Mark A. Saunders, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorCounseling Departmentcontact me
Mark A. Saunders, Ph.D.
Dr. Mark A. Saunders Sr. holds his Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision and B.A. in Psychology from Liberty University and M.A. in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling and Certificate of Graduate Studies in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University.
Saunders earned his master’s from the CACREP accredited program at Regent while living in South America. This afforded him the knowledge and skills to deliver crisis intervention and family trauma care to the individuals and families he worked with on a daily basis. Recognizing the need for standardized counselor education within the international communities he served, Mark knew a doctorate in counselor education was the next needed step in training the next generation of counselors.
Saunders has worked with numerous organizations that work both socially and ministerially in building up the family and family system. He is passionate about helping others in their goals for their family. He is most proud of his wife, Linda, and their family—three adult children who they raised in South America along with two adopted children (now adults with families). They lived and worked in South America for 15 years with underserved families and street children and persons who live in perpetual crisis. During this time, Saunders worked with couples both domestically and internationally.
The insights gained from cross-cultural work underscores how Saunders works with couples, viewing each couple within their unique set of relationship parameters and mode of functioning. These insights also aid in the customization of care for each couple—many of whom have cross-cultural marriages and inter-racial families.
Family systems and working within the family system framework is how Saunders views counseling and working as a counselor educator. It’s his desire to combine his passion for travel, international social work, and counselor education into teaching and training family counselors internationally. He envisions this by working with NGOs internationally in training their workers, as well as promoting and recruiting international students to travel to the U.S. for training in counseling.
As a counseling educator Saunders enjoys research; and his contributions include publication in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy (2020), presentations on open sexual communication between married couples (2021), multicultural competency (2020), and online counselor education (2020). One of his future goals as an educator is to work with international nongovernmental organizations to train workers and international students in family counseling.
Mark is a member of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the American Counselors Association, Students Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, the American Association of Christian Counselors, and is group training and travel coordinator for Ambassadors for Christ Ministries. He lives in Concord, Virginia, with his wife, Dr. Linda P. Saunders.
Saunders, Mark A. Sr, “The Serial Mediation of the Relationship between Sexual Shame and Marital Relationship Satisfaction by Sexual Communication in a Parallel Relationship of Sexual Satisfaction and Marital Relational Intimacy” (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2916. https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/doctoral/2916
Christopher G. Floyd, Samuel Landa, Mark A. Saunders Sr & Fred Volk (2020): The moderating influence of moral disapproval of pornography on couples’ sexual and relationship satisfaction, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2020.1783409
Saunders Sr., M., (2021, February) Let's Talk Sex: Open Sexual Communication Between Married Couples. Presented at VACES Graduate Student Conference, Online Hosted by Longwood University.
Saunders Sr, M. (2020, November) Let’s Talk Unity: Racial reconciliation and Mental Health. Presented at Community Faith Partners Monthly Forum, Ithaca, New York.
Saunders Sr., M., (2020, February) Multicultural competency: Is it enough? Presented at VACES Graduate Student Conference, Norfolk, Virginia.
Waggoner. B., Saunders Sr., M., (2020, February) Face to Face: Increasing relational Aspects of online counselor education. Presented at VACES Graduate Student Conference, Norfolk, Virginia.