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Faith, Mental Health, and the Church: Equipping Leaders for Ministry (co-hosted with Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries)

November 17 @ 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM CST

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If you are a leader in one of the 300 churches in our community, you are likely aware that at least one in five people are struggling with mental health, loneliness, or some form of desolation. How can your congregation become a place of true belonging for these people? Are there equipping resources available to you and other leaders that can help your church be a place where the hurting find sanctuary?

Rev. John Swinton, PhD, and Daniel Whitehead, CEO of Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, are joining us to lead a roundtable discussion about ways church congregations and leaders can meet people’s real mental health and wellbeing needs—with realistic equipping. Swinton and Whitehead will discuss, How can the Church be the safest place in the world to talk about, learn about, and share vulnerably about mental health support and recovery? They will also share accessible resources, including the free Sanctuary Course (a study guide for small groups), as well as Swinton’s highly-reviewed book, Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges (Eerdmans, 2020), plus a journal, a discount code for The Rest Initiative, and access to videos and music.

Since 2010 in the UK and Canada, Sanctuary ministries has been raising awareness, reducing stigma, supporting mental health, and promoting mental wellbeing in the Church. Sanctuary’s U.S. team is on a mission to equip 20% of churches across the U.S. by 2026 with mental health and wellbeing resources. Want to be part of that 20 percent? Please join us.

Roundtable Speakers

Rev. John Swinton is the Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is particularly interested in mental health issues as they relate to the spiritual dimensions of care offered by religious communities and as the spiritual care offered by established “secular” mental health services.

He has published in the fields of disability theology, spirituality and health, and qualitative research and mental health. He is founder of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability, where academics, researchers, practitioners, and educators collaborate on innovative projects researching the theology of disability and the relationship between spirituality, health and healing, and contemporary healthcare practices.


Daniel Whitehead is the CEO of Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries. He spearheads the movement to equip churches to support mental health and wellbeing in their community. Daniel’s other roles include adjunct faculty at Regent College; member of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership; committee member on the International Network on Theology and Mental Health; and member of the advisory group for the Centre of Spirituality, Health and Disability. He is also a certified mediator and a double theology graduate of Regent College (MA 2017, ThM 2021).

Previously, he spent ten years in full-time vocational ministry, serving as senior pastor of a church for eight years. Daniel hails from the UK, but now resides in Vancouver, BC. He is married to Annie, and has two young children. 

Event Co-Host

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries equips the Church to support mental health and wellbeing. We provide resources that meaningfully engage the topics of faith and mental health. Our content is developed in collaboration with theologians, mental health professionals, and people with lived experience of mental health challenges. These resources prepare communities of faith around the world to raise awareness, reduce stigma, support mental health, and promote mental wellbeing.

Here you can view a brief introduction to The Sanctuary Course with the Archbishop of Canterbury.






November 17
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM CST
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Upper House
365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States
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