2 2 Message from the President Dear Student: Light University Online (LUO), endorsed by the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), is a leading institution offering educational opportunities to individuals worldwide who are interested in Christian counseling, the helping professions, and caregiving ministry of all kinds. We continue to be amazed at the degree of dedication exhibited by our students and the consistent quality of their commitment to preparation for Christian life and service. I trust that as you read this catalog, most of your questions about entrance requirements, finances, student activities, course offerings, and faculty qualifications will be answered. We are dedicated to developing caregivers who are effective Christian citizens in today s diverse and complicated world. Our mission is to equip effective servant-leaders in every walk of life. All members of the LUO faculty, administration, and staff join me in extending to you an enthusiastic and heartfelt word of welcome. We stand ready to assist and encourage you with your academic pursuits and ongoing spiritual development. For we are God s [own] handiwork (His w orkmanship),recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. Ephesians 2:10, Amplified Bible May God give you clarity and wisdom as you seek His will. We love being a part of your life! Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT President, Light University Online
3 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE A. General Information The Mission of Light University Online The Vision of Light University Online The Values of Light University Online Integration Inquiry and Knowledge Application Leadership Character Stewardship The Three Pillars of Light University Online The Educational Philosophy of Light University Online Unity of the Spirit Credentialing as a Christian Caregiver Biblical Caregiving Values, Practices, and Ethics The Credentialing Process Continuing Education A History of Light University Online LUO Biblical Foundations Statement Academic Term and Course Schedule B. Student Information Standards of Conduct Student Services Academic Services Technology and Services LUO Information Systems Acceptable Use Terms and Conditions Rights and Responsibilities Provisions for Confidentiality Electronic Privacy Compliance with Federal HIPAA, FERPA and FTC Interpersonal Conduct Inappropriate Content File Sharing (P2P) and Copyrighted Materials Network Monitoring/Compliance Policy
4 4 Spiritual Services Harassment Student Grievance Procedure Course Evaluation Policy C. Admission Admissions Regulations Admission Policy and General Requirements Admission Procedure Admission of International Students Response to Application Transfer Credit Outside Programs Light University DVD Program Refund Policy Withdrawals Promissory Payment Plan Policy Concerning Financial Delinquency Undergraduate Financial Information Scholarships Spouse Scholarship Tuition and Fees Federal Financial Aid Orientation Definition of Terms Academic Year Grades, Quality Points and Grade Point Average Additional Grade Definitions Repeating Courses Repeat Policy General Academic Regulations Selection of Courses and Program Changes Term Load Dropping/Adding Courses Extension of Work Policy Attendance Academic Dishonesty Plagiarism
5 5 Falsifying Information Other Forms of Academic Dishonesty Student Appeal Academic Appeals Scholastic Regulation Transcript of Records Recording of Grades Graduation General Requirements Scholastic Requirements Financial Requirements Faculty Approval Academic Distinction Commencement D. Academic Organization , School and Programs of Light University Online The School Counseling and Psychology Advanced Certificate in Biblical Counseling Diploma in Biblical Counseling Advanced Diploma in Biblical Counseling Masters Diploma in Biblical Counseling with Specialization ELECTIVES Specialization Track #1: Addictions and Recovery Counseling Specialization Track #2: Child and Adolescent Counseling Specialization Track #3: Crisis in Trauma and Counseling Specialization Track #4: Grief and Loss Counseling Specialization Track #5: Marriage and Family Counseling The School of Professional Life Coaching Advance Certificate in Christian Life Coaching Diploma in Christian Life Coaching Advance Diploma in Christian Life Coaching Masters Diploma in Christian Life Coaching Current Electives Future Electives The School of Professional Development & Continuing Education
6 E. Academic Personnel Board Members Key Administrative Staff Faculty Listing 6
7 7 A. General Information The Mission of Light University Online Light University Online (LUO) is a leading institution that offers educational opportunities to individuals worldwide who are interested in Christian counseling, the helping professions, and caregiving ministries. Graduates demonstrate a clear passion for assisting others in need, leadership in their careers, communities and churches, and the acquired, necessary knowledge and requisite skill to become competent, biblically-based people helpers. The Vision of Light University Online To educate, equip, and serve today s Christian leaders worldwide. The Values of Light University Online As an inter-denominational Christian institution, LUO enhances the intellectual, spiritual, and practical skills and abilities of the individuals, institutions, and communities that it serves by emphasizing high academic standards, practical application, and spiritual formation. LUO s motto, Helping You Help Others, reflects the commitment to provide comprehensive knowledge and godly understanding of counseling-related issues as an instrument for wise and balanced servant-leadership. The educational philosophy of LUO is guided by a commitment to excellence embodied in a set of core values: Integration Anchored in biblical scholarship, the integration of spiritual, academic, and practical education is given the highest priority. Education of the whole person is integrated into all areas of study. Inquiry and Knowledge Intellectual growth is emphasized, which strives to instill a love of learning within all students, staff, and faculty. There is a strong commitment to develop an informed student body, foster intellectual inquiry in all its forms empirical, theoretical, and spiritual and develop the capacity for critical thinking. Application There is a focus on the practical application of knowledge and expertise to address real life issues, the scope of which may be local, regional, or global. A Christian servant-leadership model strives to unite theory and practice. Leadership Biblical principles of leadership and servanthood are incorporated into the learning process that recognizes the importance of identifying, creating, and responding to the interests and needs of diverse constituencies. Character The aim is to create an environment that cultivates both individual excellence and institutional integrity. Students are encouraged to strengthen their personal ideas and values with those presented at the University.
