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About our Department

Mission Statement

The Department of Human Development and Family Science at Messiah College seeks to enhance the well-being of families in diverse societies through a) educating and advising students for graduate school and careers in family science; b) engaging in national and international conversations on family-related issues; c) conducting academic research; d) developing and delivering effective family life education programs; e) presenting ideas and solutions which reflect Christian faith and values; and f) pursuing lives of leadership, service (e.g. civic engagement), and reconciliation (e.g. ethical responsibility) locally, nationally, and globally.

Human Development and Family Science Department Student Goals

  1. Obtain and demonstrate knowledge in key content areas of family science:
    1. Families in Society
    2. Internal Dynamics of Families
    3. Human Growth and Development over the Life Span
    4. Human Sexuality
    5. Interpersonal Relationships
    6. Family Resource Management
    7. Parent Education and Guidance
    8. Community Service and Family Policy
    9. Professional Ethics and Practice
    10. Family Life Education Methodology
  2. Demonstrate the ability to critique popular, traditionally accepted or widely disseminated information about family relationships and functioning.
  3. Understand, critically analyze, evaluate, and conduct empirically based research.
  4. Clarify and articulate attitudes, assumptions, and values, including an awareness and appreciation of how one’s world view intersects and impacts those of others.
  5. Integrate their Christian faith and academic understanding of human development and family science theory and practice.
  6. Gain practice experience and application opportunities in the discipline, both in and out of the classroom.
  7. Increase understanding of multicultural and diverse family experiences (e.g., socioeconomic, rural-urban, various family structures).
  8. Develop professional skills which are desired by employers and which increase competence of family professionals (e.g., speaking and writing, including APA format; teamwork skills; a strong work ethic; interpersonal skills (e.g. listening, sending clear messages); computer skills; organizational skills; leadership skills. Demonstrate appropriate content pedagogy.
  9. Emerge from their major with realistic ideas about how to apply their disciplinary knowledge, skills, and values in a variety of occupational pursuits as well as their personal suitability for various career paths.