Our History

Courtesy of Claremont School of Theology

In 1957, Howard Clinebell developed a pastoral counseling center at the First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, California.  This center became a training base for the School of Theology at Claremont’s graduate program in pastoral counseling.  In the ensuing years, the center was known as The Pomona Valley Pastoral Counseling Center, the Pomona Valley Pastoral Counseling & Growth Center, and by 1989 to The Clinebell Institute in honor of its founder, Howard Clinebell.

For over 30 years, Howard Clinebell taught pastoral psychology and counseling at the Claremont School of Theology where he was also the Co-Director of the Pastoral Counseling and Training Center, now known as The Clinebell Institute.  Clinebell was an internationally renowned leader in pastoral counseling and contributed greatly through his teaching, speaking, practice, and publishing.  Clinebell was a founding member and the first president of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the founder of the International Pastoral Care Network for Social Responsibility.

He co-authored or edited over 20 books on various pastoral counseling topics and traveled extensively throughout the United States and to more than 60 countries in the world where he spoke and taught.  He was committed to justice, peace, and was an advocate for the environment.  Clinebell will continue to have a profound effect on future generations of pastoral counselors through his writing and his former students and colleagues from all around the world.

The Institute is founded upon a 50-year tradition of viewing life holistically.  This perspective uses both the religious and spiritual dimensions of life, the wisdom of the behavioral sciences and the awareness of the body.  This tradition also embraces a multicultural sensitivity in training and providing clinical services.  The staff works as a team consulting with interdisciplinary professionals to best respond to the whole person.

See Howard Clinebell’s books