8 8 Stewardship Careful management of financial, human, spiritual, and intellectual resources is necessary to execute our values. In addition, the mission of the institution is most likely to be achieved when faculty, staff, and students take responsibility for upholding the full scope of these values. The Three Pillars of Light University Online 1. Academically Sound 2. Clinically Excellent 3. Distinctively Christian The Educational Philosophy of Light University Online LUO defines educational philosophy as a set of beliefs about education derived through reflection. This educational philosophy is rooted in Christian theism, honoring both special revelation (the biblical history of God-man relations that have followed the design of creation /fall/redemption) and that of general revelation (the history and practice of science in the many fields of knowledge). Consequently, both religious and secular subjects are considered to be worth studying. Acquaintance with each construct equips students to better understand themselves, society, other cultures, the natural environment, and the history of ideas. Such understanding carries the corresponding obligation to influence society as spiritual salt and light. Integration is a key concept, a first principle of the highest value. Christian faith, first and foremost, is integrated with all areas of study at LUO. This distinctive aim of truly anchoring faith with all curricula is one that faculty members endorse and strive to implement. Second, servant-leadership is emphasized in theory and practice. Integrating both special and general revelation creates sound and testable theories of living. Yet, these theories must be translated into practice and tested for their reliability and teachable qualities. Theory without practice is useless; practice without theory is aimless. LUO endeavors to create useful knowledge that aspires to honoring God and lifting people up out of desperate lives. Third, students seek to meld together their personal ideas and values with those presented at the University. The student s mind is not merely a bank where periodic deposits and withdrawals of information are made. Rather, it is a beehive where pollen gathered from many fields is transmuted into knowledge, energy, and purpose. This spirit of personal inquiry and synthesis is reflected in the University s approach to learning, whereby students are guided to integrate the process for themselves. LUO seeks to nurture these qualities in an atmosphere of Christian scholarship and caring.
