Educational and Social Philosophy
The Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology (GDCP) is a program within George Fox University, a Christian institution of higher education that provides liberal arts, pre-professional, and professional training. The GDCP aspires to be a Christian community, housed within a larger Christian university, where we aspire to demonstrate the "fruit of the Spirit," including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23).
Christians posit an intrinsic and vital connection between belief and behavior. Throughout history Christians have disciplined themselves to grow deep in faith as they strive to live according to Christian scriptures and church traditions. The aspiration toward consistency in belief and behavior in living out God's call on our lives has helped shape and maintain Christian communities. Students applying for admission to the GDCP should be able and willing to endorse the GDCP Community Statement.
In order to foster a community of responsible freedom and mutual respect, the GDCP faculty chooses not to be highly prescriptive or investigatory regarding student faith values or lifestyle choices unless behaviors cause concern about the student's suitability to be a professional psychologist. Still, the faculty and students aspire to encourage one another toward spiritual transformation, personal awareness, and authentic relationships. All members of the George Fox Community are encouraged to consider the following questions as a means of self-examination, in the tradition of the historic Friends (Quakers):
- Am I actively pursuing the highest call of God on my life even if that means giving up personal "freedom" for the sake of others within the community?
- As a member of the George Fox community, do I recognize my duty and responsibility to others within our Christ-centered community?
- Am I a faithful steward of the resources which God has entrusted to me?
- Do I discipline my mind and body to serve as instruments of God?
The GDCP strives to be a community of mutual care and support, where faith is affirmed and put into practice, discrimination is opposed, and diversity is valued, all within the context of a Christian worldview. Faculty make themselves available for professional and spiritual mentoring as needs arise, attempting to affirm and model Christian conviction, respect, accountability, and grace.