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Changing Lives through Faith, Hope & Love


The Pastoral Institute was established in 1974 as a nonprofit, faith-based, non-denominational organization that offers education and counseling services to individuals, couples, and families. Several years of discussion and planning took place between local businessman and philanthropist, William B. Turner, local psychiatrist Dr. George Zubowicz, and counselors Rev. Richard Robertson and Rev. Herschel Allen to create an outpatient facility to treat mind, body, and spirit. Our founders believed the Pastoral Institute would be a refuge of healing, clarity, and inspiration for those who come seeking help with difficult life experiences. Our clinical counseling services have evolved over the years, demonstrating our strong commitment to meeting the unique and growing mental health needs of the diverse community we serve.

In the early 1980’s, Turner concluded that there was a lack of workplace counseling options for people in the Chattahoochee Valley.  Having had an employee that he feared he would have to fire for performance issues, Mr. Turner learned that relationship problems at home were the cause.  This led the Pastoral Institute in implementing a national trend to create Employee Assistance partnerships with local businesses to offer counseling as a paid or reduced cost benefit.  Today we work with more than 150 local business to provide counseling to employees and their families.   

In 1999 the D.A. and Elizabeth Turner Ministry Resource Center was established to provide counseling to clergy, clergy families, and congregation members.  The Covenant Congregation Program, modeled after the community employee assistance program that allows churches to offer counseling to their members at no or reduced cost.  

The Sarah T. Butler Children’s Center was created in 2010 to expand the services we offer children and adolescents. In order to help families find answers and help for their children and adolescents, we offer psychological testing for children as young as 18 months old for a wide range of psychological conditions including Autism Spectrum Disorder, social skills group therapy and counseling.    

The Pastoral Institute is accredited by the Solihten and is part of the Solihten Network of counseling centers nationwide. 

Our Values

Commit to growth:  We prioritize and support life-long learning. We choose self-awareness, acknowledge when actions are inconsistent with the values and learn from mistakes.

Care for All: We celebrate and value the uniqueness of all persons. Everybody matters. We encourage work-life integration and balance.

Show Compassion: We are friendly, hospitable, and empathic. We confront with love. We demonstrate forgiveness and reconciliation when hurt or wronged.

Communicate Openly and Honestly: We are authentic, transparent, and speak from the heart. We listen to understand and convey respect even when we disagree. We declare that Truth and Love go together.

Create Through Curiosity and Wonder: We collaborate and seek win-wins.

Share Our Common Vision: We seek what is best for the common good like an orchestra in which each person plays a unique part.

Build Community Through Relationships: We champion personal autonomy, inclusion, and connection. We are intentional in caring for others in word and deed.

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