9 9 Unity of the Spirit Those associated with LUO must always keep in mind that there is unity in Christ. That students, faculty, and staff represent many denominations and traditions. There also needs to be an understanding and respect for one another's heritage and beliefs, while maintaining a focus on common ground rather than differences, always adhering to the tenets of the Apostles' Creed. Students of many denominations, styles of prayer, and traditions are welcome and included. Light University Online has collaborative and professional relationships with a number of significant Christian organizations and ministries including: The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) Extraordinary Women (EW) The International Board of Certified Christian Counselors and Caregivers (IBCCCC) Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA ecounseling.com Military Ministry (a division of Campus Crusade for Christ International) Compassion International National House of Hope American Family Association Credentialing as a Christian Caregiver Biblical Caregiving Values, Practices, and Ethics: Modern biblical caregiving derives its basic orientation and authority, first and foremost, from the Bible as the Word of God, which is the primary source of all wisdom and Christian spiritual formation; and secondly, from a balanced utilization of contemporary mental health concepts, the behavioral sciences, and sound counseling and coaching practice. Biblical caregiving is also intended to be holistic, purposefully taking into account the bio-psycho-socialspiritual assessment of individuals. Furthermore, the treatment and prevention of mental/emotional/character disorders are aligned with the goal of moving toward Christian maturity and wellness. At its best, ministry-based biblical caregiving builds upon biblical truth and spiritual practice, along with the relevant theoretical and practical contributions of various mental health and coaching traditions to help produce Christlike character, behavior, and contentment in the lives of the people and systems that are served. Biblical caregivers of all kinds when in the client s interest, with their consent, and when appropriate in the caregiving process pray for and with clients; utilize the Bible and make reference to Scripture; encourage the confession of sin, the practice of forgiveness, and the making of amends; support the practice of the spiritual disciplines; and give assistance or make referral for spiritual interventions and other specialized
10 10 practices. Biblical caregiving is not dichotomized into sacred and secular compartments, but from the perspective of the mental health and coaching professions, which is rightly seen as holistic, adjunctive, and building upon the Word of God. This integrative work is a central aspect of the Christian caregiver s lifelong challenge to become a helper of both excellence and ethical integrity. They invite God s presence and power to guide this change and transform and sanctify the person being helped properly using God s Word and the ministry resources of His universal church. However, regardless of religious creed or preferred theoretical orientation, biblical caregivers are bound together by the following common goals and ethics: knowing and loving God; loving and serving others; avoiding all harm toward clients and others; bringing truth, healing, and agreed upon change into people s lives; assisting people in being set free from sin, spiritual bondage, mental disorders, and emotional distress; making peace and doing justice; and assisting the Church, community, and profession to grow to their full maturity. Biblical caregivers are committed to disciplined learning and faithful growth in knowledge, gifts, and skills. When appropriate, biblical caregivers testify to the saving grace and sanctifying power of Jesus Christ. They avoid imposing their values and beliefs on clients but, on the other hand, they are not silent about God s love, mercy, and grace. Biblical caregivers strive to maintain their integrity to Christ and His revelation in Scripture, while also contributing to the growth of psychological knowledge and skills that are inherent to all caregiving practice and development. They are dedicated to a continual evaluation and improvement of their practices in order to fulfill the call to excellence as biblical caregivers and ministry leaders. The Credentialing Process: The International Board of Christian Care provides general administration and oversight to a number of credentialing boards including the Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors (BCPPC), the Board of Christian Life Coaching (BCLC), and the Board of Christian Crisis & Trauma Response (BCCTR). These boards are affiliated with the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and offer a formal credentialing process for biblical counselors, life coaches, and crisis responders who are interested in seeking public recognition for their education, training, experience, and Christian commitment to caregiving ministry. Light University Online programs meet a number of specific academic credentialing requirements for these boards. The mission of the IBCC is to serve Christian leaders throughout the world in taking positive and tangible steps to further develop the emerging profession of Christian caregiving. Their vision is to create and maintain a viable and comprehensive Christian Care Network (CCN) as a resource for those who are hurting. The CCN consists of individuals who are active members of the AACC and have been properly credentialed through one or more of the IBCC Boards.
11 11 The IBCCCC offers its members and the Christian caregiving community the following benefits: 1. National Credentials The delivery of a fair, clinically-rigorous, biblically-based, and voluntary national credential in Christian caregiving that utilizes a systematic and thorough evaluation process. 2. Ethical Standards A commitment to embrace and advance the AACC Christian Counseling and/or Life Coaching Code of Ethics while promoting biblical caregiving in a manner that not only maintains a high ethical standard of care, but also honors the sacred trust that God has given to each Christian caregiver. 3. Christian Advocacy To advocate for both the profession and the ministry of Christian caregiving to the Body of Christ, sister professions at the state and national levels, with third-party payers and managed care organizations, and within the communities where Christian caregivers live and work. Complete credentialing information, including requirements, descriptions, and downloadable application forms are available at The integrated matrix of core credentials and specialty designations provide a wonderful opportunity to join thousands of likeminded colleagues as a collective voice on behalf of Christian caregiving worldwide. Continuing Education The training and courses offered through LUO meets the ongoing continuing education requirements for counselors, life coaches, and crisis responders who are credentialed through the International Board of Certified Christian Care (IBCC) and one of its affiliate boards. Light University Online, in its partnership with AACC, is affiliated with the American Association of Christian Counselors who is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. The AACC is a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) TM and co-sponsor of LUO courses. The AACC may award NBCC approved clock hours for courses and/or programs that meet NBCC requirements. The AACC maintains responsibility for the content of these courses and programs. The AACC also meets the qualifications for continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Science (#3552). It remains the responsibility of each student to be aware of his/her state s licensure requirements. Students should check with their state and local regulations regarding required continuing education hours.
