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Behavioral Science Courses

Course Descriptions

COU 2300
Introduction to Social Services

An introduction to the basic values, attitudes, knowledge, skills, and techniques common to all social service work as well as the various career options available in social services. Hands-on work in the community may also be required. 

COU 3303
Group Dynamics and Counseling

An overview of basic group dynamics and the various types of therapeutic groups. It will provide a review of resources and practical training in basic skills used in facilitating community support groups and church-related small group ministries. 

COU 3310
Crisis Intervention

A study of crisis counseling and intervention. Emphasis will be on understanding crisis intervention strategies and skills and on understanding how to approach special problems such as domestic violence, drug & alcohol abuse, suicide, sexual assault and more. 

COU 3330
Marriage and Family Counseling

An introduction to premarital, marital, and family counseling. Attention will focus on major models of family relations, communication, common problems faced by couples and families, and methods of intervention.

COU 3340
Basic Counseling Skills

An introduction to the essential skills needed for effective counseling. Students will spend a significant amount of class time practicing basic counseling skills through role-playing and real-life interactions with critical review by both peers and the instructor. Students may also review video counseling vignettes and written case studies. Spring

COU 4360
Counseling Theories and Techniques

A survey of advanced classical and contemporary counseling theories and their respective techniques. Models are evaluated from a Christian perspective. Prerequisite: COU 3340 or permission from the Department Chair. 

COU 4430
Social Services Internship

An unpaid, directed field experience. Students will be assigned to an approved organization or agency for a period of 120 hours. Students will be accountable to both their instructor and field supervisor(s). Each internship is unique and will be tailored to the needs and interests of both the student and the participating organization or agency. The primary objective is for students to serve people with some sort of need and to do so face-to-face whenever possible. The specific goals, activities, and work hours will be determined by the student and their field supervisor(s). Prerequisite: junior or senior in good academic standing. 

PSY 1300
General Psychology

An introductory survey course to the field of psychology. It will deal with a wide scope of subjects including the scientific method, biology, perception, consciousness, learning, memory, intelligence, motivation, stress, emotions, development, personality theory, therapy, and abnormal behavior. Theological issues related to various topics will also be explored. 

PSY 2311
Psychological Statistics

This course provides students with an introduction to the basic methods of collecting, organizing, and analyzing psychological data. Descriptive statistics includes techniques used to organize, summarize, and describe numerical information. The construction of frequency distributions and graphs are covered in this course as are the calculation of measures of central tendency, variability, and correlation. Inferential techniques will be the primary focus of the course and include methods used to draw general conclusions from specific studies to determine whether a study has statistical validity. Probability, hypothesis testing, parametric and non–parametric statistics tests will be examined. The t–test, analysis of variance, multiple regression, chi–square, and other techniques will be covered. The application of these techniques to research and the interpretation of results will be emphasized rather than the mathematical basis of statistics. Prerequisite: MTH 1303.

PSY 2382
Child and Adolescent Development

This course surveys the development of children from conception through adolescence. The major areas of focus are cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional and spiritual development, with discussion of physical changes as they relate to these psychological domains. Some contemporary issues, such as helping children with special needs, faith development, and educational strategies will also be addressed. 

PSY 2383
Adult Development and Aging

This course surveys changes from early adulthood through death. The major areas of focus are cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional and spiritual development, with discussion of physical changes as they relate to these psychological domains. Some contemporary issues emphasized include age-related changes in memory and other cognitive abilities, self-perceptions, mental health (including Alzheimer’s Disease), personality, coping with stress, as well as changes that arise as people adapt to various transitions (i.e., widowhood, retirement, loss, etc.). 

PSY 3302
Theories of Personality

An advanced psychology course designed to expose students to the most prominent theories of personality within the field of psychology. Students will review various theoretical models, the historical context in which they were developed, and how empirical research has been informed by these theories. An explicitly Christian perspective of personality will also be examined. Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Course fee required.

PSY 3303
Abnormal Psychology

An overview of the various psychological and behavioral disorders. The course will address the diagnostic criteria, possible causes, and treatments for the various disorders – including the mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, personality disorders, and more. Attention will also be given to recognizing and minimizing the stigmatization that occurs with mental illnesses. Prerequisite: PSY 1300. 

