Countless media ministries specialize in providing audience with information, evidence, and apologetics that challenge the intellect. Hope for the Heart, founded in 1986 by June Hunt, aims to compassionately apply the truth through encouragement and hope for the everyday.
“June understood that people could have a lot of truth in their head, but if they didn’t have hope in their heart – the truth wouldn’t be embraced and lived out,” said Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Kristina Spears. “For June, hope was the key that helped people overcome whatever issues they were facing, so she founded the ministry in 1986 with the name Hope for the Heart.”
The seeds of Hope for the Heart were planted when Hunt began leading Bible studies in her own home. She was moved by the profound struggles and questions people brought with them. Issues such as abuse, anger, anxiety, and depression were not uncommon. Hunt felt compelled to identify answers in the Scriptures and to “fill the holes” in Christian literature and radio by addressing these issues that were not regularly discussed at the time.
“People were not talking about real life issues like domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse, suicide, eating disorders, addiction, and more,” said Spears. “Seeing these gaps led June to create resources (the Keys for Living Library) on these topics and to talk about them candidly and compassionately on her radio programs.”
Hunt began writing her own library of materials, beginning with short outlines that harmonized relevant Scripture passages with practical guidance on an array of topics. These outlines became the bedrock of her classes, titled “Counseling Through Your Bible,” where she delved into 100 different subjects. This educational effort became the basis of the ministry’s foundational resource: the “Keys for Living Library” and its companion radio programs.
Hunt’s mission was clear: “to be biblical and to be practical.”
“We really believe the Bible has the answers to all of life’s struggles and questions,” said Spears. “June’s heart has always been to show how God’s Word applies to the exact issue people are facing, so they are equipped to overcome the issues and to help others as well. That’s why our resources, radio programs, and training have always sought to be very practical, easy-to-understand, and accessible.”
If you’re under great stress, let the pressure press you closer to Christ. pic.twitter.com/bscglK92No
— June Hunt (@JuneHuntHope) November 8, 2023
The Texas-based ministry grew into a worldwide biblical counseling, coaching, and caregiving ministry, offering resources in 36 languages to more than 60 countries on 6 continents, ultimately “impacting millions with the hope of Christ.” The organization created “Lifeline to Hope,” a suite of online digital resources, to aid and train caregivers. Hope for the Heart recently launched the International Christian Coaching Institute, a membership network where Christian leaders can receive training and credentials online from world-class instructors such as Hunt, Steve Arterburn, Dr. Eric Scalise, Dr. John Trent, and more. In addition, Hope for the Heart hosts an annual Hope Together Conference featuring a lineup of inspirational speakers, training workshops, and more, focused on connecting and equipping coaches, counselors, and other caregivers.
Over the years, Hope for the Heart has remained faithful to its mission while updating its media outreach and formats. The ministry has developed more than 400 hours of online video training courses, optimized its resources for newer platforms, and expanded its presence online.
“Today young people are open to forthright, clear, but compassion-filled answers to their questions. Hope for the Heart has never taken a judgmental tone, but a compassionate tone,” said Spears. “We believe our long tradition of honest, unblinking, but caring approach combined with leveraging today’s latest digital strategies will help us reach the next generation.”
According to Spears, Hunt’s effectiveness as a Christian communicator is underpinned by her commitment to listening, simplicity, vulnerability, relevance, and, above all, compassion. She listens attentively to individuals, capturing their words to offer empathetic and caring responses. Her communication is marked by clarity and practicality, making complex issues understandable.
At Hope for the Heart, a timeless mission conceived decades ago is helping to meet an increasingly urgent need in the present.
“We are moving toward being ‘the place’ to come for biblical answers and resources on today’s most pressing spiritual, emotional, and mental health issues,” said Spears. “We often say, ‘if Covid was the earthquake that rocked the world, then today’s mental health crisis is the tsunami that followed.’”
As the ministry continues to grow, Hunt’s words serve as a guiding light: “There are no hopeless situations—only people who have grown hopeless. There really are biblical solutions for all of life’s struggles.”
“The world needs hope like never before, and we are aggressively moving to meet that unprecedented challenge,” said Spears.
Hope for the Heart has been an NRB member since 1986. June Hunt has received numerous NRB awards, including the 1988 Ministry of the Year Award, the 1989 Radio Program of the Year, the 2010 Strategic Partnership Award, the 2012 Radio Impact Award, the 2018 Strategic Partnership Award, and the 2022 Radio Impact Award. In 2021, Hunt was inducted into the NRB Hall of Fame––NRB’s most prestigious award, presented to an individual NRB member for invaluable contribution to the field of Christian communications, exhibition of the highest standards and evidence of faithfulness in Christ. Hunt was a previous NRB Board member and currently serves on the NRB Board of Governors. To learn more, visit www.hopefortheheart.org.