Degrees Above the Rest
The coffee house buzzed with the post-work crowd. The whoosh of the espresso machine echoed along with the laughter of friends, enjoying the freedom a Thursday evening provides.
Along the wall sat Hannah Chupp as she contemplated one pointed question, "Why did I attend graduate school?"
Drink in hand, she responded, "It seemed logical."
Two weeks prior, Chupp graduated from Huntington University's graduate program with a master's degree in counseling. Today, she is working as a clinical therapist with SCAN (Stop Child Abuse & Neglect) in Fort Wayne, Ind. a path she has since discovered was more than just about logic.
"As a prospective student, I got to meet with Dr. (Jerry) Davis which wouldn't have happened in a bigger program," Chupp said. "He's pretty influential in the lives of the first-year students, particularly. It shapes how you approach counseling."
Chupp comes from a strong family background goofy even, but that just gives her that fun-loving personality. It was that solid family foundation that drew her to counseling and the alliance of those ideals that brought her to HU.
"I got to meet with Dr. Davis and see his vision for the program," she said, noting the LifeSpring Counseling Center which offers free counseling to the community. "It really aligned with what I wanted and what I wanted to do … HU gives us experience in the community and helps us to affect the community in a really positive way."
Chupp hopes that SCAN will be a great first step in her career as she pursues licensure, possibly more schooling and her dream job: working as a university counselor.
Chupp is one of the many Huntington alumni who have been impacted by the graduate programs offered at the university.
For years, students have been trained not only in counseling but in youth ministry leadership and education. Over the next two years, Huntington's graduate programs will expand to include occupational therapy, global initiatives, global youth ministry and pastoral leadership. In addition, the university is partnering with best-selling author, leadership consultant and world-renowned psychologist Dr. John Townsend to form the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling.
"We really want to make an impact on our world for Christ," said Dr. Ann McPherren, vice president for strategy and graduate/adult programs. "That's what really defines what we do at Huntington University. It is the reason that we have the programs that we have."
The new degree programs will double the graduate offerings of the university and expand the impact that students can have through Christ.
"Counseling, ministry, education, health care and leadership are arenas where Christ-centered professionals have significant impact," Dr. McPherren said. "Educating students at advanced levels gives HU additional means of impacting the world for Christ."
University creates Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling
Huntington University is embarking on a new enterprise in the world of counseling and leadership.
World-renowned psychologist and leadership consultant Dr. John Townsend has partnered with the university to form the first-ever Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling.
"Securing the talent and expertise of Dr. Townsend through the establishment of the Townsend Institute positions Huntington University as a premier resource for the intersection of faith and leadership in Christian higher education," President Sherilyn Emberton said. "We are blessed beyond measure to be able to engage with diverging cultures and faith traditions on issues of transformation and restoration through Jesus Christ with the creation of the programs and curriculum offered regionally, as well as globally, through the new Townsend Institute."
Dr. Townsend visited the campus earlier in the year and connected with the university's mission and the leadership of Huntington's president.
"I wanted to partner with a university that, as an organization, is committed to academic excellence, is biblically-based, has a relational culture, is very strategic and can make nimble and agile administrative decisions. Huntington has those qualities and more," Dr. Townsend said. "Second, being a relational person, I simply really connected with Sherilyn Emberton. Her personal warmth, her deep faith in Christ and her 'let's go get it done' mentality just won me over."
The Townsend Institute will provide master's degree programs in counseling and organizational leadership. Students will be taught personally by Dr. Townsend through his character-based model discussed in his many books, writings and teachings. A primary focus of Dr. Townsend's model is helping students learn to facilitate transformational relationships, both in counseling and organizations, which help people heal, grow and achieve their potential in life and career.
"My vision is that The Institute will produce thousands and thousands of best-in-class business leaders, ministry leaders and counselors doing good in the world, trained by a growth model which is character-based, research-supported, highly practical and thoroughly Christian," Dr. Townsend said. "I want to be personally involved with the students, both on campus and online, in helping them make sense of the material, develop high-level skills, be inspired and help them solve their challenges."
The Townsend Institute will launch in fall 2015 and will be offered onsite at the Huntington and Fort Wayne campuses as well as online. The master's degree program in organizational leadership is currently under development. The Institute also will look to expand to include certificate programs as well as opportunities to take stand-alone courses in leadership training and personal enrichment.
