Both Ingo and Capri have been professional Christian counselors since 1993. Each received an M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology from Regent University. In 2014, Ingo also finished a Ph.D. in Regent University's Counselor Education and Supervision program. Capri holds a Texas and now a Virginia L.P.C. license (LPC=licensed professional counselor). Ingo has applied for his license in Virginia.
Ingo and Capri, their children Lukas (22), Katharina (19) and Annika (16), worked in Berlin, Germany, for almost 9 years serving the local church and serving pastors and missionaries with professional counseling services that seek to combine solid research insights with theological wisdom and biblical direction. Ingo and Capri believe that the redemptive work of Christ is at the core of every counseling, coaching, and consulting interaction.
Since July 2017, the Tophoven family has moved to Chesapeake, Virginia, for two reasons. 1) Ingo started a new job as assistant professor at Regent University. As of July 2018 he is also the department chair for what Regent calls "the new ministry programs" (more on that in another conversation). In these roles he is allowed to dedicate time to missional work, but his main role will be help train a new generation of counselors that can competently navigate ministry-related roles. 2) Rebuild the ministry to make a larger impact globally. We call it "working on the ministry instead of being in it all the time". We are gearing up for growth, growing others, building and supporting counseling centers in various parts of the world by empowering and training local people within their communities. To that end, Ingo just spent a week in Berlin, Germany, to work supervise, consult with one of our new German Christian counselors.
It's time to work on multiplication
As we are looking back on nine years on the mission field we are now working on rebuilding the ministry to the next level. To do so, we are seeking additional partners to work with us in prayer and in financial support. In order to empower others to daily work with struggling marriages, problematic church and team situations, children and teens of pastors and missionaries, we will refocus our efforts to train, supervise, consult with Christian counselors globally and support and encourage the actual physical establishment of counseling centers in various parts of the world where resources and/or supervision from professional and faith-based perspectives are scarce. Our focus is on international pastoral and Christian counseling efforts. Those counseling centers then will work with pastors and missionaries primarily while also serving the local church and wider local communities in which they are located. It's time for multiplication and support those already in the field as we have been for nine years. We are also building a new website to promote resources and online services for pastors and missionaries.
Ingo and Capri have been missionaries in Berlin since August of 2008. What we have done in the past in Berlin for almost nine years works in many places around the world, we believe. Occasionally one can find Christian counseling centers in some parts of some countries, but they are scarce compared to secular counseling centers. So during the last nine years we have established counseling, coaching and consulting services for missionaries and pastors which were free of charge or donation-based. Many local German pastors and English-speaking international ministers and missionaries have taken advantage of Blue Skies professional services. Some came to Blue Skies in order to receive confidential help with personal marriage and family issues. Others came to Blue Skies to resolve church and ministry related issues. Blue Skies services have played a significant role in reducing and counseling burdens on many ministry leaders in Berlin. Pastors and missionaries and missions organisations have relied on us to be able to refer to a confidential and professional service that is affordable (donation based) and professional. In addition to seeing clients face-to-face, Ingo and Capri have seen an uptake in online services rendered to pastors and missionaries outside of Berlin (several middle-eastern countries, greater Europe, and in North America). In addition, one of the greatest challenges faced by Europe/Germany/Berlin has been the influx of traumatized refugees coming from war-torn areas. Blue Skies has made services available to refugees that are able and willing to receive help. The ministry opportunities continue to be great and needing many foci and skill sets.
Currently we are supporting a new face in Christian counseling in Berlin, Dina Gehr, M.A., via monetary support for her office in 'Berlin-Mitte', supervision support (quality control), as well as prayer and friendship. Berlin remains an anchor for us as we seek to establish and support other Christian counseling efforts in Europe and in other parts of the world.
Capri specializes in personal ministry and counseling to women, as well as counseling missionary kids and teenagers. Ingo predominantly counsels couples and works directly with churches. Capri will maintain a caseload online. Ingo will mostly consult and supervise at this point as he trains counselors in the university setting (a paid position, thus freeing up funds to support other projects as mentioned above), but his main focus will be teaching at the university. As a former senior pastor, Ingo also used to preach on occasion when a local pastor needed a break. The needs among churches, pastors, missionaries continue to be extensive. Many people come and seek professional Christian services in hopes of obtaining professional and confidential services where their faith will not come under fire as irrational or pathological. The churches and missionaries in Europe need much encouragement and support in the context of a heavily secularized nation, like we experienced in Germany.
In order to increase that support, contact Ingo and Capri personally for more details on how their ministry work as they seek to expand a) the number of professionally trained Christian counselors and counseling centers for pastors and missionaries; b) the quality and focus in which churches do pastoral care ministry, c) the access to resources for families serving in the field. We always enjoy sharing and connecting.
With New International since 2010