Satisfying Spiritual Needs
Through Mentorship and Higher Learning
For a few lucky people like Reverend Scott Simpson, the opportunity to impact individuals, families and communities through mentorship is both a career and a calling.
Rev. Scott Simpson (MAMFT, student)
“I sensed a call – or what I refer to as an inner nudge from God’s spirit – to go into pastoral ministry two years after I graduated from Texas Tech University,” reflects Rev. Simpson. And as the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care for First Presbyterian Church of San Antonio, the opportunities to impact individuals, families and his community, as a whole, are almost endless.
“What I enjoy most about my profession is showing God’s love and compassion by caring for people,” expresses Rev. Simpson. He shows this love and compassion through mentoring individuals and families in their faith, during both good times and bad. “Often, I meet people who are facing some of life’s worst experiences. My first goal in this situation is to simply be there and walk with them through their journey,” he shares. “Next, I seek to be a source of compassion and comfort by listening to their deepest needs and further, validating those needs.”
Already an experienced mentor through his pastoral ministry, Rev. Simpson chose to enhance his skillset by pursuing a master of arts in marriage and family therapy at NCU. “I was looking for a mentoring relationship with excellent professors, the flexibility to continue working as a pastor, husband and father to three sons,” he explains. And although he has gained useful knowledge in marriage and family therapy, he has also experienced additional personal enhancements. “What has amazed me the most is how my self-confidence and self-esteem has grown as a result of working in mentoring relationships with faculty from the School of Marriage and Family Sciences.”
“What has amazed me the most is how my self-confidence and self-esteem has grown as a result of working in mentoring relationships with faculty from the School of Marriage and Family Sciences.”
Commitment to the principles of mentorship in his personal, professional and academic life has provided Rev. Simpson with countless stories to share. He fondly recounts his time with one mentee, a boy he calls Jeremy. “I met Jeremy in a juvenile detention center… he was angry, afraid, confused, lonely and needed a friend and a positive role model,” he remembers. “Jeremy loved Whataburger, so I brought him a hamburger and fries for lunch and we talked. Slowly, we began to get to know each other.”
Following Jeremy’s release, Rev. Simpson continued to meet with him on a regular basis. “Gradually, Jeremy began to grow and overcome his issues,” he recalls. “Eventually Jeremy went back to high school, tried out and made the high school basketball team, and today he is playing basketball at a college on a full scholarship.”
While he is honored to have been a mentor to many people just like Jeremy, Rev. Simpson also values his experiences as a mentee. In fact, he seeks guidance from several different mentors in both his personal and professional life. “Anyone who believes that seeking one person to serve as your mentor, and who will answer all your questions in life, is naïve,” states Simpson.
Because of his personal experience as a mentor, Rev. Simpson places high importance on the value of each unique relationship. “I have a leadership mentor, a pastor mentor, a marriage mentor, a therapy mentor, and more,” he shares. “One of my most important mentoring relationships is my spiritual mentor that I meet with every month. He has encouraged me, supported me, and helped me to grow in my faith over the years.”
“One of my most important mentoring relationships is my spiritual mentor that I meet with every month. He has encouraged me, supported me, and helped me to grow in my faith over the years.”
As a pastor seeking licensure as a marriage and family therapist, Rev. Simpson possesses a unique combination of spiritual, professional and personal experience in mentoring. He cherishes his mentoring relationships both as a mentor and mentee, and takes great pride in his opportunity to help others. “I care for and visit people in the hospitals, their homes, nursing centers, retirement centers, cancer treatment centers, emergency rooms, funeral homes, cemeteries, my office, and many more places,” he reflects. “I oversee and lead more than 150 volunteers who share their caring gifts and time. I am blessed.”
Much as he would advise his mentees to do, he sees opportunity for unexpected areas of growth in every situation, including the pursuit of a master’s degree at nearly fifty years old. “The pursuit of this degree has encouraged and helped me develop my writing skills, self-discipline, time management skills, and shaped me into a better pastor,” he explains. “I’ll never forget the question I was asked at the beginning of the pursuit of my degree, ‘So, Scott, are you crazy enough to do this?’ My answer was ‘Yes, I am!’ If I were blessed to be asked that question again, my answer would be the same.”