2023 Mental Health Professionals Conference

Mental Health Professionals are invited to join the National Benevolent Association for a time of Connection and Care. This in-person gathering (with virtual options) will bring together expert speakers and professionals focused on engaging the intersection of spirituality and mental health in your work as a mental health professional, will have a half day focused on your restoration and self-care as a mental health professional, and opportunities for connection and strengthening our community of Disciples mental health professionals.

Attendance: The 2023 Mental Health Professionals Conference will be held at the Canopy Hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk, from 9:00 a.m. Friday, October 6 until 2:30 p.m., Saturday, October 7, 2023. Plan to travel to San Antonio on Thursday, October 5, with return travel Saturday, October 7. There will be an optional, informal reception the evening of Thursday, October 5. Applications for in-person attendance must be received by September 22, 2023. All applications after September 22 will be offered the virtual attendance option.

Cost: Registration for in-person attendees is $240. The NBA will cover expenses for travel, hotel, and breakfast and lunch at the conference space for eligible attendees. Space is limited; virtual attendance options will be offered after for those who register after September 8. The virtual registration fee is $70.

In-Person EventVirtual Session
Two Live Keynote Sessions
Equity Panel Session
Two Workshop Options
Full Access to Self-Care Saturday
Multiple Opportunities for Connection with Peers
Candlelight Yoga Session

Eligibility: This conference is open to Disciples of Christ-affiliated persons who are: credentialed mental health professionals (such as licensed therapists, psychologists, and social workers); chaplains; or graduate students pursuing a degree to become mental health professionals (including seminarians). Applicants must be able to demonstrate they are a mental health professional to be considered.

Keynote Speakers

Janice McWilliams, MDiv, LCPC is a psychotherapist in private practice, a certified spiritual director, speaker, and author of Restore My Soul: Reimagining Self-Care for a Sustainable Life. She also works with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the areas of training and spiritual formation. Janice completed her Master of Divinity at Howard University and her counseling degree at Loyola University in Maryland. Janice’s love of the depths and intrigue of the human experience is matched by her desire to find her place in God’s work of restoring and revitalizing souls everywhere. Her blog promotes spiritual, relational, and psychological transformation. Find out more at janicemcwilliams.com.

Dr. LaVerne Collins is a National Certified Counselor who holds credentials as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in North Carolina and as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia.  She has a dual bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, and an M.S. Ed in Community Counseling from Duquesne (pronounced: Doo-Cane) University in Pittsburgh. She holds a Ph.D. in Christian Counseling from South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is certified in coaching, clinical supervision, grief, trauma, integrative nutrition coaching, mental telehealth counseling, and addiction counseling. Learn more about Dr. Collins and her work at NewSeasons.training.

Workshop Presenters

Rev. Kinsie Tate, LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) holds a Master of Divinity, a Master of Education in Applied Behavioral Studies, and is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Kinsie is the founder and Executive Director of Restore Clergy, a nonprofit focusing on clergy wellness, and has been counseling in private practice for over a decade.


Wes Parks, M.S., LPC-S, NCC (he/him) is the owner of Metroplex Mental Health, a boutique multilocation private practice in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex specializing in LGBTQIA+ clients. Wes holds a dual master’s degree in clinical psychology and neuropsychology. For more than a decade he worked at a private forensic and clinical psychology practice where he was involved in wide-ranging, and often high-profile, forensic psychology and legal cases. Understanding that change is needed on all levels, he is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Policy at the University of Texas at Arlington so he can focus on mental health policy analysis and decision-making.

Carolina Fuentes, LCSW is the founder of CREATE Mental Health and Educational Center. She holds an MSW and MDiv from Baylor University and has been a social worker for over 11 years. During her tenure as a social worker, she has worked in a variety of roles in the nonprofit sector including as case manager for refugee families, abuse prevention education specialist, hospital social worker, and school-based therapist. Carolina is currently working in private practice where she provides clinical, educational, and consulting services.

Rev. Dr. Aizaiah G. Yong (he/him) is an ordained Pentecostal Christian minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served in religious and higher education leadership for over a decade devoting his energy to healing and advocacy work that centers QTBIPOC communities. He is trained in both the Internal Family Systems method as well as the Compassion Practice and works with persons and communities in his psychospiritual private and community-based practice. Aizaiah believes that healing is a collective work that is received when we relate to ourselves, one another, and the world with authenticity, curiosity, and perseverance.

Application Form

Contact Information

Please use your full legal name from your ID or passport and home address.

About Your Mental Health Career

All fields are required.