School of Psychology & Counseling

Faculty Bios

Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D.

Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D.
Rosemarie Scotti Hughes Professor of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practices (2008)
Professor (2006)
Associate Professor (2002)
Assistant Professor (1998)

Areas of Interest
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Human Sexuality
  • Integration of Psychology and Theology
  • Sexual Identity
  • Ethics

I received my B.A. in Philosophy and Art from Calvin College, along with a minor in Psychology. I knew at that time that I wanted to complete graduate studies in psychology, so I minored in that area, but I also wanted to mark my interest in art by completing a degree in that field. My primary medium was lithography, followed by watercolor painting, and pen and ink drawing. I also completed a philosophy degree because I wanted to learn how to think rigorously about topics from a Christian perspective.

Following graduation, I worked for a year at a youth home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and my wife and I enjoyed our first year of marriage together. We then moved to Wheaton, Illinois, where I completed my Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, M.A. in Clinical Psychology and M.A. in Theological Studies. I had the opportunity to be mentored by Stanton Jones, who was at that time the program director and is now the provost at Wheaton. His scholarship included work on integration of psychology and theology and the topic of homosexuality.

When I graduated from Wheaton in 1998 I moved to Virginia Beach and began working in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at Regent. I continued writing about integration and also about homosexuality. Since that time I launched the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity (ISSI). You can learn more about ISSI at and follow our work at There are now approximately 12-14 students in the School of Psychology and Counseling who actively participate in ISSI. We work together in three major areas: research, training and clinical services. The research we conduct is on sexual identity and gender identity, how it develops and synthesizes over time, and the attributions people make in response to their same-sex sexuality or experiences of gender dysphoria. Trainings are conducted monthly for students in ISSI. This year we are opening The Sexual and Gender Identity Health Clinic in cooperation with the Psychological Services Center and my local practice. Clinical services include individual, couple, family and group therapy and consultations for those who are navigating these issues.

I currently teach the following doctoral courses: Applied/Clinical Integration, Ethics, Integration Capstone, and Sexuality/Sex Therapy. I have also taught courses in Psychopathology, Family Therapy, Geropsychology and Christian Healing. My philosophy of teaching involves seeing whatever subject matter we study "through the eyes of faith." I tend to be student-oriented, focusing on engaging students through the subject matter and its application to their professional identity and ways in which God may be at work in their lives. I also try to call students to be good stewards of the many resources they have been given, to teach them to be advocates for those who are marginalized, and to see what they do in the context of God's redemptive plan.

I have published three integration textbooks on family therapy, psychopathology, and sexuality/sex therapy. I have also written several books on sexual identity. My most recent book is Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture.

In addition to these books, I regularly publish in various journals, such as Psychotherapy and Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, as well as integration journals, such as Journal of Psychology and Christianity and Journal of Psychology and Theology. I encourage students in ISSI to present at local, regional and national/international conferences, and have recently co-presented with students at the APA annual conferences, as well as conferences hosted by the Christian Association for Psychological Studies and the American Association of Christian Counselors.

In terms of professional service, I serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Psychology and Theology and have served as an ad hoc reviewer with Journal of Homosexuality. I also provide frequent consultations to churches and other institutions. These have included several universities affiliated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) as well as the National Institute of Corrections. I am also the chair of the task force on LGBT issues for Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the APA.

I have been honored to be named the Rosemarie Scotti Hughes Endowed Chair and was previously awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence (Professor of the Year) for research, service and teaching at Regent University.

Regent University