Having referral sources at the ready can reduce ministerial stress.

This self-guided training includes videos, worksheets, and guides that can assist you in building a reliable network of referral sources. It was designed for clergy participants of To Heal the Wounded Soul, an initiative funded by The Duke Endowment and led by the Clergy Health Initiative and Office of Black Church Studies. To Heal the Wounded Soul participants consisted of clergy who were Black, Indigenous People of Color in North and South Carolina. The program offered retreats for rest and reflection, practices to promote positive mental health, and opportunities for clergy and lay leaders to work together to build a Robust Referral System to help support their leadership in the congregation. This two-part Robust Referral System training was designed for clergy and lay leaders in collaboration with Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches designed to bridge issues of faith, health, and justice. One of the focus areas of this initiative is mental health advocacy.

Step One: Review the Process Guide


This training is best done with one pastor and two lay leaders from a congregation. It can also be done individually. The training is divided into two sessions. In session one, you'll learn what a referral system is, how to assess the needs of your congregation, and how to develop a list of ready-to-go resources. In session two, you'll learn when a referral is needed, how to respond in a crisis, and practice skills through role playing.

Review the Guide


In this video, you'll learn: 

  1. What a referral system is and why it's important.
  2. How to assess the needs of your congregation.
  3. Develop a list of ready-to-go resources

Supplemental Materials:


In this video, you'll: 

  1. Review the referral list you developed in Session One.
  2. Identify when a referral is needed and how to respond in a crisis.
  3. Use prompts from real life situations to gain experience with the process.
  4. Determine who in your faith community can make referrals and how to keep your list current.

Supplemental Materials: