Jolene's Master's in Clinical Counseling Degree

In 1995 I graduated from Mankato Sate University with honors. I had a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and was set to go to grad school. 

But, I didn't know how I'd get through school as a single mom. I didn't want to stay in MN. And, I was afraid.

I'd always looked younger than my age and I figured that would hinder me from being a respected psychologist. 

I was told I couldn't be a Christian and a psychologist. Even though I disagreed, what other people thought meant too much to me at the time. 

Instead of pursuing further education, I moved to TX. I got a job in sales at Dell Computer, met my current husband, had more children, ran a non-profit ministry and library, and fostered many children at a time on a ranch owned by a foster agency.

After all this, I collapsed with signs of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I'd struggled with depression, self-harm, and disordered eating in the past and this felt like a never-ending obstacle to living the life I believed God designed me for. 

I didn't know it then, but as I pursued healing from trauma I began a new path. One that brought me full circle to my passion for emotional health as it ties to spiritual growth. 

I'd forgotten about my time volunteering for a crisis hotline and my job at a psychiatric treatment facility for adolescents.

What God put in me to do was with me all along. His timing allowed experiences that brought pain, and personal healing to know freedom like never before.

During this time, I started writing again. I could use my passions and gifts in new ways to help others. The content and resources I create (on my website/blog , on Crosswalk and iBelieve  websites, on social media, and in groups I lead) help Christians cultivate life with the Giver of Life. They include topics often talked about in the counseling world. Like codependency, trauma healing, depression, anxiety, boundaries, humility, untangling unhealthy beliefs, and more.

I'd lot to create more content that helps people with emotional health so they can experience more of God and who He created them to be.

Unleash: Heart & Soul Care Sheets  is a resource I created to help people process life's challenges with God and practice hearing from Him. This tool can be used individually and in groups. I've begun speaking and sharing the power of this tool in special events that help people process in a safe setting. 

Now, it's time to take the next step. I'd like to take what I've learned and enhance it. I'd also like to help others with the wisdom, training, and tools available to me as a professional counselor. In order to do so...

I'm in the process of applying to grad school so I can get my Master's in Counseling!

The number above is half of the total anticipated expenses related to the school of my dreams, Townsend Institute. Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have taught me much through their resources. Their ability to convey practical help with sound biblical principles is something I highly value and admire. It's what I see to do as well. 

Not self-help that's self-reliant. But spiritually sound, God-reliant teaching with practical tips, teaching and tools.

Would you consider helping me get there? 

ALL size donations are valuable and greatly appreciated!

The amount listed is half of the total cost anticipated. I'm hopeful that I receive some grants and other means of paying for school.

Grad School would allow me to:
~ Get desired and needed training to help others as a professional counselor
~ Enhance the work I'm already doing as an emotional health warrior and soul care mentor
~ Create richer resources that help others cultivate life
~ Better equip me for the hefty work of helping others heal from trauma
~ Gain credentials to accompany personal experience and spiritual insights
~ Teach, speak, and serve hurting individuals and those who help them from a trained perspective.

Additional Considerations:
Our daughter is our first child to consider college and is applying for nursing or cosmetology at the same time. Our youngest son is considering programming education the following year.

Ongoing expenses for writing related work that are often higher than the income. Plus, I have great need for a paid assistant to keep doing the work I do for my primary audience, as well as the Rise Up Writers community I lead.

Any funds that exceed what's needed for tuition and education related travel will go towards writing related work and/or our children's education. 

THANK YOU for considering this request.

THANK YOU in advance for your support through finances and prayer!

I'm trusting God to provide and taking steps in that direction. Your support means the world to me, and I believe it will fuel my ability to help others who struggle in this world.


Jolene Underwood
Pflugerville, TX

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