12 12 A History of Light University Online Light University Online began in 1999 as the education and training arm of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Since 1999, Light University has been offering professional development and continuing education for individuals who have a desire to increase their knowledge and skills in Christian counseling, the helping professions, and caregiving ministries. As a result, more than 150,000 individuals have enrolled in various programs. These students are serving in churches, counseling agencies, and communities literally all over the world. They are counselors, Sunday school teachers, pastors, ministry leaders, lay leaders and more. The newly launched online teaching platform allows for greater innovation, flexibility, and convenience like never before. LUO Biblical Foundations Statement WE BELIEVE in one God, creator and sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally co-existing in three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. WE BELIEVE the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are the inspired and trustworthy Word of God, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of human beings, and the final authority for all matters about which it speaks. WE BELIEVE that human nature derives from two historical persons, male and female, created in God s image. They were created perfect, but they sinned, plunging themselves and all human beings into sin, guilt, suffering, and death. WE BELIEVE that the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and His bodily resurrection provide the only grounds for justification, forgiveness, and salvation for all who believe, and only those who trust in Him alone are born of the Holy Spirit, true members of the Church, and will spend eternity with Christ. WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration and renewal for believers in Christ, that He makes the presence of Jesus Christ real in believers, and that He comforts, guides, convicts, and enables believers to live in ways that honor Him. WE BELIEVE that ministry to persons also acknowledges the complexity of humans as physical, psychological, social, and spiritual beings. The ultimate goal of Christian caregiving is to help others move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity. Academic Term and Course Schedule LUO operates under the semester system. All courses are delivered primarily in five-week terms within each semester. This structure will maximize every student s ability to take courses
13 13 across the range of class formats available. An online format will be the primary mode of delivery. See Light University Online s Academic Calendar for additional details: B. Student Information Standards of Conduct With today s post-modern culture of moral relativism, it is imperative that Christians be reminded that the Bible, as the revelation of God s truth, must determine not only one s doctrinal beliefs but also one s lifestyle. In an ever-changing world, the Christian has an unchanging standard, the Word of God. LUO s STANDARDS OF CONDUCT are based on the teachings and principles of the Bible, seeking to develop personal holiness and discipline exemplified in a life that glorifies God. LUO offers education with a distinctive purpose. Included in that purpose is a student s total growth and development in preparation for Christian life and service. The Board of directors, founder, administration, and faculty have committed LUO to the highest standards of Christian conduct required to fulfill its stated purpose. Student Services LUO recognizes that student services are essential to the achievement of educational goals. LUO provides such services in the form of coaching, ministry and academic services. These services enhance the educational, social, physical, spiritual, and overall development of the individual student. Academic Services Upon registration, students will be assigned a personal Academic Coach who will be responsible for administrative assistance and advising until they complete their program of study. Technology and Services LUO realizes the importance of furthering the use of technology to enhance each student s education, communication skills, and access to resources. Therefore, after completion of the registration process, but not in conjunction with such registration, students will be issued an LUO password and credentials to access the LUO system. All system accounts will remain
14 14 active for the duration of the student s academic enrollment in the institution based on the condition that the student remains active and in good standing. Students must agree to the institution s Terms and Conditions and Acceptable Use Policy (see below) regarding the use and transmission of and computer equipment. Students are cautioned not to provide institution-sponsored passwords and credentials to outside organizations, especially Web site submissions, in order to minimize the exposure of the institution to outside threats. LUO Information Systems Acceptable Use Terms and Conditions Rights and Responsibilities. Computers and networks can provide access to resources. Such open access is a privilege and requires that individual users act responsibly. Users must respect the rights of other users, the integrity of the systems and related physical resources, and observe all relevant laws, regulations, and contractual obligations. This includes complying with policies and obligations of organizations with whom LUO contracts for computing, networking, and information products and services used by students and employees of LUO. Provisions for Confidentiality. The University encourages the legal and authorized sharing of information, the comprehensive access to local and national facilities to create and disseminate information, and the free expression of ideas. There is an obligation on the part of all those who use these resources to respect the intellectual and access-rights of others who own or use the resources. It is critical that computer use be performed in a manner which protects individual rights to privacy as prescribed by governmental and University policy. Electronic Privacy. Users have a responsibility to respect the privacy of others. Violations of this responsibility include, but are not limited to: Using a user account that you are not authorized to use. Obtaining a password for a user account other than your own, or giving your account information to another user. Using the LUO network to gain unauthorized access to any computer system or network. Attempting to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes. Masking or forging the identity of an account, individual, or machine. Attempting to monitor or tamper with another user s electronic communications, or reading, copying, changing, or deleting another user s files or software without the explicit agreement of the owner. Accessing clearly confidential files that may be inadvertently public and readable.
