top of page

Thank you for taking the interest in becoming a Hotline Phone Counselor!

  • Tuesdays and Thurs 10-12PM
  • Sept 24th-Nov14th
  • Where: Classes will be conducted remotely via scheduled Zoom Meetings so that you will be able to participate at your residence.
  • To register or for more information contact Dr. Terry Smith at 815-727-4367 or 630-988-7395 email us at:

The Upper Room Crisis Hotline Training Program for Phone Counselors

The Upper Room Crisis Hotline receives approximately 500 calls per month from throughout the United States and over 30 other countries up to this point. The Upper Room is a ministry in the Catholic tradition that serves and welcomes all callers regardless of their background. The Upper Room Crisis Hotline Ministry operates with all volunteers. This includes the board of directors, administrators, office personnel, and phone counselors. Phone counselors provide compassionate, empathetic, non-judgmental, emotional support and spiritual support if requested for callers to the Hotline. Calls to the Hotline may now be received by phone counselors on their cell phones anywhere in the United States and beyond.

The Ministry is seeking volunteer phone counselors to serve the many callers in need of support that call the Hotline. In order to serve as a phone counselor, the individual must be a Catholic in good standing. While a mental health background is beneficial, it is not necessary. The Upper Room provides a comprehensive training program and continued education to prepare individuals to serve on the Hotline. We are seeking individuals with integrity and a compassionate heart for serving others in need. There is no cost for the training program. The training program is conducted over a 7-8 week period of time with two sessions per week. Each session is 2 hours long. We are currently taking sign-ups for our next class to be announced. The classes are conducted through Zoom from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays-Central time. Instructors are highly qualified, credentialed professionals with experience as university professors and or years of experience in the fields of mental health, education, and ministry. Those interested in participating in the Upper Room Training Program may contact the Upper Room through our website or contact Dr. Terry Smith, Executive Director, at 815-727- 4367 or 630-988-7395.

The Upper Room will provide the necessary training to prepare those that wish to volunteer for the hotline. We are particularly in need of individuals that would have some flexibility in their schedule to accommodate the needs of our callers to the hotline. Night hours and weekend hours are often difficult time slots to fill.


Typically, our training sessions were at the University of St. Francis St. Claire Campus.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The next classes will be announced soon.  If you are interested in becoming a Phone Counselor Volunteer please contact to have your name put on our waiting list.  Dr. Terry Smith, Executive Director of The Upper Room Crisis Hotline, at 815-727-4367.


Dr. Terry Smith
Executive Director
Upper Room Crisis Hotline


The Upper Room Catholic Hotline is a faith-based hotline in the Catholic Tradition.  Again, for this reason, we require that all phone volunteer candidates be practicing Catholics.


Since The Upper Room offers all of our callers pastoral not clinical help, it would be helpful to have a background in psychology/counseling but it is not a mandatory qualification.  Because of this, you will be trained and considered as a paraprofessional.


In the event that you have to miss a session, please notify Dr. Terry Smith in order to arrange for makeup dates.


Training Classes are free of charge but a goodwill offering is accepted if you feel moved to do so.


The training is typically conducted at the St. Francis Campus with the courses conducted in normal and abnormal psychology especially designed for hotline work. The training is 8 weeks, meeting on Tuesday and Thursday, the next dates are to be announced from 10 AM-12 PM via scheduled Zoom Meetings.  Therefore, you will be able to participate remotely from your residence.

Once you complete the course, you will be certified as an Upper Room Hotline Counselor.  As a trained counselor, you will be able to take hotline calls remotely from your own residence using your own cell phone with our own special privacy software.  A local residence requirement is not required to be a line operator.

All training classes are now offered through scheduled online Zoom Meetings

bottom of page