How to Find a School for Counseling, Psychology and Other Behavioral Science Degrees
Have you ever been intrigued by the way a person’s mind works? Have you ever explored the thought process behind someone’s decision? A behavioral science degree in counseling, psychology, criminal justice, or sociology might be for you. All of these programs fall under our School of Behavioral Sciences.
Did you know that the word “psyche” in Greek means soul? Now you’re getting a picture of how we do psychology at Grace. A Christian worldview begs a second look at the study of the mind and the study of the soul. The School of Behavioral Science is no exception; with Christ at the center, our behavioral science students are trained to serve lovingly and truthfully in a field that desperately needs grace.
If you’re looking into a degree in the behavioral sciences, here are eight tips to help you find a school that is the right fit!
Professors with Experience in the Field
Studying behavioral sciences should not be done alone. It’s imperative that as students strive toward excellence in this delicate field, they are led by full-time, licensed, and certified faculty who have worked in the field and who have grounded their work in their beliefs.
100% of our professors have worked in behavioral fields before teaching at Grace, providing knowledge, research, and greater opportunity for growth within a classroom setting.
A Blend of Theory and Methodology
The effective curriculum covers abstract ideas and concrete practices. That’s why the first few years at Grace will include courses that cover the theoretical concepts and research discoveries of psychologists, both historical and recent. In one of our classes, Biblical Psychology, the textbook you will read and study from is written by one of our own professors, Dr. Edgington!
Then, when a student becomes an upperclassman, they will delve into the experimental and clinical methodologies that define this discipline.
Resources for Growth
In recent years, Grace started a Journal of Integrative Behavioral Sciences. This publication includes student papers as well as collaborative professor and student research. Publications like this are critical for those who want to go to graduate school. They provide students with application essays, help them prepare for the world of research and foster learning that is supplemental to the day-to-day classwork.
Behavioral Science degrees are all about helping people. If a program is truly genuine in that pursuit, you will find ways that the students and faculty are serving beyond the campus. At Grace, each year one of our criminal justice classes write Christmas letters to individuals in juvenile detention. The class then delivers these cards and encourages the community there.
As our associate dean of the School of Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Thomas Edgington said, “What makes us unique is we have a strong theological foundation. We want to see the development of the student so that they have that strong biblical base and they’re able to do things in the field to serve people.”
Advanced Degrees to Pursue
Did you know that Grace college is one of the few colleges in the nation to offer counseling as an undergraduate degree? It’s true! And we didn’t stop there — we designed a highly effective online Masters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. So for those who want to become a CACREP accredited counselor, they can complete their training from start to finish at Grace! Read about the accolades our Master’s in Counseling has earned here.
All of our students meet one-on-one with their advisors each year. And for many, their advisor visits become regular, drop-by occurrences. Read Ellie Price’s story — where one meeting with her advisor, Dr. Roberts, changed her life and put her on the path of becoming a Child Life Specialist.
An Ecosystem of Job Opportunities
Does the college town have an ecosystem of organizations in which its students can find jobs and internships? Are there local nonprofit organizations, counseling organizations, and churches that eagerly take students under their wings and show them the ropes of the field?
Our area is home to the Bowen Center, Indiana’s largest Community Mental Health Center, and many other behavioral/mental health ministries like Lifeline Youth and Family Services, and White’s Residential and Family Services. Our senior seminar capstone course invites representatives from these organizations to speak in class, and the students also go on field trips to these ministries to explore possibilities after graduation.
Graduates Living Lives of Purpose
Last, but certainly not least, a program’s greatest litmus test is the success of its graduates. Are the alumni competent, confident and skilled individuals who are living lives of purpose? This question is everything.
If we listed all of our behavioral science graduates who are living impactful lives, the list would be endless! So here are two recent stories of graduates that blew us away!
Captain Joel Beam was a criminal justice major at Grace. Now he is a police officer in the Warsaw Police Department, and he believes he is called to do the biblical work of law enforcement. Every day, Joel prays for renewed strength on the job and seeks to make a positive difference in our community.
Drew Miller got two of his three counseling degrees at Grace College. After he completed his doctorate, he went on to start his own counseling practice where he takes pride in offering quality counseling to clients and making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals.
So there you have it! No two schools are alike, but when it comes to finding a college with an unwavering commitment to behavioral science through the lens of Scripture, Grace is unparalleled. For more information click here!