One of the joys of teaching at Hardin-Simmons University is that it is truly an "education enlightened by faith." Thus, our faculty enjoys the opportunity to purposefully weave their Christian faith into the courses that they teach. This intentionality exemplifies our belief that one's faith cannot be separated from anything that we do in life, including earning a graduate degree.
For our graduate program in CCMF, this integration means continually asking ourselves and our students, "How as Christians do we counsel our clients while also incorporating the very best theories and interventions mental health professions have to offer?" We understand the process of therapy to be one of counseling others in a responsible manner that integrates faith, and that involves the knowledge gained from the field of counseling and psychology. As one might expect, the balancing and blending of these two areas is not achieved without a great deal of questioning and discussion. The answers achieved through this quest for integration are as unique and individualized as our students. The joy comes, then, not in our total agreement but in the rich discussions that arise from our striving to attain such integration.
This faith-based educational experience is embedded into our commitment to helping our students understand their role in eliminating biases, prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination while upholding high ethical standards for working with populations that are culturally diverse.
The HSU Friendship Club, a social skills development program for children in the Abilene area, is led by graduate students in the CCMF program. Since the beginning of the program in the fall of 2011, over 100 children have attended the group.
Career Counseling at Area High Schools
As part of the course Career and Vocational Development, CCMF students assist high school counselors in career counseling or sponsor a “career day” event to help high school students explore career interests.
CCMF students and faculty joined with Mercy Heart Ministries to lead a “Day with Dad” event for inmates, caregivers, and children. The event is designed to build relationships and help families come together for healing and restoration.
CCMF students and graduates facilitate a six-week support group for children and teens experiencing loss. The groups promote self-esteem, encourage self-healing and provide an outlet for unexpressed emotions. The supportive environment helps each child develop healthy coping skills through a variety of grief exercises.
As part of the course, Counseling Diverse Populations, students can choose to use and develop their counseling skills in a different setting. In April 2015, students and faculty spent a week in Vancouver working with couples, children and families. In May 2016, CCMF students and faculty went to New York City for a mission trip working with children and elderly. These mission trips provide rich multicultural experiences while gaining direct counseling practice.
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