The Center for Counseling and Family Studies


Dr. Ronald HawkinsRon Hawkins, Ed.D., D.Min.
Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost
Founding Dean, School of Behavorial Sciences

Dr. Hawkins has over 20 years of experience in mental health counseling, counselor training and consulting. His teaching and research interests include applied theories, career counseling, spirituality and mental health and integration of psychology, theology and spirituality. - Biography

Dr. Tim Clinton

Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
Executive Director - Center for Counseling and Family Studies

Dr. Clinton serves as the President of American Association of Christian Counselors as well as the President of Light Counseling Inc. He is a prolific writer bringing a significant contribution with his books to the field of Christian Counseling. - Biography

Dr. Kevin CorsiniKevin D. Corsini, Ph.D.
Vice Provost of Academic Operations

Dr. Corsini has experience as an executive in business, and as an ordained pastor. His research interests involve Attachment Theory and its influence on Emotional Regulation and Religious Coping.


Steve Warren
Associate Dean

Mr. Warren has been involved in administration for a number of years at Liberty University.  He was previously the Associate Dean in the Psychology department, before moving into the same role in the Counseling department in 2012.  Before attaining a counseling degree and transitioning into working in Higher Education administration, he worked as a pastor working with families and adolescents.

Patti Hinkley, Ed.D.Dr. Patti Hinkley
Department Chair

Dr. Hinkley has been with Liberty University for over 27 years and has been involved in administration, counselor education, and mental health counseling.   Her teaching and research interests include women’s issues, counselor skills training, addictions, life coaching, and integration of spirituality and mental health counseling.

Steve Johnson, Ph.D., Th.M.
Department Chair

Steve is Associate Professor and department chair for the online program.  He began working with Liberty online in 2006 as an adjunct faculty and three years as an IM.  For 17 years he was the Director of Behavioral Science at Valley Baptist Family Practice Residency program in Harlingen, TX, a Christ-centered training program for family physicians.  Prior to his position in Harlingen, he served 5 years as the Director of Counseling services and Assistant professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary.   His areas of interest include Medical Family Therapy, Marital therapy and online education.

Allen D. Meyer, Ph.D.Dr. Allen D. Meyer
Department Chair

Allen is associate professor and department chair for the online program. He was tenured associate professor at Taylor University, was president for ten years of a psychological diagnostics company with contracts providing services to federal and state agencies, and for the past ten years has taught in numerous online programs. He was one of the first instructional mentors in the LUO program, and since 2011 has been department chair.

Mark Myers, Ph.D.Dr. Mark Myers
Department Chair

Dr. Myers is a native of Colorado and a Veteran of the U.S. Navy. He has served as a Pastor in many different capacities over the years and holds a Masters in Religious Education as well as a PhD in Professional Counseling and has received additional training from the medical schools of The University of Virginia and Harvard. His clinical experience includes local court appointed work with adolescents and individual and family counseling at the acute in-patient psychiatric care facility of Virginia Baptist Hospital. Dr. Myers has served as a Dept. Chair with the Center for Counseling and Family Studies graduate programs (both online and residential). His research interests include Emotion Regulation, Religious Coping and Mindfulness.

Kevin Van WynsbergKevin Van Wynsberg
Department Chair

Kevin Van Wynsberg has worked for the Liberty University in a variety of capacities since 2007. He has clinical experiencing working as an in-home counselor and has served as a counselor in a Christian outpatient agency.


Dr. Mary DeaconMary Deacon, Ph.D.
Director, MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

Dr. Deacon has specialized in counseling research and career counseling. Dr. Deacon was also part of a research team focusing on middle and high school career development and presented research findings at national conferences. Her teaching and research interests include the areas of girls' and women's career development, gender equity, and multicultural competency.

Elias Moitinho, Ph.D.Dr. Elias Moitinho
Director of MA Licensure Programs (LUO)

Dr. Moitinho has many years of ministry and teaching experience having served in various roles such as pastor, counselor, seminary professor, and director of a Christian counseling center. He is interested in cross-cultural counseling focusing specifically on the Hispanic/Latino population, the use of Scriptures in counseling, marriage counseling, and family ministry.

Dr. Laurel ShalerLaurel Shaler, Ph.D.
Director of Human Services Program

Laurel Shaler (Regent University) is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Counseling and Family Studies. She is a Licensed Social Worker, and a former psychotherapist with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her professional interests include anger management, military/veteran issues, PTSD, crisis management, emotional well-being of women, expressive therapy, marital enhancement, and suicidology. Dr. Shaler is an active member of a number of professional organizations including the American Association of Christian Counselors, the American Counseling Association, the Association of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and the North American Association of Christians in Social Work. She was also inducted into the Alpha Omega Lambda chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honors society for counselors. Additionally, Dr. Shaler speaks and writes about the intersection of faith and emotional well-being (

Dr. Gary SibcyGary Sibcy, Ph.D.
Director of PhD Program in Counseling
Director of Research & Evaluation Center

Dr. Sibcy has been in private clinical practice for the past decade. His research interests include development a new treatment protocol for treating disruptive behaviors in children, attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology, personality disorders and family development. - Biography

Dr. Lisa SosinLisa Sosin, Ph.D.
Associate Director of PhD Program

Lisa S. Sosin, Ph.D., L.P.C., L.L.P. is the Associate Director of PhD Programs in Counseling and Associate Professor at the Center for Counseling and Family Studies, Liberty University. Dr. Sosin has over 27 years of clinical and teaching experience and is licensed as both a professional counselor and psychologist. Dr. Sosin’s clinical practice includes the assessment and treatment of children, adults, couples, and families; as well as teaching, supervising, public speaking, and consultation to clinicians in training, physicians, educators, organizations, and clergy. Dr. Sosin has developed graduate curriculum and community programs covering diverse subjects including qualitative research, family development and functioning, evidence based practice and clinical excellence and has published in the areas of psychotherapeutic process, emotional development, burn-out, and ethics. Dr. Sosin’s primary research interests include the integration of spirituality and empirically supported interventions, qualitative research related to counseling practice, and emotion regulation.

