From the very outset, Pathway Counseling was intended to provide affordable, high quality, biblical counseling to everyone who needs it. What has made Pathway Counseling unique is its partnership with the local church. Unlike many counseling ministries that operate on their own, Pathway Counseling is intentionally intertwined with the ministry of the church.
Founded by Charles Wise in 1999, Pathway Counseling was the first ministry of its kind in the United States. It operated as an integrated auxiliary of the local church. This means that Pathway was granted special status by the IRS to operate as a ministry of whatever local church it partnered with. Pathway was not forced to define itself as a church, nor was it required to partner with one specific congregation. Churches across Central Florida (and later Chattanooga, TN) would provide meeting space in their facilities and refer their members to Pathway Counseling. They also would often subsidize the counseling costs. This allowed churches to offer counseling to their members without having to hire a counseling staff.
Over the last fifteen years, Pathway Counseling has ministered to tens of thousands of people across Central Florida and has enjoyed successful partnerships with dozens of churches over the years. The ministry expanded to include many other counselors and to offer more services - testing, play therapy, family and marital counseling, and many more.
The heart of the ministry, though, was always to support the local church. This grew to more than even just counseling services. Soon, Pathway was producing curriculum, conducting conferences, speaking at seminars, and providing one-on-one support for ministers. Some of these things were through sub-ministries like Defender Ministries and Legacy Builders. Each new project was created with the goal to strengthen and assist local congregations. Pathway partnered with state conventions, local associations, and parachurch organizations to reach more people.
Now, well into its second decade of ministry, Pathway Counseling is pushing forward with the continued goals of intimacy, communication, restoration, renewal, and discipleship. The entire staff of Pathway Ministry is excited to see what new things God will do.