Statement of Counseling Orientation

Alliance Graduate School of Counseling seeks to provide counseling education that is grounded in a theologically evangelical Christian view of epistemology, human nature and healing. While recognizing that there are different viewpoints within the Christian community, we believe that the Bible provides us with significant foundational perspectives on human personality, pathology and healing.

The Graduate School of Counseling takes an “open universe” view of epistemology and causation. This view suggests that the most accurate and comprehensive understanding of human functioning and healing is gained by consideration of natural, supernatural and interactive (natural x supernatural) influences.

Alliance Graduate School of Counseling views human nature at its best as a finely-tuned, multi-dimensional, integrated system. Human beings are fundamentally psychospiritual beings because they are created in God’s image. Optimal human functioning occurs when human beings live according to God’s design as given in the Bible.

Because of The Fall, human beings experience the pain of disorder, division, disintegration, dissension, and dysfunction. Human personality and relationships are often fragmented due to irrationality, chaos and distortions of sin. Sin, from a psychospiritual perspective, is living in contradiction to God’s design. Sin refers both to an underlying human condition of fallenness due to original sin, and to specific acts committed by an individual or by others against a person. The destructive and disintegrative impact of sin is experienced through individual, interpersonal and institutional choices and channels.

In addition to the impact of sin in its psychospiritual sense, human beings are affected by the limitations of their finitude. Choices that produce chaos and pain are often the result of limited or erroneous knowledge and understanding. Dysfunctional patterns of learning and conditioning may also produce significant difficulties.

Finally, in their attempts to cope with the pain of unmet psychospiritual needs, human beings often unwittingly make choices that worsen their pain and lead to further psychospiritual and relational deterioration.

Alliance Graduate School of Counseling sees psychospiritual healing as ultimately the work of God’s grace, wisdom and love communicated through the vehicle of a competent and sensitive counselor. The exact role of the therapist varies according to the particular needs and problems of the counselee, couple or family unit. Healing interventions are multi-modal and comprehensive. Because of our open universe view, analysis and interventions include consideration of the natural/psychological and supernatural/spiritual dimensions. Healing may also include bio- and social-psychological intervention due to the fundamental biological and relational nature of human beings.

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