The Clinebell Institute Salem, Oregon

Pastoral Care & Counseling through

the Claremont School of Theology

The Claremont School of Theology, whose history goes back to 1885, began negotiations to merge with Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 2017. Previously, in 1957 it initiated what became the Clinebell Institute for pastoral counseling, teaching, and training in Southern California.

Another site for the Clinebell Institute opened in the Fall of 2020 in Salem, Oregon with Pastoral Counselor Gregory Johanson, Ph.D., NCC, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Tracy Gilmore serving as senior staff, and K. Samuel Lee, Ph. D. serving as Executive Director: Email:

Senior staff and various persons in training who provide counseling services at the Clinebell Institute are educated in religion, spirituality, and the behavioral sciences. They do not impose their personal religious beliefs upon others. Persons of all faiths, and persons of no religious affiliations, are equally welcome with their unique faith and values respected. Counselors explore the religious or spiritual dimensions of the issues a person brings as appropriate, needed, and agreed to.

The counseling process can help with a variety of concerns including:

  • Working with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other psychological issues
  • Rebuilding life after a loss
  • Managing conflict constructively
  • Gaining insights and awareness of one’s personality, family, and other relationships
  • Exploring sexual identity and mindful sex
  • Preparing for marriage
  • Improving communications with family, friends, community, and business
  • Enriching relationships with partners
  • Discovering helpful and workable approaches to parenting
  • Understanding cultural identity as well as immigration related stressors and issues
  • Managing stress more effectively
  • Growing spiritually and/or religiously
  • Other issues brought by the counselee.

Those interested in these therapeutic services may contact Sam Lee at

Further History

The Claremont School of Theologyis United Methodist in origin and affiliation, and ecumenical and interreligious in spirit. Graduates are prepared to become agents of transformation and healing in churches, local communities, schools, non-profit institutions, and the world at large.

Claremont School of Theology is fully accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and The Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). Its degrees are suited for students seeking formation and education as ministers, lay leaders, educators, counselors, activists, and scholars.

Howard Clinebell, Ph.D., for whom the Clinebell Institute is named, was a pioneer in pastoral psychology and counseling who taught at CST for over 30 years. He 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 advocating for the environment. Clinebell continues to have a profound influence on future generations of pastoral counselors through his writing, former students, and colleagues from around the world.

His counseling institutes are founded upon a now 50-year tradition of viewing life holistically. This perspective incorporates the religious and spiritual dimensions of life, the wisdom of the behavioral sciences, and awareness of the body. It embraces a multicultural sensitivity in training and providing clinical services. Counseling staff work as a team consulting with interdisciplinary professionals to best respond to the whole person in a transformative way.