Steve Bearden

Steve Bearden, PhD

Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy



I was raised in Indiana. My wife Susan and I moved west to California for additional schooling. After 10 years of school and pastoring in Southern California, we and our two daughters, Heather and April, moved north for a pastoral appointment in Salem, Oregon. I finished my PhD and went to work for George Fox. For more than 20 years, I have taught in the Graduate School of Counseling.

Perhaps my core quest is the facilitation of genuine dialogue and understanding among the world’s religions, for the sake of a safer and healthier world. I am intensely interested in diversity issues as they relate to training competent mental health professionals. Additionally, I engage students in the exploration of their spiritual identity. I am also very interested in the work of Carl Jung, especially as it relates to spirituality and the development of one's Inner Life.

Expertise and Research Interests

My research and publication interests are in the field of diversity studies. I have traveled and presented internationally in recent years. The focus of my study has been the challenges and rewards of diversity work in a Dominant Culture/Christian University.

What do you do in your free time?

I love fly fishing, especially with dry flies. The world-class trout stream the Metolius River is my home stream. I love great literature. Poetry is my muse. The great Sufi poets such as Rumi and Hafiz are among my favorites. Mary Oliver, Emily Dickenson and Robert Penn Warren are other poets I admire and read often.

I have been organic gardening for more than 25 years. Hiking, camping and nordic skiing are among my favorite leisure-time activities.

I grew up in the '60s and love rock and roll. Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Emmy Lou Harris, Frank Zappa, David Byrne and David Thomas have been constant companions.