Human Growth and Lifespan Development – DBPC 610

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/03/2020

Course Description

This course explores intellectual, personality, and faith development throughout the lifespan. Biblical and theoretical principles are used to examine the parent-child relationship, and factors that impact this relationship, including multicultural interests. Ethical concerns are addressed.




This course is designed to teach pastors, counselors, parents, and human services professionals regarding healthy development conditions, and risk and protective factors. Twenty-first century emotional and relational issues are examined, with an emphasis on society’s impact and the counseling implications.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss a proper hermeneutic of Christian anthropology and its relationship to emotional, psychological, relational, and spiritual development across the lifespan.
  2. Identify and discuss contemporary trends and issues related to developmental constructs across the lifespan.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of differing developmental priorities across the lifespan for diverse populations.
  4. Identify and describe characteristics and primary tasks of each of the following developmental stages: infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, pre-adolescence, adolescence and early adulthood.
  5. Describe the developmental stages and gender specific needs of both girls and boys from infancy through early adulthood.
  6. Describe the basic physical, emotional, and social changes in the body and brain during childhood and adolescence and the factors important to growth and development into early adulthood.
  7. Analyze contemporary developmental theories throughout the lifespan and their relationship to Christian formation.
  8. Synthesize and reason the empirical research in areas like intelligence, personality, moral, faith, adult and cultural development with the Bible in a theologically appropriate manner.
  9. Develop a framework for counseling parents to raise emotionally, relationally, and spiritually healthy children and teens.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Each forum will require the student to answer questions with a 300–400-word thread based on the particular module/week’s reading (Dr. Dobson’s works and/or the core text), as well as video/audio content. The student will be required to post as least 2 replies of a minimum of 200 words each to other students’ threads. The student will use the content of the readings and presentations for the assigned modules/weeks to support his/her replies. All citations must be in current APA format.

Compare and Contrast Papers (2)

The student will complete this assignment twice in the course. In 2–3 pages, the student will choose a topic that is discussed in both Bringing Up Girls and Bringing Up Boys (i.e. parental influence, physiological differences, society’s influence, emotional or cognitive development, etc.), and compare and contrast the topic among the two genders. The student will also speak to the influence this topic will have in how he or she counsels parents and/or their children and support his or her writing with empirical research. At least 2 outside scholarly peer-reviewed sources must be used to support of the content of each paper. All sources must be cited in current APA format.

Bringing Up a Child Paper

The purpose of this assignment is for students to think about how to intentionally and effectively approach the challenge of child development and to explore this topic’s relevance to counseling. The student will choose to focus on either boys or girls and address the following topics in 8–10 pages: The parent-child relationship, the unique challenges of boys/girls, acknowledging society’s impact, and counseling implications. The student must use the course material and at least 6 scholarly, peer-reviewed sources to support his or her writing. The paper must use current APA format.

Exams (4)

The student will complete four open-book/open-notes, untimed exams that will consist of 20 multiple choice questions (3 points each) and 2 short essays (20 points each) based on the course’s video, audio, and reading materials. Each short essay requires a response of at least 250 words.