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Introducing our premiere course
Theology of Story

Our stories are not isolated incidents to be shelved, rather they are histories to remember and steward.

Self-Paced online course enrollment opens Fall 2024 semester.

Our experienced instructors, Melissa Affolter and Ann Maree Goudzwaard, have developed a unique and comprehensive course that explores the theology of storytelling. We believe that storytelling is one of the most effective ways to overcome the challenges of trauma and create a path forward. Our course provides a thorough understanding of the biblical history, significance, and technique of storytelling and how it relates to the healing process. Theology of Story is a unique, in-depth program that understands difficult subject matter with a care-filled, trauma-informed approach.

Increase familiarity with concepts, terminology, and issues involved in story work.

Build out your biblical model of crisis care for one-another ministry.


Enhance your methodology for providing training and care.


Think creatively about biblical care and contemporary methods.

Designed for Biblical Care

Is the art of storytelling something new? Is it simply the latest secular fad? This course will demonstrate that it’s not. The Bible is largely made up of narrative, God’s stories progressively unfolding His truth. History is ‘His Story,’ the story of God moving among His people. His stories tell us of His covenant, His promise of relationship. As the supporting actors in His redemptive plan, our stories fit into His. Story work inevitably leads us to God as it directs our attention toward Him. In story work, we’re asking the hard questions, “Where were you? How did this happen? What does it look like to heal? To forgive? To move on?” In articulating our stories, we’re essentially pleading to know Him.

Join us as we delve into story work, find the words, grieve the losses, hear from Him. If you are a caregiver who wants to learn more about helping sufferers impacted by crises, Theology of Story is for you.

