Huntington University Launching a New Institute and Master’s Program

June 4th, 2014

News Coverage:

June 4, 2014

News Release

HUNTINGTON, Ind. - Best-selling author, leadership consultant and world-renowned psychologist, Dr. John Townsend is bringing his acclaimed counseling and leadership model to Huntington University to form the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling.

"I wanted to partner with a university that, as an organization, is committed to academic excellence, is biblically-based, has a relational culture, is very strategic and can make nimble and agile administrative decisions," Dr. Townsend said. "Huntington has those qualities and more."

The first of its kind, the Townsend Institute will provide master's degree programs in both counseling and organizational leadership. The program curricula are based on Dr. Townsend’s character-based model discussed in his many books, writings and teachings. A primary focus of Dr. Townsend's model is helping students learn to facilitate transformational relationships, both in counseling and organizations, which help people heal, grow and achieve their potential in life and career.

Through the Townsend Institute, students will be educated in several key arenas of information, including scriptural teachings, counseling and leadership theory and research, neuroscience, and Dr. Townsend's writings and experience base. The program is designed to be practical and skilled-based, allowing the student to become a practitioner through both theory and technique.

The Townsend Institute will launch in fall 2015. The master's degree program in organizational leadership is under development.

"Securing the talent and expertise of Dr. Townsend through the establishment of the Townsend Institute positions Huntington University as a premier resource for the intersection of faith and leadership in Christian higher education," President Sherilyn Emberton said. "We are blessed beyond measure to be able to engage with diverging cultures and faith traditions on issues of transformation and restoration through Jesus Christ with the creation of the programs and curriculum offered regionally, as well as globally, through the new Townsend Institute."

The Townsend Institute will build on the traditional classroom structure and engage students in an innovative, experientially-based training program. More than just learning the Townsend model, students in the programs will be personally taught by Dr. Townsend as he leads sessions to demonstrate the different modules from his character-based model.

"My vision is that The Institute will produce thousands and thousands of best-in-class business leaders, ministry leaders and counselors doing good in the world, trained by a growth model which is character-based, research-supported, highly practical and thoroughly Christian," Dr. Townsend said. "I want to be personally involved with the students, both on campus and online, in helping them make sense of the material, develop high-level skills, be inspired and help them solve their challenges."

The program will be offered onsite at the Huntington and Fort Wayne campuses as well as online. The Townsend Institute also will expand to include certificate programs as well as opportunities to take stand-alone courses in leadership training and personal enrichment.
For more than two decades, Dr. Townsend has been helping leaders, organizations and individuals grow, heal, make changes and exceed their goals. His expertise in psychology and leadership help him provide solutions for people in many venues.

He has written or co-written 27 books, totaling six million copies in sales, including the bestseller "Boundaries," which sold two million copies. His award-winning books have earned three Gold Medallions and the Retailers Choice award for a book and television venture with Time-Life and Integrity Publishers.

The Townsend Institute will be directed by Scott Makin, a licensed counselor and business consultant. Before coming to HU, Makin served as the executive director of Wabash Friends Counseling Center in Wabash, Ind., which he founded. He has 13 years of experience in higher education and has known and worked with Dr. Townsend for nearly 20 years. In addition, he has co-facilitated leadership and counseling training in Indianapolis with Dr. Townsend for the past three years.

For more information about the Townsend Institute, visit
Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest, and has listed the university as one of America's Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review has named the institution to its "Best in the Midwest" list. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

Source: Huntington University