Spirituality Course

Downloads:   MS Word

COUN: 507:  Course Syllabus


theology and Spirituality in Counseling

Course Description

An examination of the content, comprehensiveness, and validity of several counseling theories that have been developed by prominent Christian counselors.


Counselors may find assistance with the development of higher levels of competency when they understand the content of and identify the strengths and weaknesses of several well-known approaches to counseling proposed by Christian authors and practitioners.  

     I.               Prerequisite


  II.               Required Resource Purchases

Adams, J. E. (1986). How to help people change: The four-step biblical process. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. ISBN: 9780310511816.

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (Current ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Anderson, N. T. (2000). The bondage breaker (Rev. ed.). Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. ISBN: 9780736918145.

Backus, W. D., & Chapian, M. (2000). Telling yourself the truth. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers. ISBN: 9780764211935.

Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (1999). Boundaries in marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. ISBN: 9780310243144.

Crabb, L. (1977). Effective biblical counseling: A model for helping caring Christians become capable counselors. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. ISBN: 9780310225706.

Hart, A. D. (1999). The anxiety cure. Nashville, TN: W. Publishing Group. ISBN: 978084994296.

Wilson, S. D. (2001). Hurt people hurt people: Hope and healing for yourself and your relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers. ISBN: 9781572930162.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with that required by state licensing boards in the class subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

III.               Additional Materials for Learning

A.    Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
Internet access (broadband or cable recommended)
Microsoft Office and PowerPoint

IV.               Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

A.    Evaluate the comprehensiveness of several approaches to Christian counseling.

B.   Discuss the content and strengths and weaknesses of some of the more prominent Christian counseling theories and approaches, including, but not limited to, those in the required texts.

C.     Demonstrate the ability to synthesize a personal theory of counseling that rests on a solid theological/psychological foundation.

D.      Articulate the contributions of psychology, theology, and spirituality to the development of a comprehensive model of Christian counseling.

E.       Appreciate and describe the value of multitasking for developing counselor competence.

F.       Understand and discuss the role of the following elements in the production of health and sickness in persons as it relates to biblical self-awareness and examination:

1.      Body
3.      Feelings
4.      Volition/Will
5.      Holy Spirit/human spirit
6.      Sin/flesh
7.      Temporal systems
8.      Supernatural systems
G.     Delineate the structural differences in the personalities of the regenerated and unregenerate.
H.     Understand and explain the difference between trying for change and training for change and delineate elements in the process of change.
I.       Appreciate and articulate the value of good theology for the development of mental health in Christians.
J.      Understand and discuss the role of authority and the Bible in the development of a Christian model of counseling.
K.    Demonstrate ability to respond flexibly to the offerings of various theologies.|
L.     Explain the differences between eclecticism and metatheory.


V.               Course Requirements and Assignments

A.                Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

B.                 Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

C.                 Group Discussion Board Forums (4)

For this collaborative discussion board, the student will engage in various types of discussion board assignments in order to address questions posed throughout the course. The student will provide a thread (at least 250 words) and at least 2 replies (at least 150 words each) to other posts.

D.                Theory Critiques (3)

The student will critique 3 approaches to counseling spread throughout the course. These papers will be a maximum of 4 pages and will help the student build information useful to the creation of his/her own personal counseling theory approach. Each critique will be written in current APA format.

E.                 Personal Theory Paper Assignments

The student will complete a paper on his/her own comprehensive approach to counseling. This is a 10–12-page paper that must be written in current APA format. In preparation for this final submission, the student will submit a title page, abstract, and corresponding references as well as a working outline of the final paper.

F.                  Quizzes (3)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain a combination of 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a time limit of 1 hour.

VI.      Course Grading and Policies

A.         Points

Course Requirements Checklist

Group Discussion Board Forums (1 at 5 pts, 3 at 65 pts ea)




Theory Critiques (3 at 100 pts ea)



Personal Theory Paper Assignments



Title Page, Abstract, and Reference Page



Working Outline



Personal Theory Paper


Quizzes (3 at 100 pts ea)




B.         Scale

A = 940–1010   A- = 920–939   B+ = 900–919   B = 860–899   B- = 840–859

C+ = 820–839   C = 780–819   C- = 760–779   D+ = 740–759   D = 700–739  

D- = 680–699   F = 0–679

C.              Late Assignment Policy

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

                                                                   1.     Late assignments submitted within one week of the due date will receive a 10% deduction.

                                                                   2.     Assignments submitted more than one week late will receive a 20% deduction.

                                                                   3.     Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted.

                                                                   4.      Late Discussion Board threads or replies will not be accepted.

Special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, personal health issues) will be reviewed by the instructor on a case-by-case basis.

D.        Tests/Exams

1.      For timed tests/exams students are required to complete the exam within the assigned time. For students who exceed this time limit a penalty of 5% will be deducted for each minute they exceed the assigned time limit. 

2.      Students must take the exam during the assigned module. A 5 % deduction from the tests final grade will be assigned for each day the test is late.

3.      No test will be accepted seven (7) days after original due date without written approval from the professor. This approval must be sought prior to tests due date.

E.         Dual Relationship

The faculty is responsible to interact with counseling students in a supervisory capacity/role. As such, faculty may provide students professional principles, guidance, and recommendations as it relates to the context of the student-client setting. The faculty are responsible to avoid dual relationships with students such as entering a student-counselor or student-pastor relationship. Thus, the faculty do not provide personal counseling addressing student personal problems. If a faculty member perceives that a student is in need of personal or professional counseling then that faculty member will recommend that the student pursue either pastoral or professional assistance from a counselor in their community.

F.               Limits of Confidentiality

In the event of a student’s disclosure, either verbally, or in writing, of either threat of serious or foreseeable harm to self or others, abuse or neglect of a minor, elderly or disabled person, or current involvement in criminal activity, the faculty, staff, administrator or supervisor, will take immediate action. This action may include, but is not limited to, immediate notification of appropriate state law enforcement or social services personnel, emergency contacts, and notification of the appropriate program chair or distance learning dean. The incident and action taken will become part of the student’s permanent record.

G.                Disability Assistance

Students with a documented disability may contact Liberty University Online’s Office of Disability Academic Support (ODAS) at LUOODAS@liberty.edu to make arrangements for academic accommodations. Further information can be found at www.liberty.edu/disabilitysupport.