  1. The Person of the Caregiver
  2. Feelings: Yours, Mine, and Ours
  3. The Art of Listening
  4. Distinctively Christian Caring
  5. Process versus Results in Caregiving (download sample Preclass Reading and Outline excerpts)
  6. Assertiveness: Relating Gently and Firmly
  7. Maintaining Boundaries in Caregiving
  8. Crisis Theory and Practice
  9. Confidentiality
  10. Telecare: The Next Best Thing to Being There
  11. Using Mental Health Professionals and Other Community Resources
  12. Ministering to Those Experiencing Grief
  13. Dealing with Depression: The Stephen Minister’s Role
  14. Helping Suicidal Persons Get the Help They Need
  15. Bringing the Caring Relationship to a Close
  16. Supervision: A Key to Quality Christian Care
  17. How to Make a First Caring Visit
  18. Follow Me

Continuing Education

  1. Ministry to the Dying and Their Family and Friends
  2. Caring for People before, during, and after Hospitalization
  3. Ministering to Those Experiencing Losses Related to Aging
  4. Ministering to Persons Needing Long-Term Care
  5. Ministering to Those Experiencing Divorce
  6. Crisis of Pregnancy and Childbirth
  7. Providing Spiritual Care

Learn More:

Equipped by this training, more than 600,000 Stephen Ministers have provided care to millions of people.

Watch a Training Class

In 2010, the PBS show Religion & Ethics aired a story about Stephen Ministry. The segment includes footage of a Stephen Minister training class. Watch the video on the PBS website.