Our Guest: Deaconess Chrissie Gillet, PsyD, Word of Hope Director
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Word of Hope is a ministry of Lutherans For Life that exists to bring healing found in Christ to those whose hearts have been broken by life issues. The need for truth is prevalent as evidenced by the increased hotline contacts and escalates daily as the coming of our Lord approaches. In addition to addressing life issue crises on the national 24/7 hotline, people have received education, training, written materials, and connection to local resources. Learn more about this expanding ministry that offers spiritual care grounded in Scripture and Lutheran doctrine.
Frequently seen in boots and jeans, Chrissie reveals her Texan upbringing and love for country living. She particularly enjoys time with her family in the garden or at the lake. Down-to-earth and modest, she prefers genuine conversation on a first-name basis over haughty titles related to her education or vocation. Chrissie is married to her best friend, Steph Gillet, who is a pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. They enjoy working side by side in the ministry as a husband-wife and pastor-deaconess team. Together they have seven children, but only their youngest still resides at home, along with Phoebe, their Labradoodle in therapy dog training.
Chrissie earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Spalding University and completed her psychology residency as an officer in the United States Air Force. She served four years active duty and another four as inactive reserve. God blessed her with a range of counseling experiences in settings such as: a domestic violence shelter, the suicide crisis hotline, military mental health clinics, and a Christian counseling agency. Transitioning from an emphasis on psychology to theology, Chrissie attended the Distance Deaconess Program at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. She graduated in October 2018 and was commissioned as a deaconess with Lutherans For Life.
In her position as the Word of Hope Director, Chrissie answers the hotline calls and emails. Understanding both the secular worldview and the Christ-centered perspective, she listens without personal judgment while also responding in Christian truth and love. Motivated by compassion, she often goes above and beyond to connect people with local services and natural supports. Beyond her typical hotline responsibilities, Chrissie writes articles, publicly speaks, and leads Bible studies on a range of topics related to life issues.
Valuing a Christ-centered lifestyle, Chrissie serves her neighbor through acts of mercy. Each year, she opens her heart and home to exchange students from around the world. Amongst her church family, she regularly visits folks who are hospitalized or shut-in, and enjoys the fellowship while creating crafts with members in her home. Within the rural and small-town community, she gifts numerous people with produce from her garden, home-cooked dishes, or crocheted newborn-baby blankets. Truly, to know Chrissie is to know her as your loving sister in Christ.