WHO WE ARE
Healthy Seminarians-Healthy Church is deeply committed to helping seminary communities, clergy, and church members connect their theology to their own health and that of their families, communities, and the world. We offer practical and scientifically based opportunities for participants to engage their health theologically so that they can live into the abundant life God offers. Through education, research, and advocacy, we provide tools for achieving greater health, wholeness, and service.
“Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
History of HSHC
HSHC was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization as well as a validated ministry of Trinity Presbytery (SC) in fall 2014. It grew out of co-founders Karen and Travis Webster’s passion for a holistic vision of wellness–including fitness, nutrition, and a sustainable lifestyle–that supports greater health for all of God’s people and creation. Their own wellness journeys and those of their fellow seminarians confirmed the research showing that pastors, as well as the general population, continue to struggle to find wholeness in all areas of life–spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, and beyond. Together they reflected on how they could share what they had learned about these troubling patterns to assist their fellow seminarians, clergy, and congregations in living life more holistically. HSHC was born out of God’s call on Karen and Travis to share their passion for the interconnected nature of wellness in ministry with seminarians and churches.
About the Co-Founders
Karen and Travis grew up in Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations (Karen in California and Travis in South Carolina), met while attending Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ), and married in 2003. The interconnection of mind, body, and spirit, as well as the need for an integrated approach to total health and wholeness, has been a consistent theme throughout both of their lives. Their journey toward holistic health began during their teenage years, when both Karen and Travis became greatly interested in the physical, communal, and ecological impact of people’s food choices. This first focus on food prompted them to explore the many other interdependent aspects of health–such as spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental–in a life of relationship to self, community, and God. Together, Karen and Travis are focused on living out their understanding of holistic abundant life for themselves and for the good of all creation.
Both Karen and Travis are available to consult with seminaries, churches, and denominational groups to implement programs that care for people and all creation.
HSHC recognizes that seminarians and clergy struggle disproportionately with mental, emotional, and physical health issues. We strive to reverse this cycle of unhealth by raising awareness. Through our efforts to educate church leaders on health, we help them become agents of positive transformation in their communities. We do this by:
- Consulting with, advocating in, and educating churches on how to model theologically- grounded wholeness;
- Developing, testing, and providing practical tools and resources for seminarians, clergy, and congregations;
- Modeling and promoting healthier habits; and
- Influencing the administrations of seminaries, divinity schools, and denominations to prioritize health in both their pedagogy and culture.
HSHC is committed to exploring, embodying, and educating theologically and scientifically- grounded wholeness through:
- Operating out of an ethic that recognizes the interconnectedness and interdependence of all creation;
- Creating and nurturing an accepting, non-judgmental, confidential, and accessible space for all participants, regardless of where they are in their wellness journey;
- Valuing our own health and the health of our coworkers through practicing integrity and authenticity in our personal and organizational life;
- Encouraging and cultivating whole-food, plant-based, sustainable, and zero-waste practices;
- Partnering with organizations that complement HSHC’s work; and
- Looking forward to and planning for a sustainable organizational future.
HSHC Board of Directors adopted our most recent strategic plan on December 2, 2022. We invite you to check it out by clicking here!
Interested in learning more? Contact Us
Karen and Travis Webster, co-founders of HSHC, are dedicated to sharing their faith, health and wellness passion, and experience with seminarians, clergy, and congregations.
“The Rev. Dr. Karen Webster and Rev. Travis Webster teach with the expertise and compassion of ones who have been on the front lines, both in ministry and ministering to seminarians. The result is real conversation about what matters and working toward solutions to support ministers in every step of their vocational call. I found their work to be vital in building healthy ministers and healthy faith communities. I highly recommend attending any workshop or seminar that they teach.”
Rev. Danae Ashley
Episcopal Priest & Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate