The Leeke Magee Christian Counseling Center

Magee Counseling Center


During their spring 2013 meeting, trustees created a new academic division of church and community ministries for the counseling and social work programs. In December 2013, the board approved the creation of a counseling center to serve as a resource for NOBTS students and people in the surrounding neighborhoods. The counseling center also will provide NOBTS counseling students with a place to fulfill their counseling practicum hours.


Trustees followed these actions by officially naming the center and approving a timeline for its opening. The Leeke Magee Christian Counseling Center bears the name of Leeke Magee, a Louisiana Baptist and NOBTS supporter who died in 2013. Before his death, Magee named the seminary in his estate plan, providing funds to transform the former William Carey University nursing building on the NOBTS campus into a counseling center and office space for counseling and social work professors. The counseling center will open to the public Aug. 1 after being fitted with counseling rooms and offices.

"We deeply believe that Southern Baptists need to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to engage the communities around our churches," NOBTS President Chuck Kelley said. "We have to find a way to start the conversation about Jesus with people who are not in our churches and we think a counseling program centered in Christ does that and we believe that community-based ministries, again, centered in Christ and the church, can do that."

The unique counseling program at NOBTS provides the educational background needed to achieve state licensure. Currently, NOBTS is the only SBC seminary offering a licensure track in counseling. And while many NOBTS counseling graduates serve as church-based counselors, others have sought employment in nonprofit organizations and private Christian counseling groups in order to reach those outside the church.

Ian Jones, chairman of the church and community ministries division, said all students in the program are committed to biblically-based ministry and are involved in taking the Gospel to hurting people.

"Christ challenged believers to be salt and light in the world 'so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven,'" Jones said, referencing Matthew 5:16. "The division of church and community ministries is committed to training students with the skill sets necessary to help churches connect with their communities through counseling and social ministries, building up the church and bringing the transforming power of the Gospel into the world."

"The new Leeke Magee Christian Counseling Center will be a significant part of this ministry," Jones said, "as students are trained to provide an array of biblical, effective and accessible counseling services to individuals, couples and families in the greater New Orleans community."

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