PSY 3320
Psychology and Christianity

An introduction to the integration of psychology and Christian theology. Emphasis will be given to an explicitly Christian view of human nature and major theological doctrines as they apply to human problems. The work of seminal Christian psychologists, counselors, educators, and leaders will also be examined.

PSY 3386
Psychological Research

This course provides students with an introduction to the descriptive and experimental designs used in the study of behavior. Course content emphasizes research methodology, procedures, ethics in research, psychological measurements, basic data analysis, and research report writing. Attention will be given to hands-on research activities when possible. Emphasis will also be on communicating research findings and literature reviews according to APA guidelines. 

PSY 3390
Sports Psychology

This course will define the field of sport psychology and take a look at its history and evolution to more current trends. Sport psychology as a science looks at large social issues and investigates the cause and effect of behavior in both team and individual sports. This course examines and studies people and their behavior in sport contexts. Theories and knowledge of psychology will be presented in sport contexts. Primary focus is on how this specialty of psychology can serve athletes and coaches by applying psychological principles. 

PSY 4300
Human Sexuality

A study of human sexuality throughout the lifespan, viewed from sociological, psychological, and theological perspectives. This course provides students with honest, factual information about sex. It will also help them see sex as a natural, healthy component of marriage and will dispel common myths and misconceptions regarding sexuality. Prerequisite: junior or senior class standing with Department Chair approval.

PSY 4310
Advanced Readings in Psychology and Counseling

This course is intended to allow students to integrate their work in psychology by conducting a specific research project of their choice (with approval of the instructor). Students will also be assigned readings on related scholarly and professional works. Emphasis will be on extensive readings and reviews of existing literature and effective presentation of findings to other students, both orally and in writing. 

PSY 4340
Psychology of Addiction

This course is a study of the addictive personality and the process of addictive disorders. To understand its complicated nature as a disease, the course will focus on various models of addiction as developed by current experts. Students will examine current research on several disorders including chemical and substance addictions (alcohol, drugs, food) and other behavioral addictions (gambling, spending, Internet/Gadget addiction, and compulsive productivity, otherwise known as “workaholism”). Specific topics to be covered include the stages and characteristics of addiction, its course, prevalence, and familial patterns, and symptoms of addictive disorders. Students will also examine various treatment approaches and effective intervention strategies. 

PSY 4382
Tests and Measurements

This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts necessary for an understanding of psychological and educational testing. The first portion of the class will be devoted to a general introduction of the course material with an emphasis on understanding statistical concepts related to test construction and the psychometric properties of test scores. The remainder of the course will be spent examining typical assessment instruments and measures in the context of understanding, confirming, or providing support for client difficulties. This course surveys those tests that assess ability, personality, and occupational interest. As such, this course is particularly valuable for those students seeking degrees or future careers in clinical or counseling psychology, pastoral counseling, or education. Course content will periodically explore current issues and controversies in the field. 

PSY 4384
Social Psychology

The study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. This course addresses a wide range of subjects including aggression, attitudes, conflict, conformity, cooperation, group behavior, interpersonal attraction, obedience, prejudice and discrimination.

SOC 2300
Introduction to Sociology

A study of the basic principles and concepts of the origin and development of society and of the forms, institutions, and functions of human groups. 

SOC 2301
Sociology of the Family

A brief historical survey of the family in the development of personality, mate selection and courtship, marital discord and adjustment.

SOC 3300
Cultural and Diversity Issues

An overview of cultural and diversity issues, comparing current social views with scriptural views and applications. Examines the role of the church and Christian ministry in serving specific population groups in today’s multicultural climate. 

SOC 3310
Social Problems

This course provides students with an opportunity to examine major issues facing society including topics such as poverty, racial, gender, and age inequality, crime, violence, terrorism, urbanization, sexual deviance, addiction, health and health care, economic and educational opportunities, immigration, and disabilities. The course content examines the origins of social problems; the interconnected aspects of social problems; the impact of social problems on the society, its institutions, and its resources; and the impact of culture and social class on the definition of social problems. The course also examines possible strategies that can be explored and implemented in order to alleviate or effectively solve the social problem. Students are encouraged to critically examine the impact of the problem and its possible solutions, to integrate knowledge gleaned from a variety of disciplines in order to see the interconnections of academic disciplines in dealing with real issues, to find and utilize relevant data and research in defining issues and solutions. 

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