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Paul Johns, Ph.D., LMFT, CFLE

Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Science

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PJohns@messiah.edu

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717-796-1800 ext. 2603

Interest and areas of expertise

Professional Interests:

Marriage and family therapy/counseling, integration of HDFS and theology/faith, attachment across the lifespan, intimate couple dynamics and therapy, somatization disorders, relational neurobiology

Service Interests:

Family life education, premarital counseling, relational enrichment in church congregations (retreats, conferences, etc.), speaking/preaching in schools, churches, community organizations, etc .

Education
  • Messiah College- B.A. in Family Studies (1996)
  • Bethel Seminary- St. Paul, MN- M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy (2001)
  • Liberty University - Ph.D. in Professional Counseling (2018)
Classes I teach
  • Marital Relationships (HDFS 355)
  • Introduction to Interpersonal Relationships (HDFS 142)
  • HDFS Seminar (HDFS 494)
  • Strategies of Family Life Education (HDFS 442)
  • Marriage and Family Therapy (HDFS 411)
  • Foundations of Marriage and Family
  • Counseling Techniques (COUN540)

Profile

How I Found my Niche:

My decision to get involved in family science is a complex mixture of life events, personal convictions, and divine providence. Life events and circumstances that motivated me to pursue working with families included the following: growing up in a family with relational challenges; experiencing a fire that destroyed our house at age 19, teaching me about the incredible value of family, church, and community; and growing up in a church body that seemed to struggle with how to handle relational and family struggles. My passion to learn to help people grew as I experienced and witnessed the crippling pain of relationship problems. Even when I began pursuing another career path (geology and atmospheric sciences), God kept stirring my heart to use the circumstances that entered my life and my gifts to serve people. In a nutshell, my entrance into the fields of family science and marriage and family therapy is much more than a career aspiration. It is the pursuit of a mission to smoothly integrate my faith with established therapeutic and educational methods driven by the goal of encouraging and enlivening people in their love and service for God and others.

Hobbies:

Collecting rocks and minerals; watching sports; reading email, lawn work :-) 

Family:

I have been married to Melanie for almost 19 years and have three children, Brendan (16), Lindsey (13), and Aubrey (10)

Current Projects

Practicing Christ-centered marriage and family therapy on a part-time basis, providing premarital counseling when the opportunity arises, providing supervision for MFT/Counseling graduates pursuing licensure in PA, organizing and facilitating marital enrichment retreats, working on my dissertation, and speaking with churches and organizations when the opportunity arises.