Women & Work

Dr. Bethel B. Webb

Soul Care Director at Graceland Church

Bio: Bethel was born in Manila and was raised in Laoag City, Philippines. She earned a BA in Social Sciences (2014) from the University of the Philippines-Baguio, an MA in Biblical Counseling (2018), and a Doctorate in Education (2021) from Southern Seminary. Bethel’s research interests are in Epistemology, Discipleship & Human Development, Christian education, Cross-cultural Education, and Biblical Counseling. Besides serving at Southern Seminary, Bethel is the Soul Care Director at Graceland Church in New Albany, IN. Bethel is married to Kevin and they live in Louisville, KY.

Women and Work is honored to have Dr. Bethel B. Webb who is also on our scholarship committee board to be our featured Work Done Well woman of the month. Bethel, please share with us a little bit about your personal story and where God has you serving currently?

It is my honor to be a part of the Women and Work family. I was born in Manila and was raised in Laoag City, Philippines. My parents are church-planters and seminary teachers. People have always expected me to follow in my parent’s footsteps but I wanted to forge my own path. I earned a BA in Social Sciences (2014) from the University of the Philippines-Baguio with plans on pursuing a law degree after. But during my college years, God caught up with me. I had trauma and bad experiences as a child that I needed to process with the help of a counselor or a therapist. Thankfully, there was a lone biblical counselor in the city where I was studying. I worked with her for two years and it was a life-changing experience. At 19, I rededicated my life to the Lord and started walking with Him again. I had two options after college, join CRU full-time or go to seminary. At the age of 22, I left the Philippines and everything I had known to study Biblical Counseling. After years of studying, I finished an MA in Biblical Counseling (2018), and a Doctorate in Education (2021) from Southern Seminary. My research interests are in Epistemology, Discipleship, Human Development, Spiritual Formation, Christian Education, Cross-cultural Education, Christian Psychology and Biblical Counseling. Currently, I am the Soul Care Director at Graceland Church in New Albany, IN. I also work as the coordinator for the Christian Psychology Institute alongside founder Dr. Eric L. Johnson. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I was exposed to the challenges of full-time ministry. I partner with Practical Shepherding through providing counseling to pastor’s wives. From time to time, my dad will ask me to teach a class or two in the Philippines through the seminary that he is working with. This Fall, I will have the honor to teach a counseling class at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary.

You have had so many amazing career opportunities already in your life but specifically in the church and in higher education. What have those experiences looked like for you as a woman in ministry and how would you encourage other women who have similar callings?

People have invested in me, both emotionally and financially. I am really blessed to have people who believe in me and who cheer me on. I admit, at times I wanted to quit because of the adversities that I faced. Most of them are internal battles within my soul but some are external barriers. I have had people who told me that I should not be doing what I am doing because I am a woman. At every juncture, God provided a mentor or a boss who empowered me to do the work that God has handed to me. Right now, I am thankful to my pastors, Dr. Nate Millican and soon-to-be Dr. David Gantenbein who have provided me with opportunities to serve at my church. I owe my success to my professors and mentors, Dr. Eric L. Johnson and Dr. John David Trentham who have shared not only their knowledge and their wisdom with me, but also their lives.


If you want to succeed at any job you have, find a like-minded person who would help you endure and flourish at your workplace. Whether that’s a coworker, a friend, a churchmate, a boss, or a mentor, find them. There were multiple times I prayed for such people and did not find them, but eventually God sent them my way.


Another encouragement I would give you is to get off of social media or tailor your social media in such a way that you do not come across content that would discourage you or tempt you to compare your life and accomplishments to another person who looks like they have it all together. Once I feel my soul moving towards that direction, I disconnect and literally count my blessings (or a Gratitude Exercise). There is content there that can undo me, and when I come across it, I immediately unfollow or delete it. There is time and space for dissenting opinions, but when I am weak and tired those are not the times.

Growing up in the Philippines and now living in the United States share with us about the things you have learned and are continuing to learn cross-culturally. What are the takeaways?


