Classes for the new Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling will begin fall 2015. The program is named after Dr. John Townsend, a best-selling author, leadership consultant and one of the nation’s top psychologists.
The Townsend Institute provides a master’s program in counseling, organizational leadership and executive coaching. The program is based on Townsend’s counseling and leadership model of competence-plus-character growth.
“To have the Townsend Institute is to take the lead in the counseling master’s program,” senior Mary Whybrew said. “It really makes Huntington stand out from every other grad program.”
So far the university has 116 applicants. Scott Makin, assistant professor of counseling and director of the institut
e, says that number is about four or five times what they expected for the first year.
“We’ve had a great response nationally. There are people interested from all over the nation and even a few different countries,” Makin said. “People are excited about Dr. Townsend’s approach to leadership and counseling.”
Townsend’s primary focus in his model is to help students learn how to best facilitate transformational relationships that will help people grow and heal, ultimately reaching their potential.
“I’ve known John for 16 years and his approach has created a deeper, more lasting change than any I’ve ever seen before,” Makin said. “We’re excited about training up a new generation that knows how to impact others.”
The program will be offered both onsite at Huntington and Fort Wayne campuses and an online program is being developed. Dr. Townsend will be on campus once a month teaching modules and interacting with students. There will also be opportunities to interact and learn from many of Dr. Townsend’s colleagues who are experts in their own fields.
“My vision is that the Institute will produce thousands of best-in-class business leaders, ministry leaders and counselors impacting the world for Christ, trained by a growth model which is competence-plus-character, research-supported, highly practical and thoroughly Christian,” Townsend said in a university press release.
Pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission, a new M.A. in Organizational Leadership featuring Dr. Townsend will be available online.
“It’s a great opportunity for [students] to learn from an esteemed author as well as a great Christian psychologist,” Whybrew said. “I am personally excited to hear lectures and to dive into this new program at HU.”