by Public Relations
Cedarville University students and faculty participated in the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) 2011 World Conference at Nashville’s Opryland Hotel on September 28 - October 1, 2011. While volunteering for special events and helping to set up for the conference, the students walked away with valuable insight into what a career in psychology looks like for a Christian.
Tim Clinton, president of AACC, opened the conference by encouraging counselors and caregivers to integrate their faith in their profession.
“When people seek mental health services, they want God in the equation,” Clinton said. “It’s time for us to stop being muzzled in our faith, to stop apologizing for our faith and to stop being intimidated about our faith, especially in mental healthcare."
The AACC is committed to building excellence and professionalism in Christian counseling and has close to 50,000 members.
Twenty Cedarville University students and four psychology professors attended the event, each walking away challenged and inspired to integrate their faith in psychology.
“This world makes us believe that faith and works are separate,” said Taylor Wrede a junior psychology major with a focus in counseling. “But seeing all of the Christian counselors and coaches immersed in so many various disciplines of psychology was really encouraging. With God, we can bring truth to this field of science.”
Rachel Greenwood, a junior psychology student at Cedarville, walked away from the event with the realization that God can and does use counselors in powerful ways.
“Realizing that there is as whole community of Christians that are redeeming the field of psychology helps reinforce that what you are learning in class is worthwhile,” Greenwood said. “I feel better prepared for a career in psychology now because I see an even wider variety of ways that God can use me in this area.”
Opening the doors for students to attend these types of conferences is a hallmark of the psychology department. Professor of psychology Charles Dolph, Ph.D., has taken students to this biennial convention since AACC’s inception 25 years ago.
“As faculty we are intentionally exposing students to this wide range of leaders and topics in their areas of study,” Dolph said. “The students were exposed to great lectures through the AACC conference and given books and other materials to support their education.”
Students had the opportunity to meet and interact with nearly 7,000 Christian psychologists, counselors, pastors, coaches and leaders as they volunteered at the conference. They were also exposed to a wide range of renowned thought-leaders such as Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Gary Smalley, Wess Stafford and Mike Huckabee.
“The benefit of going outside our campus to listen and learn from world leaders in the field is immense,” said Ruth Lowrie, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology. “Our students will be better prepared to enter graduate school and their profession, having been exposed to more than just classroom instruction here at Cedarville.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,300 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.