Student Spotlight: Amanda Bernabe, MFT Trainee

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Applying to the MFT program at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary was in pursuit of what I believe was a missional calling. One day I was particularly moved by the passage of Luke 4:18, which says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.” The words, “proclaim release to the captives” especially stood out to me. As I read these words, I reflected on all the people who are longing to be released from captivity: those who are held captive by depression, by oppression, by suffering, by grief, by addiction. In my reflection and longing to build the kingdom of God, I thought to myself that I can do this work; I can walk alongside those who are suffering and be a conduit of hope, of change, of healing.

This program has shown me that this kind of work is possible in marriage and family therapy. The faculty has demonstrated how the Lord is present in this work, that it is truly anointed by the Holy Spirit. The seminary has instilled in me the importance of viewing each consumer holistically and valuing each person’s lived experience. Being a part of a community with a compassion for human suffering and a zeal for healing, I am filled with hope and a strengthened desire to bring healing to the family unit. Ultimately, it is my dream to work with couples and families and serve those who are underserved in our community.