For more than two decades, Dr. Townsend has helped leaders, organizations and individuals grow, heal, make changes and exceed their goals. His expertise in psychology and leadership helps him provide solutions for people in many venues.
He has written or co-written 27 books, totaling six million copies in sales, including the bestseller "Boundaries," which sold two million copies. His award-winning books have earned three Gold Medallions and the Retailers Choice award for a book and television venture with Time-Life and Integrity Publishers.
The Townsend Institute will be directed by Scott Makin, a licensed counselor and business consultant. Before coming to HU, Makin served as the executive director of Wabash Friends Counseling Center in Wabash, Ind., which he founded. He has 13 years of experience in higher education and has known and worked with Dr. Townsend for nearly 20 years. In addition, he has co-facilitated leadership and counseling training in Indianapolis with Dr. Townsend for the past three years.
Continuing the Mission
New Christian ministry graduate programs expand impact
Huntington prepares students to impact their world for Christ. This fall, three new programs will continue that mission.
The two-year, master's level degree programs will concentrate in the areas of global initiatives, global youth ministry and pastoral leadership.
"These programs will challenge students with sound biblical and theological principles to effectively lead ministries to fulfill the mission of the church," said Dr. Karen Jones, professor of ministry and missions. "We are excited to expand our graduate ministry options."
Unlike any program before, these degrees will be offered in seven-week blocks through onsite, online live and online recorded classroom training. Undergraduate students at HU also may earn graduate credit through the programs while completing their degrees.
"We have a unique opportunity to reach students with this instructional model," Dr. Jones said, explaining that every class will be broadcasted live as well as posted online for a later viewing. "Students will have the option to learn in an environment that best suits their needs."
Each program will offer distinctives to effectively prepare students for careers in the ministry field.
The global initiatives program provides students with the foundational principles and skills needed for effective cross-cultural ministry leadership in the church.
The global youth ministry program takes another step in its cross-cultural training to specifically prepare students for leadership in the area of youth ministry. Students will gain the skills needed for effective youth ministry leadership within traditional settings, as well as internationally and with specialized populations within the United States.
The pastoral leadership program provides Christian ministers, especially those in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and those preparing for a pastoral ministry vocation with the foundational principles and skills needed for effective leadership in the church. The degree builds on a Christian ministry core with classes to train existing and future pastors in pastoral counseling, hermeneutics, homiletics, mission, worship and Christian education. Also, it will help to bolster the relationship between the university and the United Brethren church.
"The pastoral leadership program represents a true collaboration between the church and college. Huntington University took to heart what the church leadership felt were the important elements of training pastors, and they developed a program to meet those needs," said United Brethren Bishop Phil Whipple. "I am excited about the potential of this program, and I'm eager to see other areas in which we can connect to produce win-win scenarios for the university and the United Brethren church."
Angels among us
Renovations put finishing touches on occupational therapy programs
There are angels in our midst.
That's what occupational therapists are angels. They are the ones who bring a message of hope to the hopeless, healing to the weary and they are ministers in a time of need.
"It's difficult work, but I know that you folks are up to the task to calm those fears, to encourage and to bring expertise," Dr. Ann McPherren, vice president for strategy and graduate/adult programs, told a group of prospective students on a visit day.
Huntington's occupational therapy program will be the university's first doctorate degree and its first venture into the allied health field. The university also is exploring the possibility of a graduate physician assistant program.
Thirty-two students have been selected for the inaugural occupational therapy class, ranging from recent graduates to those who have prior medical and business experience.
"I am overwhelmed with the passion that these future OTD students bring to the program," said Dr. Ruth Ford, director of occupational therapy.
Uniquely, the program will be offered in Fort Wayne, Ind., in a newly renovated section of the Parkview Randallia Hospital campus. The space, which was completed this summer, features classroom and high-tech laboratory space, including specialty labs for daily living space and pediatrics as well as a sensory room.
"Collaboration with Parkview and the greater Fort Wayne area is instrumental in the success of training future OTDs," Dr. Ford said. "Health and wellness go beyond the institutional doors into the greater community. Key leaders and health care providers have stepped up to not only provide resources for classroom and laboratory but also made recommendations for networks for future learning experiences."
The program launches this fall.