Meet Karen Mulder

We all have people in our lives who are suffering,

but we don’t know what to say or do to help them.

From my heart to yours,

Hi there, and thanks for visiting the online home of Wisdom of the Wounded.

My passion for this ministry is to answer Christ’s call to love our neighbors, and I believe that one of the most profound ways to show love is to care for those who are suffering.

If you’re visiting this site, it means that you too have an interest in learning to care well for those in need, and I’m so pleased to link arms with you in that effort.

Below you’ll learn a little more about my background in ministry, and the ways in which I and my team are actively seeking to help others “care well” too.

It truly is a blessing to share stories and offer practical guidance for those seeking to be a compassionate friend. If our message resonates with your heart, I’d invite you to read on to learn about how you could become a contributor to our site, or how I might be able to join your church or community group for a discussion. I love leading conversations and helping whole communities become equipped to reach out and care for their neighbors in meaningful ways.

God bless,

About Karen and Her Ministry

We all know someone facing difficulty—a divorce, a death, a child in trouble. We want to help our suffering friend, but may hesitate to take action because we don’t know what to say or do.

To address this challenge, Karen founded Wisdom of the Wounded to help people find the inspiration, knowledge and skills needed to “Care Well.” The ministry’s roots stem from classes Karen led at her church. As she facilitated these classes, Karen heard stories of people’s suffering. And she realized that the best advice for caring for others comes from those who have actually been in a similar crisis. So Karen started collecting stories of the “wounded” — people who have traveled the road of loss or life crisis. From these stories, Karen’s caregiving ministry emerged and now encompasses a full range of resources for those seeking guidance on how to care for others.

Karen graduated in 1991 from Western Theological Seminary with a Master’s degree in Religious Education. She went on to publish The Compassionate Congregation with Ginger Jurries in 2002. In 2011 Karen began her Wisdom of the Wounded radio show which was broadcast to radio stations throughout the United States. Now, her message continues to air via one-minute inspirational radio spots for over 95 radio stations. Through it all, she’s written numerous articles, facilitated workshops, spoken at conferences and led educational programs for both religious and secular organizations, all with the desire to help people care for one another.

Karen makes her home in Holland, Michigan along with her husband Larry. Her extended family includes two sons, two daughters-in-law, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Karen enjoys baking cookies with her grandkids, reading, going for hikes with Larry and planning her next speaking event where she can connect with fellow caregivers

Karen’s passion is helping people of all ages connect with the directive to love their neighbor. She especially enjoys talking with small to medium-sized groups in an environment that is relaxed, supportive and allows for laughter, learning, sharing and fellowship.

Speaking Topics

My presentations are deliverable as stand-alone educational programs or as part of an adult education curriculum. See the end of each presentation description for time estimates.


What not to say when you really want to help somebody.

Oh no! I just made this situation worse!” Have you ever tried to help someone who is going through a rough time, and you said the wrong thing and ended up feeling like no help at all? It’s a feeling we can all relate to: when someone is suffering, sometimes it’s hard to know what to say or do. We offer sympathy, platitudes, or advice. In our attempt to quickly “make” someone feel better, we verbally offer words that have the opposite effect.

Karen Mulder knows that feeling. “We’ve all said something meant to help, but it didn’t really hit the mark,” she says. Karen will introduce you to the five “Verbal Villains” that distort our good intentions to care for others. With humor and wisdom, Karen will share stories from her personal experience that highlight what to say (and what not to say!) to truly help a person who’s suffering.

SESSION LENGTH: 45 minutes – 1 hour


Practical Advice for Caring for Others

Do you ever wonder what to say to a friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer? Or, what to do for a neighbor who is going through a divorce? Maybe you struggle with what to say in a funeral line? Or, how to help a teenager who is struggling? Even though Jesus tells us to love our neighbor who is suffering (Mark 12:31), we often avoid these uncomfortable situations because we do not know what to say or do. In this session Karen will share four practical “Caregiving Basics” which can be used in all caregiving situations.

SESSION LENGTH: 60 – 90 minutes, depending on amount of interactive activities chosen


A Holiday Message

If you’re like most people, the holidays add to your already overflowing to-do list: Christmas cards, holiday parties, gift shopping, entertaining. In the midst of the festivities, it can be difficult to create space for the reason for the season—celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

If you long for something joyous and meaningful to happen this Christmas, join us for a special night out with Karen Mulder, founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry, who will help you refocus your Christmas on the true gift, God’s love. With her warm and inviting style, Karen will show you how to have more peace, joy and “good will to all” this season, as she shares stories, scripture and tips for how to refresh, renew and refocus this Christmas. You will leave with a special gift that will inspire and equip you to care well for someone in your life this Christmas season.

SESSION LENGTH: 60 minutes


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Ask Karen

Is there a specific caregiving situation that you wish you had some wisdom for or a story of kind care you would like to share?

Karen Mulder finds deep joy in responding to caregiving questions with the wisdom she has learned from those who have navigated hurt well. As a strong woman of faith with training in pastoral care, and over a decade of caregiving experience through Wisdom of the Wounded, Karen has listened to countless stories of harm, abuse, loss or disappointment and offered heartfelt counsel to those seeking to love the wounded well.