Full-time Faculty

Please see the Ph.D. handbook for the most up-to-date list of faculty research interests and biographies.

Dr. Ed BarkerEd Barker, Ph.D.

Dr. Barker has spent nearly 20 years in Sweden, where he served as Head of English instruction for two institutions, as well as being a Certified Cambridge Examiner in English and spoke in numerous European countries on Christian education related topics. His areas of emphasis in counseling include Crisis Intervention, Trauma, PTSD, Sexual Abuse and Assault, Psychology of Criminal Behavior, and negative coping behaviors.


Dr. Jeanne BrooksJeanne Brooks, Ph.D.

Dr. Brooks has been in practice for over 20 years and her specialty areas are working with troubled adolescents, alcohol and drug addiction, as well as helping children and families adjust to divorce. She has also worked closely with the Courts in her area and surrounding counties providing psychological assessments, referral, and treatment services for children and parents adjusting to divorce.


Denise Daniel, Ph.D.Dr. Denise Daniel

Dr. Daniel is involved in instruction, student advisement and research of study efficacy in both online and traditional classroom. Additionally, her research interests include online support groups, online therapy, women's issues and development.


Dr. Fernando GarzonFernando Garzon, Psy.D.

Dr. Garzon's vast experience include practicing as a clinical psychologist, directing the provider services department of a managed care insurance company, being an associate pastor for a Latino church, and doing pastoral care ministry. His research interests focus on investigating Christian interventions in counseling and evaluating counselor education practices in spirituality.


Scott Hawkins, Ph.D.

Dr. Scott Hawkins has over 20 years of experience in crisis, outpatient, intensive in-home and residential treatment settings in private and public sector. His research interests include the areas of childhood, adolescence, premarital, marriage and family, parenting, crisis intervention, and therapeutic outdoor recreation.


Dr. Victor HinsonVictor Hinson, Ed.D.

Dr. Hinson has over 16 years experience as a senior pastor of churches, mentoring individuals, teaching groups and facilitating small group therapy in churches and the community. His research interests include clinical mental health counseling, group counseling, marriage and family therapy, and adult children of alcoholics.  - Biography


Dr. David JenkinsDavid Jenkins, Psy.D.
Coordinator of Ph.D. Clinical Training

Dr. Jenkins has over 20 years of clinical experience in a variety of settings both public and private, mainly in outpatient settings. He has worked primarily with adults and adolescents in individual, marital and family therapy. His research and teaching interests include professional ethics, addiction, integration of Christian faith and clinical practice, as well as marital/identity/gender issues related to the image of God. - Biography


Dr. Anita KnightAnita Knight, Ph.D.

Dr. Knight had a variety of experience in both clinical and educational settings. She has worked on the research team for the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity (ISSI) and presented on the topic of the etiology of male homosexuality. Additionally she has developed an effective curriculum for overcoming Math anxiety. Her research interests include emotional intelligence, effective counseling skills training and evidence based interventions in pre-marital and family therapy.


Joy Mwendwa

Dr. Mwendwa served as a college and community counselor for seven years.  She has participated in different international counseling institutes and service opportunities in Ireland, Malawi, and Kenya.  Her research interests include qualitative and indigenous research methodology, the profession of counseling, multicultural competence, and the supervisory relationship.

Clay Peters, Ed.D.Dr. Clay Peters

Dr. Peter's experience include both clinical practice as well as psychosocial assessment, namely he performs competency to stand trial evaluations for juveniles for the Virginia court system. His research interests include personality disorders, criminal behavior and personality testing for parents whose children remained in foster care.


Dr. Melvin PrideMelvin Pride, Ph.D.

Dr. Pride has over a decade of experience as a licensed counselor in a private clinical practice. A former business executive, he is also a licensed and ordained minister, with specialized training in church conflict resolution. His areas of emphasis in counseling include individuals, marriage and family, and working with pastors. His interests include spirituality, interpersonal relationships, multiculturalism, and family system dynamics.


Dr. John C. ThomasJohn C. Thomas, Ph.D.

Dr. Thomas's professional include  Employee Assistance Consultant (EAC) with DuPont for 12 years as well as private practice, clinical director of the Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council in Columbia, South Carolina. He has authored many publications as well as two curriculum series with Hatherleigh Press.




Andrew Trowbridge

Andrew Trowbridge
Faculty Support Coordinator

Andrew Trowbridge

Abby Retzlaff
Internship Gate Coordinator

Kelli Yuzon

Kelli Yuzon
Faculty Support Coordinator 


Kristen Edmondson
Practicum Gate Coordinator


Dante Bucci

Dante Bucci
Faculty Support Coordinator 


Sam Landa
Gate Coordinator


Lauren Laughlin
Faculty Support Coordinator

Bethany Kennon
Faculty Support Coordinator

James Barnes                  Faculty Support Coordinator

Bonnie Gould      Administrative Assistant