Counseling & Coaching
Carl Rogers, the founder of counseling psychology, had received his theological education at Union Seminary in New York, before he initially termed ‘client-centered therapy’ and ‘non-directional therapy’ based on humanistic, empathetic understanding of the patient unlike pathological approaches in psychiatry in the 1940s. One of Roger’s colleagues at University of Chicago, Seward Hiltner at the Divinity School, developed a method of pastoral counseling in the late 1940s. It was in the Theology Department of Yonsei University when a theology faculty member, Hwansin Lee introduced and taught a course on counseling for the first time in Korea in 1952. Since the early pioneers in the United Graduate School of Theology at Yonsei firstly opened the Counseling Department among other graduate schools in Korea, Department of Studies in Counseling & Coaching has continued to pursue both humanistic and theological approaches to holistic healing and recovery of human beings.
The Studies in Counseling & Coaching attempts to re-interpret the diagnostic and therapeutic traditions in psychiatry and psychotherapy from a Christian perspective. God created human beings, good and creative, in the image of God with wholeness of life. And yet, human beings, living without God, are often wounded with other humans in various relational and social encounters. The Studies in Counseling & Coaching are open to serious academic dialogues with other disciplines such as neuroscience, psychology, family studies, and sociology in order to reflect upon the recovery process of humans and their communities, and to provide an appropriate practical strategy.
As a result, the Studies in Counseling & Coaching are a convergent discipline to promote holistic wellbeing of human beings and his/her surrounded world based on a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model. The students fulfill a pastoral responsibility to practice outreach ministry to the marginalized and underprivileged in need, listen actively to them, and empower them to become the confident children of God. Eventually, the students as both pastoral (Christian) counselors and public theologians learn to practice a servant leadership that enriches the lives of individuals in various places like family, schools, business sites, and hospitals, and ultimately builds a more caring world as well as in parish settings in churches.