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Cedarville University, my alma mater, converted me from a chemistry major into a psychology major and diverted me from seminary into the inaugural class of the Psychological Studies Institute (PSI) at Georgia State University in Atlanta where I earned my Ph.D. The Psychological Studies Institute provided prominent Christian psychologists and theologians to teach and supervise the graduate students at Georgia State University.

The opportunity to interact, debate, and even live with some of the most famous psychologists of that day awakened in me the desire to teach. Georgia State and PSI also afforded me the opportunity to teach a variety of graduate courses, supervise graduate practica, and counsel at both secular- and church-based counseling centers. In 1977, I went to work in Dr. Larry Crabb's private practice where I counseled and taught his curriculum for the Institute in Biblical Counseling.