15 15 Accessing confidential information about a person (such as their educational records) without their consent or other authorization. Compliance with Federal HIPAA, FERPA and FTC. It is the intention of LUO to comply with the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA); the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA); and rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in all matters pertaining to personal privacy and confidentiality. Interpersonal Conduct. Users are expected to follow acceptable standards of ethics and conduct in their electronic interactions with others. Inappropriate conduct includes: Using or other means of communication to harass or threaten others or to send inappropriate mass mailings. This includes sending repeated, unwanted e- mail to another user; initiating or propagating electronic chain letters; sending multiple mailings to news groups, mailing lists, or individuals (e.g., spamming, flooding, or bombing ). Posting materials on electronic bulletin boards or otherwise transmitting or reproducing materials that are slanderous or defamatory in nature or that otherwise violate existing laws or the University s codes of conduct. Displaying obscene, lewd, or sexually harassing images or text in a public computer facility or location that can be in view of others or the unsolicited distribution of these materials. Inappropriate Content. This section outlines the legal, ethical and appropriate use of campus computers and network resources. LUO policy defines a number of categories of content that are inappropriate for the online campus environment. Information within these categories of content are not allowed to be sent or stored on University resources and includes material sent or viewed on the World Wide Web, via , external storage devices, file transfer or any other electronic means; whether written, graphics or images, aural or visual. Specific categories of inappropriate content include: Sexual: Obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, or sexually offensive material. Harassing or Slanderous: Material that is intended to threaten other individuals or groups. Academic Dishonesty: Material that might be used to cheat, plagiarize or in other ways receive academic benefits without performing the actual work. LUO reserves the right to modify or expand upon these categories as deemed appropriate by the University President. File Sharing (P2P) and Copyrighted Materials. It is the policy of LUO to respect all computer software copyrights and to adhere to the terms of all software licenses to which LUO is a party. The University will take all steps necessary to prohibit users from duplicating any
16 16 licensed software or related documentation unless rights for reproduction are expressly granted by civil and criminal penalties under the United States Copyright Act. Network Monitoring/Compliance Policy. LUO reserves the right to audit and monitor all network transmissions within the online campus network regardless of their source of origin. LUO further reserves the right to record, on an exception basis, the usage of all computing resources if prohibited, threatening, or abusive behavior has been observed or reported, whether observed by another user or through normal system maintenance. The University may use information gained in this way in disciplinary, civil, or criminal proceedings. An individual s access to computer resources may be suspended immediately upon the discovery of a possible violation of these policies. Violation of these policies will be reported to the appropriate area for possible disciplinary action. Spiritual Services LUO realizes that academic attainment is but a part of a student s preparation for life and service and that information obtained through classes and individual study has its benefit fully realized only as a corresponding spiritual life is developed. Funds permitting, weekend seminars or Web broadcasts will be presented to the student body by nationally-known speakers on such topics as prayer, worship, ministry, spiritual formation, and theology. Harassment LUO is committed to providing students and employees with an environment free of harassment in any form. Any act of harassment (i.e., physical, psychological, verbal, or sexual) that threatens a person or persons is considered a serious offense and will not be tolerated. Any person or group who commits acts of harassment based upon race, ethnicity, gender, or disability on or off campus will be subject to disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal from LUO. Behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, which is a form of sexual discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, includes, but is not limited to, unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and/or other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which negatively affects another person. Reporting Procedure. Any student who believes that he/she has been the subject of harassment in any form should report the incident immediately to his/her Academic Coach. Any student of LUO who engages in the aforementioned behavior(s) is subject to disciplinary action, which may result in possible dismissal. Since LUO takes such charges seriously, where the results of an investigation reveal a complaint of harassment/sexual harassment to be frivolous or groundless, the individual having made the complaint may be subject to the same disciplinary action.