Whether you are looking to go on to graduate work or immediately to the workplace, a bachelor's degree in psychology will help you analyze the intricacies of the human personality and will provide information on how to improve your relationships—all from a biblical vantage-point.
The Psychology major focuses on looking at the human personality and relationship with others through a biblical set of “glasses.” We believe there is an intrinsic psychology within our theology, since God is the author of thinking and behavior. There are approximately 150 different specialty areas related to the field of psychology. Each student’s coursework is custom built from the wide range of behavioral science undergraduate electives to best prepare him/her for his/her specific area of interest.
The purpose of the Psychology major is to familiarize you with the content and concepts of psychology from both the Bible and the secular world and to prepare you for graduate school, work in the field or work outside of the field. You will take courses in various areas of psychology, including child/adolescent psychology, abnormal psychology, social psychology and clinical psychology. We emphasize the practical side of psychology along with the content needed as a foundation. One of the greatest strengths of this major is the faculty, who will not only teach you, but will journey with you over the next few years. Our faculty have years of practical experience in the field, and continue to work in the field as they teach. Many are engaged in research and all have a commitment to the Word of God as a foundation of their work. They are also committed to see their students succeed and grow, even after graduation.
Examples of courses in this major:
An introduction to psychology as the study of human behavior. Basic principles of psychology will be explored, including the process of learning, memory, perception, sensation, motivation and emotion. Personal and social aspects of human development will be emphasized.
A study of mental and emotional disorders, their symptomatology, classification and methods of treatment. Special attention is given to a Christian approach to mental health.
This course will examine the relationship between the fields of psychology and theology. A theory of integration will be presented, along with discussions concerning specific psychological topics (i.e. self-esteem, anxiety, etc.) from a biblical vantage point.
An introduction to the major theories of personality and how it develops, including psychoanalysis, humanistic, existential and behavioristic approaches.
This course is a study of the process of motivation and emotion and how they impact behavior and choices that people make every day. This course will study the research on the psychological and physiological aspects of motivation and emotion and the impact that those aspects have on behavior. The course will provide the student with a framework to view motivation and emotion that can help process difficult questions about human behavior such as “why are some people more emotional than others?”, and “is it possible to create environments that increase the motivation of another human?”
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.A. in Psychology, Grace College; M.A. in Biblical Counseling, Grace College; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Ball State University
Thomas Edgington joined the Grace College faculty in 1992. He is a licensed psychologist and mental health counselor, who has practiced in community mental health centers, church counseling centers and private practice. He is involved in ongoing research and has interests in marriage counseling and counseling depression and anxiety.
B.S. in Psychology, Grace College; M.A. in Counseling, Colorado Christian; Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology, Adler School of Psychology.
Joe Graham began teaching in the Behavioral Science Department in 2011. He brings a wealth of experience as a counselor, including work in group homes, community mental health centers and a church counseling center. As a licensed psychologist, Graham specializes in adolescents and marital therapy and has eight years of teaching experience.
B.S. in Criminal Justice and Psychology, Grace College; M.A. in Counseling, Grace College; Psy.D., Adler School of Professional Psychology
Kevin Roberts' special interests include integrated health care practices and behavioral medicine and addiction treatment. In addition, he is working with the Kosciusko County Health Department on a two–year research grant from the K21 Foundation to study behavioral health intervention in the treatment of diabetes. The basic hypothesis driving the research purports that it is possible to improve the long-term health outcomes of individuals diagnosed with Type II Diabetes by adding a psychological component to their treatment. His research is driving toward improved patient outcomes and health care efficiency through integrated care practices.
B.A. in Psychology, Grace College; M.A. in Counseling and Personnel, Western Michigan University
Cindy Sisson joined Grace in 2002 and is currently the V.P. of Enrollment Management. She also teaches in the college's School of Behavioral Science and School of Adult and Community Education. She and her husband have three children, and they attend Warsaw Community Church.
B.A. in Psychology, University of Michigan; M.S. in Clinical Psychology, Baylor University; Psy.D. Baylor University
Lisa Wooley joins the Grace faculty as assistant professor of behavioral science. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Baylor University and is a licensed psychologist in Indiana. She has worked for the Bowen Center for the past 15 years and has training in parent interactional training, with specialization in play therapy, child and adolescent therapy, trauma, sexual abuse, anxiety, attachment disorders and ADHD. Her theoretical orientation is on object relations and her primary research interests include play therapy, attachment issues and trauma.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Providing wellness coaching, education, support and referrals to various health and wellness programs. Use techniques such as motivational interviewing, behavior change and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help people achieve optimal health and well-being.
Manage client inquiries by gathering information and responding to questions. Work to research and resolve problems in a timely manner. Assist members in understanding and maximizing the benefits and use of their program.
Working under the direction of a social worker or psychologist, human services assistants help clients obtain benefits or services, monitor case records of clients, and report progress of the clients to the supervisor.
Addictions counselors help patients who have problems with addiction. In its classical definition, addictions counselors work with people who have problems with alcohol or drugs. Many now accept an expanded definition of addiction, and addictions counselors often treat people with gambling problems and eating disorders as well as alcohol, and legal and illegal drugs. Addictions counselors assist patients through one-on-one, group and family therapy and, when needed, make referrals to psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors.
Evaluate, counsel and advise individuals and groups with special behavioral needs. Psychologists are also trained to conduct research and teach.
Provide individual, marital and family counseling services to adults and children in order to assist clients in identifying and working through personal and interactive problems.
Provide support to ensure that both the psychiatric and physical care needs of patients are met. Promote and maintain a healthy, safe and therapeutic treatment setting that allows the recovery process to occur within the individual. This may involve evaluating or intervening and providing therapeutic one-on-one interaction with patients.
School psychology is an excellent field for those who want to work with youth and feel a drive to make a positive difference in lives. It is a great field for those who want to work in education, but do not necessarily want to teach a classroom of students. School psychologists are qualified to provide a broad range of skills to address student needs in a variety of areas. The school psychologist will work with students, parents and teachers to promote academic, emotional and behavioral success. Their skills enable them to offer comprehensive psychological evaluations as well as consult with school personnel in relation to students’ learning, behavior and environments. They provide individual, group and organizational interventions, including counseling.
What others are saying:
As I look back on my career path and the choices that I made, I know that I was strongly influenced by the Grace College Psychology Department. I was actually a Speech/Communications major going into my junior year, when I took a few classes in the psych department. The first thing that struck me was the vulnerability of the professors that were teaching these classes. I was amazed at how open Dr. Edgington was about his own life and process as he taught. The passion of the professors for their subjects really drew me in to want to learn and know more. I also felt an amazing desire on the part of those professors to invite me to know God better. I knew that this was not just about psychology, but it was about my development as a person. So, even though I was still in a different major, I loved the psychology classes and just kept putting them on my schedule every semester. Eventually I realized that the life-changing information that was being taught was going to be part of what I would eventually do in some way. It was then that I knew that I had to add psychology as a second major. I can say in all honesty that this was directly due to the professors that I came into contact with. The quality of the information that was being taught was excellent as well. My graduate school experience was much better because of the education that I received at Grace College. I would encourage anyone considering studying psychology in college to utilize the Grace Psychology major to get excellent teaching from godly professors. It changed the course of my life.
- Joe Graham, B.S., Psychology and Communication, 1988