Dr. Christopher Summerville

B.A., M.Div., M.Miss., D. Min., LL.D (honoris causa), CPRP
(204) 326-9458 (H)
Email: Chris@schizophrenia.mb.ca


A high energy, visionary, and transformational leader and administrator with strong skills in listening, writing, communicating and handling multiple projects who is both energetic and dynamic as a team player with an emphasis on team building.

A comprehensive organizer and pacesetter with direct experience in coordinating programs, special events, projects and meetings who has worked with executives, board members, staff and volunteers.

An articulate professional involved in areas of pastoral care, psychology, counseling and mental health whose diversified education, skills, and employment background has brought more positive results to each endeavor undertaken.

An executive officer, teacher, motivational speaker, pastor, counselor, mental health specialist, advocate, and change-agent who provides leadership, motivation, wisdom and understanding.

An ardent supporter and promoter of the recovery paradigm and an advocate for a transformed mental health system (recovery-oriented) in Canada.


McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton, ON.
Post-Doctoral Studies in Clinical Pastoral Education (4 CPE units). Member of the hospital’s Palliative Care Team working with cancer and AIDS patients.

Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX
Doctor of Ministry with emphasis in leadership.

Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS
Master of Missiology with emphasis in cross cultural studies.
Master of Divinity with emphasis on pastoral care.

Samford University, Birmingham, AL
Bachelor of Arts
Major: Religion
Minor: Psychology and History


Schizophrenia Society of Canada
2007- pres.      Chief Executive Officer

Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, Winnipeg, MB. Canada
1995 – pres.     Executive Director

Southland Community Free Church, Steinbach, MB, Canada
1993 – 1995    Senior Pastor

McMaster University Medical Center, Hamilton, ON, Canada            1991 – 1993    Chaplain

Ontario Canadian Mental Health Association, Hamilton, ON,
1991 – 1992    Health Promotion Director

Redeemer Bible Church, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
1985 – 1991    Senior Pastor

Brown Pest Control, Birmingham, Alabama
1980 – 1985    Technician – Employed here while working on Doctorate

Jackson Bible Church, Jackson, Mississippi
1975 – 1980    Associate Pastor


Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Providing leadership and management during a critical transition time in the history and development of a national mental health organization by:

  • Unveiling the new mission statement
  • Balancing a deficit spending budget
  • Sustaining cash flow
  • Planning strategic meeting of Federation of Schizophrenia Societies as Chair
  • Developing a relocation plan
  • Restructuring top-heavy admin/office staff
  • Relocating office from Markham to Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Reorganizing Direct Mail Program
  • Unveiling new SSC values
  • Creating Executive Directors Network of provincial schizophrenia societies
  • Creating President’s Network of provincial schizophrenia societies
  • Advocacy at a national/federal level

Executive management, public relations and speaking, as well as consultation with national mental health organizations and service provider organizations.

Introducing and promoting a recovery philosophy to the national organization.

SSC representative to Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health

Supervision of staff, networking with 10 provincial schizophrenia societies.

Developed a Coalition of 11 national organizations to lobby against Bill C-54.

Regularly engaged in media relations and advocacy.

Manitoba Schizophrenia Society

Transforming the “culture” of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society to reflect a recovery philosophy. Executive management, public relations, advocacy, speaking, promotion, monitoring and administration of services – also grief and conflict counseling as well as consultation with mental health  consumers, families and service providers.

Supervision of staff of 17, manage nine outreach offices throughout the Province of Manitoba.

Responsible for media relations, fund development, program design and implementation of same, facilitation and supervision of consumer and family support groups, individual counseling of staff and clientele, as well as strategic planning and lobbying of the provincial government as an advocate.

Involved in sitting on a number of government committees plus network with Mental Health and Spiritual Care branch of Manitoba Health and all the Regional Health Authorities in promoting recovery-oriented mental health services.

Senior Pastor at Southland Community Free Church

Administration, public relations and marketing, case management, counseling, teaching and oversight of constituents.

Interpreting and communicating the strategic plan of “hope” within a complex and diverse environment.

