IMG_8150For over 100 years, Hillcrest’s spiritual history has been rooted in the United Methodist Church and a mission of the Presbyterian Church since 1968. And long before that time, Hillcrest had always been celebrated for providing services to all, regardless of their religious affiliations and their beliefs. Still, we believe that a spiritual connection can make a difference in a person’s complete well-being. That spiritual connection might be faith-based, or it could be based on any integrative approaches that make the mind and body stronger. This spirituality enhances our Culture of Results and leads us to offer outreach projects, educational workshops, retreat days, Sunday services and spiritual conversations frequently held at our famed Hadley Chapel used for Hillcrest clients and staff, the chaplaincy and the community.

Spiritual Services Include

Hillcrest Chaplaincy Program

Success Story

An adolescent boy being educated at Hillcrest spoke to our Chaplain about his behavioral issues. He spoke of the guilt he regularly faces for the things he has done. It became apparent by the tone of his voice and the swelling of his eyes that he wanted forgiveness for his indiscretions. Understanding this, our Chaplain told him about grace and forgiveness. And then, as the young boy prayed, he was overwhelmed with emotions and had tears running down his face. He was grateful that we recognized his struggles, and we were humbled by the opportunity to serve him.

Success Story

Though Kay is only 21, she has lived through many challenges and a lot of disappointment.  While attending church with her foster mother, she realized how difficult it was to trust people, particularly when so many had left her behind.  She asked why God would love her when she has a mental illness and hadn’t always done the right things.  When talking about forgiveness,  she began to cry and found it difficult to believe God would forgive her.  Because of her experience at church, along with the compassionate staff at Hillcrest, Kay now feels safe and believes only God could have provided that peace.

Meet our Chaplain

Daniel Emmert


Hello, my name is (Pastor) Daniel Emmert. I have been hired by Hillcrest as a Chaplain in Adult Services. I will be working with the adult group homes and the Wellness Center.
My wife and I moved back to Dubuque in June after 14 years living and serving two churches in central Iowa. Prior to my ordination in 2004, I worked for Area Residential Care for 30 years in supervisory, administration and staff training positions. My voluntary involvements in my Church have recently included helping to organize a Mental Health First Aid Training “Community of Practice” for Pastors and lay church leaders. I also have been involved with the local Brain Health committee since returning to live in Dubuque.
I would like to see greater use of Hillcrest’s beautiful chapel. I want all clients of Hillcrest to know the Hadley Chapel is their sacred space to use and enjoy. I want the chapel to be a place of peace and comfort and a place of learning and experiencing God’s presence. I believe that healthy spiritual formation helps people heal and remain healthy. I will be visiting the homes each week to listen and share stories of life and faith. I will be available to provide spiritual encouragement and direction individually when it is desired. I have worship times at the chapel on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I will be conducting a discussion group on spirituality and faith formation on Thursdays and a “Grief Share” support group every other Wednesday at the Hillcrest Wellness Center downtown.
Sincerely, Pastor Dan

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