The Counseling center at Belle MEade UMC
CHRIS O’REAR, MDiv, MMFT
Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist
To make an appointment, visit
Chris O'Rear, MDiv, MMFT is opening an office of pastoral counseling in our church that will be available to church members, as well as people from the community. Under our arrangement, Chris will be paying a small amount of rent to our church. All congregation members will be able to see Chris for an initial visit at no charge and then at a reduced rate on a sliding scale thereafter.
Chris was educated at Samford University, Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville where he earned the Master of Divinity specializing in Pastoral Counseling, and Trevecca Nazarene University where he earned the Masters Marriage and Family Counseling. This how Chris describes his journey to this moment: how Chris describes his journey to this moment:
“About 22 years ago, I was finishing up a very successful period of marriage counseling at the Pastoral Counseling Centers of Tennessee. I asked my pastoral counselor, “If I wanted to do what you do, how would I do that?” At the time I already had a Master of Divinity in pastoral care & counseling and had done training in hospital chaplaincy. I entered a 2-year residency in pastoral psychotherapy at the Pastoral Counseling Centers while working as a chaplain at St. Thomas Hospital. For almost 20 years I remained a part of the Pastoral Counseling Centers and served in a variety of roles, including Executive Director. During my time there I completed a Master of Marriage & Family Therapy and became a Fellow and then Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. I also was licensed in Tennessee as a Clinical Pastoral Therapist.”
“Last year, I left the Pastoral Counseling Centers (now known as Insight Counseling) and began a private practice. I shared an office with others who were not pastoral counselors and who did not understand my training and experience. I came to realize that my identity as a pastoral counselor is tied to a partnership with a local congregation and that I understand my ministry of pastoral care and counseling as an extension of the local church’s ministry. I am trained like a local church minister, but I also have extensive training in counseling. While I do some writing and I do get the chance to preach several times a year at various congregations, I understand my primary work as helping individuals grow in self-understanding to find a fullness of life and connection and helping couples enrich their relationships or find their way through a difficult time. Pastoral Counseling uses a spiritual understanding of each client, but does not force people to talk about their spiritual life unless they choose to. A good pastoral counselor will also not try to make people believe as he or she does, but help people grow in their own understanding. I am grateful for the opportunity to join with Belle Meade United Methodist to help provide health, hope, and healing for our community. I look forward to getting to know you all better in the coming weeks and months.”