McMaster University Medical Center

Networked with doctors, nurses and patients, and provided counseling/chaplaincy services with the Palliative Care Team as well as to AIDS and cancer patients (mental health, grief and dying, care and treatment, rehabilitation, etc.)


Appointed to the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (2007-2013). Other than regular board meetings, participated in:

  • Canada’s first Mental Health Strategy
  • Recovery Guidelines
  • Peer Support Guidelines
  • Family Caregiver Guidelines
  • Advisory to Opening Minds Anti-Stigma Initiative
  • Consumer Advisory Committee
  • Executive Committee
  • Human Resources Committee
  • Governance Committee

Awarded Doctor of Laws honourary degree by the University of Brandon in 2014 for mental health advocacy

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities National Award in 2008

Recipient of the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba 2002 Special Award for Advocacy in the Mental Health Field.

Recipient of the 2003 Heroes Award given by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

National Network for Mental Health Lifetime Award, 2008

Outstanding Leadership Award, Schizophrenia Society of Canada, 2011

Recognition and Appreciation Award, South Eastman Regional Health Authority, 2011

Presenter at numerous mental health conferences, workshops and seminars on disabilities, mental health and recovery.

Regular presenter on Family Caregivers Unite with Voice America Radio with Dr. Gordon Atherley

Was invited by Manitoba Health to be the host for the Partnership for Consumer Empowerment Program and the Mental Health Education Resource Library.

Seminars, Workshops and Conferences

Getting Along With Difficult People
Managing Your Time (Fuller)
Handling Multiple Tasks/Projects (Skillpath)
Stages of Change
Motivational Interviewing
Racism and Multiculturalism
Cultural Safety
Managing Skills for Supervisors (Skillpath)
Administering a Budget (Skillpath)
Conflict Resolution
Job Performance Appraisal
Recruiting Volunteers
First Things First (Stephen Covey)
The Role of a Board Member
Strategic Issues: Identification & Analysis
Chairing a Board
Personal Profile System Training
Partnership for Assertive Community Treatment Seminar
Carver Policy Governance Model
Foundations of Mental Health Course by Health Sciences
Boston University Psychiatric Center: Recovery Institutes
Best Practices in Mental Health Conferences
Early Intervention and Early Psychosis
Dual Diagnosis Workshops/Conference
Canadian Mental Health Association Conferences
World Psychiatric Association Conferences
Schizophrenia Society of Canada Conferences
Canadian Mental Health Conferences
National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Conventions
International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services Conferences
McMaster Forum on Suicide Prevention

Professional Certification

Certification with the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services as a Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP).

Certified ASIST Suicide Intervention Trainer with Living Works.

Trainer for Co-occurring Disorders Initiative in Manitoba, under the training of Dr. Kenneth Minkoff.

Community Involvement

Have served on the AIDS Committee of Niagara (chairperson) in Niagara Falls, Ontario; The Bereavement Network, The Prevention Network, and The Council on Suicide in Hamilton, Ontario.

Positions held:

  • Co-Chair, Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (current)
  • Manitoba Provincial Advisory Council on Mental Health, (previous Chair) reporting to the Minister of Health.
  • Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health in Manitoba, (Chair)
  • Coalition of Chronic Conditions of Manitoba (Chair)
  • Board of Directors, South Eastman Regional Health Authority in Manitoba
  • Member of the Complaints Committee of the Psychological Association of Manitoba
  • National Board Member of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada
  • Member of the Canadian Coalition for Alternative Mental Health Resources
  • Member of the National Network for Mental Health
  • Member of the Mental Health Ethics Committee of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
  • Member of the Ethics Committee of the South Eastman Regional Health Authority
  • Member of the Regional Quality Improvement Committee of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
  • Member of the Co-occurring Disorders Initiative Committee of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
  • Member of the Central District Health Advisory Council of the South Eastman Regional Health Authority.
  • Member of the Mental Health Workers Certificate Program Committee of Red River College, Winnipeg
  • Member of Hearing Panel, The Vulnerable Persons’ Living with a Mental Disability Act (Manitoba)
  • Member of the Brandon University Health Studies Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre Stakeholder Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre Revisioning Committee
  • Member of the Regional Health Authorities Medical Advisory Committee: Mental Health Working Group