top of page

About Ministry Development Services

Mission Statement

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.

Mountain Top Experience.jpg

Our Staff

John Arey.jpg

John Arey

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.

Janathan Golden.jpg

Jonathan Golden



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.

Lenore Wilkinson.jpg

Lenore Wilkinson



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.

William Butler.jpg

William Butler

Executive Director


Bill graduated from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary with a Masters Degree in Christian Counseling.  He has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.  His previous work experience includes positions with Novant Health and Travelers Insurance.  Bill’s clinical graduate training includes work at Sardis Oaks rehabilitation facility and Forest Hill Church care and counseling center.  As the director of MDS Bill seeks to provide an enriching experience for all those who allow MDS to assist them in answering their call from God.


Alexis Brightman



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. 


Beverly Martin

Administrative Assistant


bottom of page