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Founder/Executive Director

Emmaus Center and School for Ministry

Rector, Emmaus Abbey Church, Knoxville

Rev. Dr. Brett Travis is an Orthodox Priest, Canon in the Diocese of the Mid-South, and the Rector of Emmaus Abbey Church, Knoxville, TN. He has served over forty years in ministry and served twenty-four years in U.S. Army Chaplain CORPS, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2008. Fr. Brett served at the highest levels of command & leadership. While serving as Deputy Command Chaplain for USCENTCOM, he deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and later served as the Command Chaplain for European Theatre at North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Casteau, Belgium.

During his military assignment at N.A.T.O., he was the S.H.A.P.E. International Command Chaplain and Command Religious Affairs Advisor for 29 N.A.T.O. countries. Before retiring, he served his last tour at U.S. MEDCOM, assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center conducting research in the Wounded Warrior Program as a senior clinical chaplain / behavioral mental health therapist.  He was conducting mental health research in the area of combat trauma, moral injury, and how it affects the spiritual de-construction (Roms 1:18-20 ESV) of soldiers re-deploying from the Middle-east. He is a highly decorated soldier and seeks to use his combat experiences to help troubled veterans in the Knoxville area. 


He is a frequent conference and retreat speaker in the varied areas of the Wounded Warrior Program, How to Build Strong Families, ALPHA for Military (A4M) program, organizational leadership, marriage and family, the role of counselor, client, Holy Spirit & healing ministry, issues affecting pastoral care and counseling in the 21st century. He is presently writing a book on the “Seven Sacraments of the Church” and researching how using the “Rite of Reconciliation” can bring closure to those suffering from relational problems.    


In 2011, Dr. Travis and his wife Pam co-founded Emmaus Center and School for Ministry in Knoxville.  The ministry had a four-fold mission: 1) to network with the Knoxville Christian community by providing a biblical counseling ministry designed to care for & help those needing emotional, crisis & spiritual intervention, individual, marriage, and family counseling 2) to provide an NCCA Certified Academic Institution which could academically train, theologically equip, provide degrees and license those called into Christian counseling ministry, 3) to provide the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America trained licensed pastoral counselors to work in the local parish ministry, 4) to provide a ministry to train fathers to lead and teach the spiritual disciplines, catechism, and Christian apologetics in a culture of de-construction of the Christian Faith.   


Dr. Travis has extensive training in theology, clinical pastoral care related to military & hospital chaplaincy, preaching, teaching, counseling, church planting, religious retreats, therapeutic prayer, suicidology, crisis intervention, conflict management, premarital seminars, and marriage and family therapy. He uses a trialogue approach to counseling: counselor, client, Holy Spirit, integrating ARNO Diagnostics with his biblical treatment plans.  


He received his Doctor Philosophy in Christian Clinical Psychology, a Doctor of Pastoral Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, a (Dissertation on the Essentials in Building Strong Families), Masters of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Masters of Clinical Mental Health from Liberty University, and his Bachelors of General Studies in Psychology and Respiratory Therapy from the University of Kentucky. 


He and Pam have been faithfully married for 51 years, and have two daughters and five grandchildren.

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