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  • What does the Help[H]er ministry do?
    Help[H]er exists to help women in crisis in the local church. We accomplish our goal by: 1) Training church leaders in specific struggles so that they can care for women well. Some of the trainings we offer include, -Creating a HelpHer Ministry in your local context (Women to Women caregiving) -Dynamics of Abuse (Domestic) -Dynamics of Abuse (Clergy Sexual) -Dynamics of Abuse (Adult Sexual) -Dynamics of Abuse (Spiritual) -Trauma Informed Care -Specific Crisis Care (Depression, Anxiety, Grief, etc.) 2) Developing rich resources for church leaders and counselors (Licensed and Biblical) -Safe to Hope Podcast -Help[H]er Ministry Handbook -[H] Institute Online Courses 3) Advocating for women in crisis. -Ecclesiastical Process Advocacy -Consultation with Victims and Survivors -Consultation with Pastors, Sessions, Leadership -Advise on Commissions and Committees -Supporting Church Care
  • Is the information I share with Help[H]er confidential?
    HELP[H]ER CODE OF CONFIDENTIALITY We at Help[H]er understand that confidentiality is an important and vital aspect of relationships. To that end, we agree to carefully guard the information entrusted to us to the fullest extent possible. It is our desire that we exceed expected privacy guidelines required by law, professional regulations, and ethics in order to glorify God and ensure the integrity of the process as well as the privacy of each Care Recipient. We recognize that God has created all people in His image, and therefore they have the right to be valued and respected, to receive gracious care, and to be treated with dignity. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to: verbal, written, phone, electronic, internet, or web-based communications arising from the relationship. All Help[H]er Advocates are expected to protect the information they receive. The information shared with us will not be discussed without the Care Recipient’s knowledge and permission. However, while confidentiality is important, it is not absolute. We assume that those seeking our help do so because they trust our judgment. The practice of confidentiality is governed by that same judgment. Under certain circumstances it may be necessary to reveal information obtained in this process in order to uphold the principles of Scripture, the laws of the state of_____________________. Name of state in which Care Recipient resides Situations wherein it may become necessary to reveal otherwise confidential information include, but are not limited to: Where a Care Recipient threatens to harm herself or another person it may become necessary to notify the proper legal authorities and/or intended victim. If such person makes threats in the context of a meeting, the Help[H]er Advocate, upon receiving the information, may need to notify the authorities. If a Help[H]er Advocate is privy to evidence that a crime is about to be committed, it may be necessary to reveal such to the legal authorities. We respect an individual's agency in decisions about their situation and will work together toward the safety of all involved. If the Help[H]er Advocate suspects that a minor child has been physically or sexually abused, the Help[H]er Advocate, as a mandatory reporter, will immediately contact the local legal authorities. A Help[H]er Advocate, uncertain as to how a particular issue should be addressed, may reveal necessary information to and seek assistance from an expert in the field of abuse and/or trauma. The Help[H]er Advocate will inform the Care Recipient of the likelihood of this possibility prior to seeking assistance and require a signed ROI. Please contact to view the full version of our Confidentiality Statement
  • Is Help[H]er associated with any church denominations?
    Help[H]er is a stand alone 501c3 ministry with its own board of directors. While our expertise in ecclesiastical matters is with the Presbyterian Church of America and a variety of other NAPARC churches we are not associated with any denomination in any way.
  • How can I contribute financially?
    Your much appreciated financial support can be contributed online or mail in check. Please see our Donate page for details. HelpHer is a nonprofit - 501c3 providing you with a tax receipt.
  • What if I suspect abuse?
    If you suspect you or anyone else might be in any danger, please immediately call 911. Whether you suspect your own abuse, or witness someone in a suspicious situation, do not dismiss this awareness. You can inform yourself through: A trusted resource is the book Is It Abuse? by HelpHer Board member, Darby Strickland. Connecting with Us You can also familiarize yourself with our Resources.
  • What do you believe are basic tenets of the Christian faith?
    We believe the Bible to be the inspired, only infallible, and complete inerrant, authoritative Word of God. We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. ​ We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. ​ We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to lead a Godly life. ​ We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. ​ We believe that Jesus Christ will come again at any time.
  • Does Help[H]er offer Advocacy Training?
    Once a church has structured a Help[H]er Advocacy Ministry with a Help[H]er representative in their local context, Help[H]er qualified trainers are available to provide onsite or virtual advocacy training. If you would like more information, a Help[H]er representative will be happy to help. Advocacy training tailored to the needs of the applicant. Simply get in touch by filling out the information on the “Connect” link.
  • What does a Help[H]er advocate do?
    A HelpHer walks alongside a woman in crisis as she navigates both traumatic circumstances and subsequent responses by her church leadership or Christian institution. The following are several ways an advocate might be helpful for your situation. Dynamics and Process of Reporting Personal Responses and Practical Options Responses from Church Leadership Church Court Presbytery Court Standing Judicial Committee Assistance with documentation/prep for process While many HelpHers are counselors, their participation in a case is not instructive. HelpHers may suggest pros and cons for specific choices, however HelpHers fully support the client’s decisions. The dignity of those we help is a primary concern.
  • Does Help[H]er offer counseling?
    We apologize but we do not offer counseling services at this time. We are in the process of developing a directory of recommended counselors and are working toward providing HelpHer qualified care providers.
  • Do you offer remote advocacy and consultation?
    Yes! Many of our clients reside in a variety of locations across the United States and several over seas locations. Virtual visits are over Zoom or Google Meets. You can Request an Advocate or Connect with Us
Questions Answered

Dr. Heather Evans
Safe to Hope podcast

Thank you so much for the work that you're doing because you are highlighting information that Christians and the church desperately need. The way that you're going about doing it is giving us an invitation to bear witness. And when we bear witness, people are changed. The one who is giving the testimony courageously, vulnerably sharing is providing an opportunity for them to find their voice again. So you are creating that setting. Ann Maree, I can't thank you enough for the work that you're doing. 

Dr. Diane Langberg
Suffering and the Heart of God

You cannot call or talk people out of suffering or trauma or addiction or of great grief. You must go to them and sit with them and listen and understand. And then little by little you can begin to walk with them toward a new and different place. You cannot help if you do not enter their darkness.

Dr. David Pooler

Safe to Hope podcast

Thank you. I want to just say that I still have hope for our church leaders in the sense that, while this is a really tough one, I have hope that there are people hearing this that are going to take appropriate action. And also, I just want to say to any survivor who’s listening: “I see you. I hear you. Your story really matters, and I’m glad that you’re in a process of transformation.”  I would just end with comments for both positions of those in leadership. Yes, I believe in you. You can do something different and something better and you can make a difference. And to those of you who have been injured, I would say, “We see you; we include you; and we want to see you flourish and be a part of helping transform our churches.”
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