2010 ewspaper clipping of Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center groundbreaking for new facility in Urbandale, Iowa

Our history spans 50 years!

We have a long history in the Des Moines community as one of central Iowa’s largest and most respected counseling groups. 

Celebrating 50 years of hope and healing!

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is now Mind & Spirit Counseling Center!

The Center was established in 1972 and now serves as an independent, not-for-profit, community-based organization without any affiliation to a faith group or any other organization. As one of the largest counseling groups in central Iowa, the Center has impacted tens of thousands of lives over a 50-year history. 

Fifty years ago, Mind & Spirit Counseling Center was established as an extension of the ministry of First United Methodist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Since its inception, the Center, then known as Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, has walked with people through counseling and education to find hope and healing, and to live a fulfilling life.

Throughout its history, the Center has evolved its staffing, locale, and services over the years. Still, our vision remains steadfast—to serve as a welcoming place for those seeking inspiration, hope, and healing of body, mind and spirit.


Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center was created as an outreach project of First United Methodist Church.

March 1974 newspaper article on the new Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center


The Center was Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) independent not-for-profit organization with no continuing affiliation with First UMC or any particular faith group.


Ellery Duke, Ph.D., becomes the second counselor to join DMPCC.


Ellery Duke appointed executive director.


Professional education and psychotherapy training program developed, which is today known as The Clinical Training Program.


Community education initiatives implemented by Eileen Burtle.


Jeanne Schossow joins the staff as business manager.


Moved to a location on Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa.


Accredited by American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC).


Added a suite of four offices in West Des Moines.


Launched C.O.O.L. (Children Overcoming the Obstacles of Life) program for children and adolescents, under the leadership of Grace Sherer and Sara Swansen.

Hosted the first Women Helping Women luncheon event to create awareness and fundraise for mental health services for women and girls.


Re-accreditation by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC).


Affiliated with the Samaritan Institute of Denver, CO, (now called Solihten Institute), which operates as a trade association for counseling centers, providing administrative, consultative, educational, and organizational services.

Moved to 2929 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines, Iowa after outgrowing offices on Ingersoll Avenue.


Received the AAPC’s Distinguished Program Leadership Award.


Accredited by The Samaritan Institute.

The Center celebrates 35 years of service in the community and launches the Campaign for Hope and Healing to create a new facility. The Center employs 20 (full time equivalent) counselors.


Moved into a new 14,200 square foot facility at 8553 Urbandale Avenue, Urbandale, Iowa. The move was made possible by a successful $2.8 million capital Campaign for Hope and Healing.

ground breaking ceremony for new Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center facility in Urbandale, Iowa


Grand opening to celebrate the Center’s new facility, which doubled office space to help cover mental health needs in the community.

ribbon cutting at new Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center facility  in Urbandale, Iowa


Psychiatry added to our growing list of counseling services.


Ellery Duke retires after 40 years of service, and Jim Hayes is appointed as the new Executive Director of the Center.


20th annual Women Helping Women event raises $204,000 for mental health services for women, children and families who couldn’t afford services.

Women Helping Women


Clinical Training Program celebrates 40 years of preparing more than 100 new clinicians to enter the field.

The Center transitions to 100% telehealth service at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinical training program


The Center adapts to a hybrid work model, continuing to provide 60-90% of services via telehealth throughout the year.


The Center celebrates 50 years of hope and healing with the rich, dynamic community that has made our mission possible for five decades!

Mind & Spirit Counseling Center is chosen as our new name!

Celebrating 50 year history of Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center