LCU Graduate Studies Meeting NeedsJan. 17, 2014
Lubbock Christian University is well known for its undergraduate programs and is often seen as a wholesome place to receive a baccalaureate, but there is another side to LCU that is gaining recognition; LCU’s Graduate Programs. Graduate studies began with one Bible graduate program in 1992 and has since grown to 16 active Masters Programs, four certification degrees, and a recently added Family Nurse Practitioner program.
Few realize how the LCU graduate program has grown. Last fall, the university's Graduate Studies program had over 500 students enrolled, and saw a record 122 students graduate in December, 2013. In fact, graduate studies makes up one fourth of the university.
LCU currently offers graduate degrees in Behavioral Sciences, Bible, Education, Leadership, Nursing, and Social Work. The programs are designed to fit the student’s busy lifestyle. Many can be completed online, some are completely on campus, but a majority of programs are a hybrid, allowing students flexibility in how they complete their education. In fact, not all students in LCU graduate programs are local or regional. The programs have students enrolled all over the country, with some internationally, completing their degrees completely online.
“We can make it work for people. Almost all our students are full-time working professionals,” says Patricia Moulton, Graduate Admissions Coordinator.
The Graduate Education program has proven extremely successful with eight different master’s degrees and five certification programs. Many students who graduate with a master’s degree return to acquire an additional master’s degree to really fine tune their careers.
LCU has now provided almost every school district in Region 17 with principals, teachers, and specialists, an indication of the quality of the Graduate Education program. Forty-three percent of the principals in Lubbock ISD have received their graduate education from LCU, which includes more than half of Lubbock ISD’s elementary principals.
All of the LCU professors who teach in the Graduate Education programs have more than just text-book knowledge. They have all held appointments in their respective teaching areas, including elementary, secondary, and special education, diagnostics, principalship, and superintendency. The level of applicable experience puts LCU’s Graduate Education program above the competition.
“In a final sense, the LCU graduate education programs are focusing on being customer-service oriented,” says Judy Corbin. “Since a very high percentage of LCU graduate students hold full-time jobs and have families and busy schedules, we look to assist them in a way to make the admission, instructional, and assessment processes as simple as possible.”
Graduate Bible currently has four hybrid degree programs, offering flexibility and quality of faculty above any other school. Many of the faculty members have books in production, others are world class experts in sections of the Bible, and one is even an applauded archeologist.
Though they are highly acclaimed scholars, the LCU Graduate Bible professors are also very approachable and practical, each having hands on experience in ministry. The Bible professors combined have accumulated more than 150 years of experience in missions and ministry, with some currently serving as ministers at local congregations.
The graduate Bible faculty make it a point to sit down with their students over lunch to get to know them on a more personal level. Even without the face-to-face interaction, the graduate bible program, like all LCU graduate programs, strives to incorporate as much personal interaction as possible through distance learning technology.
Aside from the quality of faculty, LCU Graduate Bible is constantly making steps to become a more acclaimed program. The program is currently an associate member of the Association of Theological School, with plans to begin the process toward full membership next fall.
Many of those enrolled in Graduate Bible are currently serving in ministry and are able to complete their education online from their local congregations. LCU is educating ministers through their master’s programs. That education improves the minister skills and knowledge, and in turn, benefits the churches they serve.
Graduate Behavioral Sciences
Graduate Behavioral Sciences has grown from 24 students in the fall of 2007 to over 180 students in the fall of 2013. The four graduate behavioral sciences programs, School Counseling, Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Human Services, utilize cutting-edge technology and pedagogy.
LCU’s graduate counseling students are in high demand in the Lubbock area. The majority of students find employment before they even complete their degree.
Two of the degree programs are offered online. Director of Graduate Behavioral Sciences Dr. Beth Robinson expands on the impact the ability to obtain a Behavioral Sciences Master’s degree online has, “Our graduate online programs allow us to extend the reach of our mission to a national and global audience. We are able to provide the LCU experience for adult learners who could not relocate to attend face-to-face programs on our campus full-time.”
The professors in Graduate Behavioral Sciences bring a variety of specializations to the table including specialization in eating disorders, self-harm, substance abuse, marital therapy, traumatized and abused children, and disaster mental health counseling to name only a few. In addition to deep knowledge in their specializations, many of the faculty members have either published or are in the process of publishing books and articles they have written on their area of expertise. The professors offer real-life experience in the field of counseling, some even currently in the practice.
One of LCU’s core values is continuous improvement. Each graduate degree is continuously evaluated for optimal benefit to the students and the churches they serve.
LCU Graduate Studies is constantly adding new graduate programs. This year the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program was introduced, experiencing great success. The Family Nurse Practitioner program is a new program scheduled to begin this summer, an addition to the Graduate Nursing program.
LCU is no longer primarily a university for undergraduates, but is quickly and with fervor becoming a place to find deeper education on a graduate level.