About Respero

Respero is a made-up word, based on the ancient Latin word “spero”, which means hope. We want to be part of God’s work of restoring and renewing hope where there is discouragement, confusion, and anxiety, so that’s why we’ve chosen the word Respero to represent our work.

Respero is a 501c3 nonprofit organization providing quality faith-based counseling, at no cost. Stress and relational brokenness are rampant in our world. Almost everyone experiences significant challenges and hurts at some point in their life. We believe that focused counseling conversations in one-on-one and small group settings are indispensable for healing, wisdom, and relational wholeness.

Respero is committed to making these kinds of safe and life-giving conversations accessible to everyone, regardless of social, economic, or religious status. To make that a reality we offer online counselor training and courses for personal transformation and healing. We particularly seek to help churches and faith organizations be healthy communities by providing counseling to leaders and staff, and by being available as a referral and resource to members.

Respero does this through the personal counseling and teaching ministry of Joe Bishop, and through a Respero-trained team of people who are gifted in relational counseling.

Respero’s Founder & Director

Respero is the realization of the vision of Joe Bishop. Joe has been a pastor for 35 years, serving in churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and California. He and his family have been in the Santa Cruz area since 1993. He has a deep-seated conviction that local churches are meant to be genuine healing communities and tangible expressions of the love and grace of Jesus. The ministries of Respero are designed to help people foster authentic relationships and be a catalyst for kingdom living.

Joe has been married to his wife Kathy for 40 years. They have 3 adult children; Ben, Jon, and Abigail. He received his graduate academic training at Grace Theological Seminary and Santa Clara University, and has done doctoral work in counseling psychology at Trinity Theological Seminary. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is also an avid reader, hiker, and life-long sports fan who remains hopeful that one day his favorite team (the Chicago Cubs) won’t go another century before winning again.

What We Do


Faith-based counseling is provided at no cost to individuals and couples who are seeking encouragement and direction in dealing with relational, emotional, and spiritual issues and struggles. Contact us to schedule an appointment.


Respero offers training and supervision for people who desire to use their gifts in the realm of counseling, care ministries, friendship, family…life! Online courses are offered to equip people to serve in structured settings and to be more effective encouragers in all their relationships Learn more.

Courses for Personal Transformation

We offer online courses designed to equip people to know themselves, transform their relationships, and deal with their biggest challenges in healthy ways Learn more.


Classes, seminars, retreats, and other speaking engagements can be scheduled by contacting Joe Bishop Contact Us.