Our goal at Regent University's School of Psychology & Counseling is not merely the integration of spirituality with our professional disciplines but rather an integration of the Christian faith with those disciplines. Our professors have noted that integration is “a multi-faceted task and a vigorous, exciting journey” for those willing to embrace it. So what makes our program Christian? We recognize the inherent value of the human person and that every man, woman and child is a reflection of our Creator. Like us, the clients we work with or the subjects we study are fallen people in a fallen world. It is our desire for all to be in harmony with God. However, students are taught to be present with their clients in their difficulties and to provide resources to assist them with the concerns that cause them distress.
For some students the concept of being permitted, let alone encouraged and required, to think about the ways in which Christianity and psychology and counseling can coexist is a new opportunity. For other students who have come from a faith-based academic background, studying at Regent will deepen the practical applications of integrating faith with clinical practice.
Ultimately, our objective is to train competent practitioners who can think critically about mental health and theology and appropriately apply those concepts to each therapeutic session. Integration is about recognizing the legitimacy of both theology and the fields of psychology and counseling and allowing dialogue without pitting one against the other. If all truth is God’s truth, we have nothing to fear no matter the source. Good science and good theology can only have a positive impact on one another. The training our students receive teaches them to find the role that is both appropriate and ethical as a counselor or therapist.
Integration happens across the entire curriculum rather than in separate theology courses. Students in our programs engage with critical thinking components as well as practical competency areas in every course. This shared vision of integration also drives much of the ongoing research projects and institutes which explore a variety of psychological concepts.
The integration of psychology and counseling with the Christian faith is important work. It is an ongoing project that we take very seriously. At the same time, the faculty, staff and students in the School of Psychology & Counseling cannot help but to feel thankful to share in this exciting journey that is Christian integration.