Evangelical Christian Students’ Experiences in Secular Counselor-Training Programs
This phenomenological study involved an exploration of the lived experiences of 16 evangelical Christian students attending secular counselor education programs at two campuses of a for-profit university in the southeastern United States. The theistic worldview of evangelicalism can conflict with the humanistic perspective espoused in counselor education programs. These conflicts are represented in issues such as creationism versus evolution, religious multiculturalism, abortion, LGBT issues, and sexual expression outside marriage, among others. Results indicated that although the evangelical Christian students attending secular counselor education programs did have generally positive experiences, they experienced some resistance and unfriendliness pertaining to certain aspects of their values and beliefs.The participants saw their experiences as challenges to encourage them to work harder and excel. They also considered their faith as a great source of strength and support. Additionally, suggestions for counselor educators, evangelical students as well as recommendations for future studies are discussed.
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