Formerly Career And Personal Counseling Service
Guiding and nurturing ministerial candidates, church professionals, and individuals from a number of denominations through the process of career and life planning.
Ministry Training &
Jonathan Coppedge-Henley comes to MDS with more than 23 years of church leadership experience. He has led both rural and urban churches as senior or co-pastor with his wife, Elizabeth, for the majority of that time. He has implemented cutting-edge alternative worship services and has written liturgies for traditional services. Jonathan has spear-headed church building projects while also leading foreign mission trips for youth and college students. His pastoral work has focused on highlighting the beauty of Church tradition, while embracing adaptive and creative problem solving for the emerging needs of ministry in the 21st century.
A native of Avery County, Jonathan graduated from Lees-McRae College before teaching school for a year. He graduated from Duke Divinity School in 1996 where he met Elizabeth. The couple spent a year in Anchorage, Alaska, where Jonathan worked as the ecumenical campus minister at the University of Alaska. In 2002, he earned a master of arts in English from UNC-Greensboro. Jonathan and Elizabeth live in Charlotte, NC, with their two children, Owen and Lora, and their dog, Fraser.
Alexis Brightman is a graduate of the Masters program in Clinical/Community Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned her undergraduate degree at UNC Chapel Hill and at UNC Charlotte, Alexis expanded her interests in psychology through an internship with Ministry Development Services. Under the supervision of Dr. Lenore Wilkinson, Alexis learned how to conduct a comprehensive battery of ministerial and psychological assessments, address and expand on each candidate's call to ministry, as well as develop recommendations for the purposes of support, awareness and spiritual growth. Throughout her graduate school experience, Alexis incorporated her individual passion for religion and spirituality into her research on post-traumatic growth. She hopes for future research to include religion and spirituality, but also environmental conservation, various perceptions of marginality in society, and family dynamics related to spirituality. Her depth of knowledge related to clinical practice, as well as her strong investigative background and genuine devotion to her faith, bring an innovative and bright perspective to the Ministry Development Services team.
Dr. Wilkinson is a licensed, ordained minister and an Elder in his local congregation. He is responsible for the Counseling ministry and oversees the Men’s ministry. He has been active in church ministry for the last 20 years with a focus on providing marriage and family counseling, mentoring, psychotherapy for trauma victims, psychological evaluation and understanding spiritual coping methods. Prior to working with Ministry Development and Vocational Services, he served as a vocational counselor and consulting psychologist at the Center for Career Development and Ministry in Massachusetts. He is an adjunct professor at Eastern University and at Lancaster Bible College Center for Urban Theological Studies. Dr. Wilkinson is a graduate of Harvard University with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and completed a post-doctoral Psychology Fellowship at Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital.
MDS is excited to have Dr. Wilkinson on our counselor team.
Lenore Wilkinson, Ph.D earned her doctorate in Clinical-Community Psychology from Yale University in 1988. She is a certified coach for ministers and is trained as a facilitator for Healthy Congregations. She is a life-long Lutheran and has served the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA as a board member for Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas, on the Specialized Pastoral Care committee. Dr. Wilkinson has worked with Ministry Development Services since 1999.
Kathy studied at SUNY Potsdam and earned a degree in Business Administration. She worked in the business and finance world for quite some time. This included working a number of years in NY in the Quality Assurance, Human Resources and Business Office departments for a large mental health facility. After meeting her husband and moving to Florida, she spent a number of years working for the United States Agency For International Development (USAID) for the US government. She then worked a long period of time in banking and finance for three major banks. Kathy came to North Carolina via a work transfer. It was Kathy’s desire to leave the corporate world and do some kind of ministry work. God led her to Ministry Development Services, where she has worked as the Executive Director, going on four years. Kathy’s Christian upbringing and church work, along with her business experience, made the perfect marriage to head MDS. Ministry is where Kathy’s heart is. She is grateful for her team, who demonstrate their years of expertise in nurturing and supporting the growth of candidate’s and church leaders. This is done in an effort to cultivate a foundation for a healthy functioning ministry and church. Kathy feels it is privilege to do God’s work and grateful for God’s hand in it.
Dr. Golden has a MS and Ph.D. in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Maryland (Baltimore), an MA in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names College in Oakland, CA, and an MDiv from Duke Divinity School. He completed his undergraduate work at Duke University, graduating with honors. Clinical training experience includes work at Hospice of the Chesapeake Bereavement Center (Millersville, MD), the College of Notre Dame Counseling Center (Baltimore, MD), and Towson University Counseling Center (Towson, MD). Dr. Golden is a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), as well as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors. He is a member of the American Counseling Association, the North Carolina Counseling Association, and Chi Sigma Iota (Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society). He is also an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Dr. Golden has worked with Ministry Development Services since 2007.
Anthony Stephens is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a mental health counselor, and an attorney licensed in New York State. He is also a National Guard chaplain, in which capacity he deployed to Afghanistan in 2013.
While attending seminary in Berkeley, California, Stephens made ends meet by working as a jail chaplain. This experience, when combined with clinical pastoral education at Napa State Hospital (a psychiatric hospital) created a sense of the importance of integrating mental and behavioral wellness into the process of spiritual care. A complementary influence was provided by a classmate who ran a shelter for victims of domestic violence, which motivated Stephens to devote himself to the cause of advocating for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and to provide "broad spectrum pastoral care" by using ministry, behavioral health and legal primary proficiencies.
Stephens holds a Master of Divinity (Pacific Lutheran Seminary), a Master of Science in human development (University of Rochester), and Doctor of Philosophy (University of Rochester) and Juris Doctor (Pace Law School). His master's thesis focused on resilience in adults sexually abused as children. His dissertation drew on an emphasis on developmental psychology, psychometry and counseling and examined emotional state dependent cognitive schema.
Stephens is married with three children. Stephens is an avid runner and triathlete, practices yoga, but is currently on hiatus from martial arts, before resuming a final thrust on earning a black belt, though that may be the one that got away.
Doctor of Ministry
Dr. Arey received his Doctor of Ministry at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, and completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his clinical training at the School of Pastoral Care at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. Dr. Arey is a Certified Fee-Based Practicing Pastoral Counselor. He holds credentials as a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and is a Diplomate in the American Psychotherapeutic Association. He is an ordained Elder in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Dr. Arey has worked with Ministry Development Services since 2007.
Ministry Development Services is an ecumenical service whose mission is to strengthen, care and nurture the growth of ministry leadership, church professionals, congregations, and lay individuals through the process of career and life planning. Our tenured team of psychologists are skilled in ministerial leadership.
About Ministry Development Services
Ministry Development Services has provided vocational counseling and assessment programs in congregational leadership, conflict resolution, boundaries and self-care since 1965.
Ministry Development Services is accredited by the Ministry Development Council.