Imagery of Regent people and campus

University Hosts Society for Christian Psychology

By Rachel Judy | October 24, 2012

The Society for Christian Psychology held an academic conference on the theme Towards a Christian Positive Psychology at Regent University October 18-20. Hosted by the School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC), the conference attracted 132 accomplished Christian scholars from fields of psychology, philosophy, theology and psychiatry.

The goal of this event (and the society as a whole) was to start with an "explicitly Christian foundation," in psychology, rather than trying to conform faith to secular psychological efforts, explained Dr. Eric Jones, an associate professor in both SPC and the College of Arts & Sciences. Jones is a member of the society's executive board.

"Although the society is interested in all aspects of the person, this conference was focused primarily on the concepts related to human flourishing," Jones said. "Nationally noted academics delivered keynote addresses along with leading academics from psychology, theology, and philosophy familiar with the relevant Christian resources to help us develop a distinctly Christian positive psychology."

By bringing together scholars in all of these different areas, Jones and the Society for Christian Psychology hope to help Christian psychologists and academics go deeper as the explore their field.

"For Christians in psychology, openness to research on topics like virtues and transcendence would have been unimaginable 25 years ago," said Jones. "Christians welcome this shift toward the values of their own intellectual traditions."

In addition to Jones' involvement, School of Psychology & Counseling faculty, Dr. Bill Hathaway, dean, and Dr. Carissa Dwiwardani, assistant professor, served as respondents to presenters at the conference.

The conference featured presentations from a number of accomplished scholars, including Dr. David Myers, professor of psychology at Hope College and author of a number of books, including The Pursuit of Happiness; Dr. Ellen Charry, the Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary; Dr. Robert Roberts, Distinguished Professor of Ethics at Baylor University; Eric Johnson, director of the Society for Christian Psychology; and Julie Exline, associate professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University.

The goal of the Society for Christian Psychology is to promote the development of a distinctly Christian psychology, including theory, research and practice, based on a Christian understanding of human nature. The society was started in 2002.

Learn more about the School of Psychology & Counseling.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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