Sport Psychology is an interdisciplinary program at Grace College that draws on knowledge from counseling psychology and sport management and Scripture. It involves the study of how psychological factors affect performance and how participation in sport and exercise affect psychological and physical factors. In addition to instruction and training of psychological skills for performance improvement, applied sport psychology may include work with athletes, coaches and parents regarding injury, communication and team building. This program encompasses a range of topics, including motivation to persist and achieve, psychological consideration in sport injury and rehabilitation, counseling techniques with athletes, assessing talent, self-perceptions related to achieving, expertise in sport, youth sport and performance enhancement—all from a Biblical perspective. A Sport Management minor is required with this major.
Examples of courses in this major:
This course is designed to help students both learn and then apply practical as well as theoretical information as it relates to the psychology of sport. The class will work to provide an understanding of how personality, self-concept, self-esteem, self-efficacy and other psychological characteristics relate to participation and performance in sport and physical activities. The class will also investigate the impact of stress, motivation, goal-setting, leadership and imagery on performance. The student will also learn common struggles and intervention strategies in working with athletes and recreational exercisers to enhance performance and participation.
This course develops a theoretical base for evaluating human problems within a biblical framework. Once this has been accomplished, practical techniques will be discussed to help counselors structure the counseling session and implement change.
Students will develop an appreciation of the interaction and relationship between biological, psychological and social factors that influence one’s physical health and health behaviors. This course will examine lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress, substance abuse and individual motivational factors. Additionally, this course will assess how psychological research, theories and principles apply to health promotion, health care issues and chronic illness.
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?”
Functions and interrelationships of food nutrients throughout the life cycle of humans. Includes digestion, absorption and metabolism of nutrients as well as dietary evaluation and modification for physiological needs. Other areas of study include the role of social, psychological and cultural factors in food selection.
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, 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:
Grace College was my first avenue to pursue a career based on my interest of people and my love of sport. Once I began taking courses such as Motivation and Emotion, Process and Techniques of Counseling, Group Counseling, and Sport Psychology I realized what my true calling for my career was: to be a Sport Psychologist. My journey to pursue this career was shaped and modified by not only the classes offered but the professors as well. Each course challenged my thinking of how I was going to consult with athletes and teams about their sport based on the experiences they had gone through as individual's. The professors also pushed me on how I was going to consult in a Biblical manner, which I still go back to. Understanding that life events influence an athlete is something that is needed to engage in a career as a consultant, however to be effective, it is also essential to be interested in the counseling/clinical side of the athlete. Through my time at Grace, I was also granted incredible opportunities that solidified my choice of pursuing Sport Psychology. I was able to attend the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) conference in 2013, as well as do a research study based on what motivates us as humans. Along with these experiences and others as well as the courses I had taken, I was ultimately preparing for my next step in life. Thanks to the challenging yet worthwhile Sport Psychology degree, I am now currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Sport and Performance Psychology at the University of Denver.
- Kailee Feldman, B.S., Sports Psychology