IMG_8150For nearly 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 Chaplains

David Ploenske


Hi! My name is David Ploenske, and I am the Youth Chaplain here at Hillcrest. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Dubuque with a double-major in Religion and Philosophy. I ran cross-country and track and field for four years there. I am a HUGE Packers and Cubs fan! I put God first in my life and value building relationships with people. I look forward to getting to know you all! - David


Latest Blog Posts

Adoption: Our History and Legacy

December 22, 2016

As we come to the close of 2016, several items that have come across my desk and computer this past week are a reminder that the adoption stories from Hillcrest’s 120 years have had am amazing impact on thousands of families. It was the mission of our founder, Dr. Nancy Hill, M.D. in 1896 to […]

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Suicide – Start The Conversation!

September 8, 2016

I remember the first time I learned about suicide.  I was in middle school and one of the boys in my neighborhood hung himself.  It was a very difficult thing for me to wrap my mind around at that young age.  Equally confusing was the secrecy around the topic.  People only spoke about it the […]

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