Wheaton College Announces New Trauma Certificate

August 27, 2019

The Wheaton College Graduate School is launching a Trauma Certificate that equips mental health professionals to master essential trauma-informed responses.

Dr. Jamie Aten and Dr. Tammy SchultzFrom mass shootings to natural disasters, this summer’s news headlines alone prove that traumatic events are all too common.

According to Wheaton College Professor of Counseling Dr. Tammy Schultz, traumatic events are not only pervasive. They’re also pernicious and present extensive global ripple effects.

The School of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy has partnered with the Humanitarian Disaster Institute’s M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership to offer the new Trauma Certificate at the Wheaton College Graduate School. Led by Schultz and Dr. Jamie Aten, the Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership, this nine-credit course will prepare mental health professionals to better care for those affected by traumatic events.

“Wherever there is disaster and humanitarian crisis, there is trauma—and with it, a need for more people trained to care for the emotional and spiritual needs of survivors,” Aten said. “This certificate program provides an opportunity for humanitarian aid workers and disaster responders already on the field to receive specialized training to provide trauma-informed care from a Christian perspective to those they serve.”

The certificate requires three courses, including Introduction to Trauma and Crisis Counseling, Advanced Trauma-Focused Assessment and Intervention and Disaster Crisis & Intervention. With all of these courses, mental health professionals will “gain advanced specialized training to support the healing and growth of individuals and communities facing traumatic experiences,” Schultz said. This program can be completed on campus or online.

Current students and alumni of the School of Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy or the M.A. in Humanitarian Disaster Leadership may apply to this certificate program. People who have completed a master’s degree in a mental health discipline, who are currently enrolled in a graduate training program in a mental health discipline, or who are working a related field, including disaster management or humanitarian action, can also apply. The Trauma Certificate will begin accepting applications starting immediately, with a deadline of August 1, 2020 for the first cohort.

“Our goal is to prepare Christian leaders who will be on the front lines of trauma to provide the very best emotional and spiritual care to those who are suffering, in whatever role or context that might be,” Aten said.—Emily Bratcher