This course will focus on the theoretical and practical application of marital and family therapies with attention to the problems presented and specific skills and treatment. Attention will be placed on the Biblical basis of marriage and family (prerequisite, Marriage and Family Life) and analyzing aspects of contemporary family and marriage relationships. Students will examine such topics as systems theory, the psychological bonds that shape families, developmental stages of the family and marital life cycle, communication, and conflict resolution from a Scriptural and systems perspective.

This course will investigate the process of addiction associated with chemical dependency and other addictions, with attention to the destructive behavior patterns and firmly held beliefs that prevent the establishment of an effective counseling relationship and productive change. This course will use an instructional method of collaboration and experiential learning to support students in improving their understanding of addictions and addicts, reducing established stigmas, and exploring a Biblical perspective of addiction as a disease with affects the whole person (intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually). Topics will address the variety of behaviors presenting as addiction today as well as a focus on prevention, assessment, intervention, family issues, and the process of recovery.

This is an introductory course to the field of counseling. This includes basic helping/counseling skills and spiritual orientation used in the relationship between a counselor and the person(s) seeking help. A multi-level focus looks at the roles and characteristics of the counselor and counselee, including one’s worldview and belief system. In addition, attention is given to understanding the ethical and personal nature of the healing relationship, as well as skills for care and available resources, which may be mobilized as growth producing and change agents.

Developmental Psych

This class will explore the concepts of crisis and trauma within the field of counseling and identify methods and concepts of cause and response that non-professionals can utilize to support and help individuals experiencing crises. The emphasis will be that of a Biblically-based non-professional ministry to help restore temporarily lost coping and calming skills and aid with information to those in need. The class will also provide certification in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, enabling students to safely intervene and deescalate challenging and potentially volatile situations.

This course will investigate the developmental stages and continuous process of human growth throughout the lifespan. Through the lens of a Christian worldview, the major theoretical perspectives relating to physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth of the individual (biopnemuapsychosocial) will be examined and explored. Students will consider the biological influences (such as genetics), the environmental aspects (such as parenting techniques or cohort effect), and the Christian theological propositions (such as “imago Dei” and “original sin/pollution”) that shape who we are as individuals. Developmental disabilities and the effects atypical development could be considered but not emphasized.

This course will address historical development and philosophies behind various psychological theories and their application to help the student build a personal theory of counseling which is theologically sound and clinically proficient to inform potential practice.

This course will engage students in the process of understanding abnormal behavior and the ways that mental health professionals study and attempt to treat it. An eclectic, multicultural approach will cover the major categories of disorders listed in the DSM-5.