I live in the best of both worlds. I am thankful to have a unique perspective of both worlds. Here are my two takeaways:


First take away: Every culture has good aspects and bad aspects. There is no such thing as the best culture. The second take away is this: In order to overcome the bad aspects, learn from another culture that does it well. For example, there is a loneliness epidemic here in the US. People in the Philippines also feel lonely at times, but not in the same frequency and intensity that Americans do. Filipinos are very attached to their families, and we like making friends. After I came to America, my definition of the personality trait, “introvert” has changed. Besides people who have clinical depression, Filipinos do not get “depressed.” They find ways to entertain themselves or people they can hang out with to ease the deep sadness. On the flip side, I believe that Filipinos can learn from Americans the ability to form their own personhood apart from their family or friends. I have learned relational rules and concepts such as boundaries and conflict management that I now teach to my Filipino friends and clients.

How do you keep yourself encouraged that the work you’re doing is valuable and worthwhile when the world tempts women to believe otherwise? Are there any Scriptures God has given you to keep you present in the work to which He has called you? 

I slow down and ask the Lord to remind me why I choose to do what I do. I look around and many of my college classmates are doing “bigger” things and making more money. Sometimes I daydream about an alternative life. But then I sit down with a counselee, or a student and I see the changes. Having the front row seat to the work that God is doing in people’s lives excites me. Ministry is difficult, but it is also very rewarding.


I look to other women who are doing the same thing as I am. Currently people that I follow are Jackie Hill Perry, Beth Allison Barr, June Hunt, Karen Swallow-Prior, Rebecca McLaughlin, and of course our very own Courtney Moore.


The verse that keeps me going and encouraged is this passage in John 6:36: “When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” I know what it is like to feel harassed and helpless. I also know Jesus’ heart. In doing what I am doing, I am answering Jesus’ call to disciple His sheep. I know He is with me. That is all I need.

Anyone who knows you knows that you are a woman who is on a mission. You always have a lot of different projects and work experiences going on at one time. Share with us how you have maintained all these different jobs and how a woman reading this can do the same.

I have a rule of life. I admit that I do not follow it religiously, but enough to hold me over during hard and dark times. Besides my spiritual disciplines (such as lectio Divina, silence and solitude, meditation) I do two things that are absolute lifesavers: I make myself cry and I make sure I have something that I do for fun.


Yes. I make myself cry! Whether that’s through listening to a sad song (typically old break up songs, songs with lyrics straight from the Psalms) or watching a sad movie or tv show (I like to rewatch shows like Friends). Something that I do for fun is to play this video game called Stardew Valley. As someone who likes to get things accomplished, a task-based video game is a balm to my soul.


Besides my Rule of Life, I choose jobs that complement each other. I have a church job that requires me to do Soul Care and work with my elders. I work with three non-profits with different emphases and target audience. They do the same things using the same skills, applied in different ways, if that makes sense.


I am also blessed to have a very supportive husband. He is my biggest cheerleader.

Lastly, you have a huge heart for meeting men and women where they are at and helping them grow into who God wants them to be. How would you encourage our readers in their own soul care journey and where can you be reached for more information regarding soul care?

Soul Care is a difficult process to go through, but it is one that is worthwhile. I tell people all the time: You go voluntarily, or life will force you into Soul Care/Counseling/Therapy. We all need help. We live in a fallen world with fallen bodies. One of my favorite preachers put it really well, “We go through life accumulating ‘ouchies.’ If we do not tend to our ‘ouchies,’ they will never heal completely.”


People are typically afraid to do Soul work because they are afraid of what they are going to find. But I tell you, if you are a Christian, what you will find is God. God and his lovingkindness embedded all over your story. It does not matter whether you’ve suffered much or if you had a relatively ‘easy’ life, soul work will benefit anyone’s spiritual and emotional life.


Many of the people I see come to me after the train-wreck has already happened or after the house is already on fire. Do not wait for these to happen. Go and find a counselor/therapist/spiritual director and get help.

Have someone in mind you’d like to nominate to be featured on Work Done Well?