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Member Spotlight

Emmaus Center Christian Counseling

A NCCA Certified Academic Institution

Rev. Dr. Brett & Pam Travis

Knoxville, TN

Fr. Brett and Pam founded the Emmaus Center and School for Ministry a Certified Academic Institution (CAI) in January of 2013.

The ministry has been so successful that it has trained five masters-level priests for the Dioceses of the Mid-South with offices in Georgia and Tennessee. Emmaus Center started a church plant in July 2014 and broke ground for its new building in July 2023 called Emmaus Abbey Church, Knoxville. This new community of believers are a part of the independent Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America (CECNA).

Dr. Travis holds a PhD in Christian Clinical Psychology. Doctoral degree in Pastoral Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling, Liberty University, Bachelor’s degree in General Studies, University of Kentucky. He is the Rector for Emmaus Abbey Church, Knoxville and Canon Missioner for Mid-South Dioceses for state of Tennessee.

Pam holds AAS/RN degree from Kentucky State University, a bachelor’s counseling from Cornerstone University. She is a retired registered psychiatric nurse has advanced certifications in Child & Adolescent Therapy and Crisis & Abuse Therapy and serves as our parish nurse and provides counseling for women and children. She will complete her masters in September 2023. Both have over 40 years of missionary service having served all over the world

Brett served 37 years in the U.S. Military. He spent 13 years as a Medical Service Corps officer and 24 years as an Army Chaplain and priest serving at the highest levels of military leadership. He served as USCENTCOM and USSOCCENT Command chaplain, NATO Command chaplain, 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii, 2d ACR Regiment, and his last assignment as the Deputy Hospital Command chaplain and senior clinician, Behavioral Mental Health chaplain, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA.

His overseas assignments served in Iraq, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Honduras. He retired as Lieutenant Colonel in 2008.

Dr. Travis is the Executive Director and Clinical Supervisor for Emmaus Center Christian Counseling and School for Ministry (ECSM) and oversees four trained N.C.C.A. counselors and two N.C.C.A. counselors -in-training (CIT).

Brett is an NCCA diplomate, has advanced certifications in Marriage and Family Therapy, individual and couple counseling. He holds extensive training in many other areas of individual and family counseling.

How the NCCA helped birth a Charismatic Episcopal Church plant.

Upon leaving a 37-year career in the military most folks would say, “well, let’s retire and live on the lake.” I was tired of a hard 24 years of chaplain ministry, traveling and war! I asked the Lord to just allow me to sit, soak, and sour, ha! Nope, he was not going to settle for my slothful thoughts on ministry. After a few months of resting, praying, and seeking God. I happened into an old bookstore. I love to read.

The road to Emmaus…

I was combing through several books and this big ole blue book would not stay on the shelf. I would grab a book and then this big ole book would fall to the floor every time. Not realizing the parable… It was God’s seed for me to plant. Finally, I was ready to stuff this thing so far back on the shelf where the sun would not shine. But before I could put it back for the last time. My eye caught the title… “Creation Therapy.” So, I was curious and opened the book and began reading how God uniquely created each of us. I continued to read and after a while my eyes were opened into a new world for ministry. I realized the bookstore was closing. So, I purchased the book. I continued to read the book and began investigating the Sarasota Academy for Christian Counseling (SACC). They gave me a name of a CAI in my area and the rest is history. More so, if I had never picked up the “Creation Therapy” book, we would not be having this conversation. God has a plan and a mission for every one of us.

The moral of the story is at 56 years old none of us are designed for retirement.

So, what is the rest of the story?

Well, I completed my NCCA training in Marriage & Family Therapy in 2011. I then asked God where do we go from here. One thing led to another. Once the local churches heard about what we were doing I began net- working churches and the ministry took off. By 2014 some folks who were coming for counseling were requesting healing for their infirmities. They wanted to know if we provided healing services. The next phase was providing the ministry of healing for our clients.

Before I realized it, I was remodeling our 1500 square foot garage to provide for a proprietary chapel for Sunday morning and Wednesday evening healing services. I no longer had a man cave for my Harley and Pam’s boat.

Today, Emmaus is breaking ground to build a new church here in Knoxville, TN.

What is the rest of the story? Because of one seed…God has ordained many for the harvest of “the least, the lost and the poor.”

The seed in the SACC fell into my hands and my mind. Then it fell into my wife’s mind to germinate. Then into my daughters’ heart, then into our community, our local churches, and new seeds began to grow, the church plant became a full-blown parish and now we are training 8 to 10 priests in the pastoral counseling ministry in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ohio.

What is the NCCA? We (NCCA) Counselors are the new apologists, the new evangelists in a culture of Faith “Deconstruction.” God gave Drs. Phyllis and Richard Arno more than thirty-years ago an evangelistic and cultural vision to train a new generation of biblical counselors to stand against a culture of Wokeism! God has prepared the SACC and NCCA leadership to step into the 21st Century with a bold task of evangelism and clinical discipleship. This is the call, to be an Ancient Faith, Reaching a New Generation, Living in Holy Communion! To learn more, see: Emmaus Abbey Church site:

The seed germinated! Emmaus Center for Christian Counseling was birthed in Knoxville in 2012 through NCCA vision. The NCCA vision to put counselors in every city in the Nation has grown yearly since they began their school. The Emmaus Center for Christian Counseling is a product of the NCCA training counselors, supervisors and CAI directors. CAI generate Christian counselors, pastors, teachers and even church plants. Emmaus Abbey Church was birthed in 2014 through that NCCA seed which birthed a new generation of believers to build Emmaus church in 2014, then the resources of that seed from the church birthed a School for healing and training other pastoral counselors for the ministry.

Now in 2023, the Emmaus Ministries are building a new church in Knoxville, TN all because of a Jeremiah vision from Richard and Phyllis Arno. Our church is more than a building. It is a re-generation center for reaching and winning souls for Christ and training souls for Christ. Emmaus ministries have grown and multiplied several times. We can now disciple and multiply the NCCA vision they started over thirty years ago and we are excited to continue that calling of training ministers to counsel and evangelize our cities.

The Emmaus vision: An Ancient Faith, Reaching a New Generation, Living in Holy Communion has come Alive! Praise God, we are growing and the eyes of the community will see God through Us!

Who are we? Emmaus Abbey and its ministries are a three streams ministry. This means we are sacramental, evangelical, and charismatic. This drives our ministry. Our first goal is to start within our Communion in the Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America to train as many CEC priests as Christian counselors and soul winners. We mainly see our ministry of training priests for licensure within the Dioceses of The Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America. Our calling should be counselors of transformation helping God’s people through daily sanctification.

Our mission is anointed by God. We see it daily as God sends his people to us. We continue to find ourselves helping and training folks from all walks of life. As we walk with those God sends, we walk with them until they see their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit. Visit us @

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

NCCA Annual Conference October 20th & 21st

Come join the NCCA family for a time of fellowship, worship, and renewal this year in Memphis. Dr. Travis will present two sessions speaking on “Counseling in a Season of Faith Deconstruction” See ya there, Fr. Brett!

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