Karen Hummel, Ph.D., Chair

The Department of Psychology seeks to enhance students’ understanding of human nature. Proceeding from a Christian understanding of humans created in the image of God, the psychology major explores multiple perspectives of human nature, including cognitive, behavioral, biological, social-cultural, and spiritual. All students learn the skills necessary to conduct research and to evaluate carefully others’ research, with the goal of increasing their understanding of human nature. Students interested in counseling are introduced to basic theories and methods relevant to providing counseling services. The psychology major prepares students either to secure employment immediately following graduation or to continue on to pursue advanced study in psychology or counseling at the graduate level.

Educational Targets and Goals:

Intellectual Engagement.

Students will learn to think critically and evaluate evidence rationally, both through the research component of the major (Introduction to Statistical Methods, Experimental Psychology, and Psychological Testing) and in each of the psychological perspectives examined (cognitive, behavioral, biological, sociocultural, and spiritual).

Spiritual Formation.

Students will grapple with issues of integration of psychology and the Christian faith in a required core course (Psychology and Christianity) and as appropriate in all courses. As Christian scholars, the psychology faculty intentionally address issues of integration of psychology and the Christian faith.

Professional Excellence.

Through required core courses, students will develop an understanding of cognitive, behavioral, biological, sociocultural, and spiritual perspectives of human nature. Students will develop the ability to communicate professionally the results of their learning and research clearly and effectively both through the research component of the major and each of the psychological perspectives that is studied. Students will apply what they have learned through Field Practicum experience, Psychology Teaching Internship, or Psychological Research.

Sociocultural Responsiveness.

Students will learn to appreciate cultural diversity through the required sociocultural component of the psychology major and, as appropriate, in all courses. Additionally, students will learn to appreciate differences of race, ethnicity, gender, and age within the biblical vision of inclusiveness and the equal value of all people.

Responsible Stewardship.

Through both required and elective courses, students will develop an appreciation for the value of the family and other meaningful relationships, and students will learn the importance of developing a lifestyle of personal health and well-being.