The Value of a Christian College Education

Interview with Stacy Haynes, CEO of Little Hands Family Services, Counseling Psychologist, and Liberty University alumnae. 

Throughout her journey as a Christian, Stacy Haynes has always sought the opportunity to work in a profession where she is able to share her experiences and help those around her. As a counseling psychologist, she does just that. Haynes is currently the CEO of Little Hands Family Services, a therapist owned and operated mental health services facility that provides counseling to the family unit. She is also an adjunct professor at Liberty University and hosts a radio show that tackles such tough topics as substance abuse, social anxiety, and improving communication with your child.

Stacy Haynes, CEO of Little Hands Family Services

In her lifelong commitment to education, Haynes started by earning her Bachelor’s degree from Liberty University and her Master’s degree from Bowie State University. She then went on to earn her doctor of education (EdD) in counseling psychology from Argosy University. Also, as a practicing counseling psychologist, she has earned her Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) license and is an Approved Clinical Supervisor with National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Another aspect to Stacy Haynes’ career is her authorship of a book and articles that provide modern parenting advice. Her book, Powerful Peaceful Parenting: Guiding Children, Changing Lives, provides tactics designed from Biblical and psychological strategies to face the everyday challenges of parenting. Haynes has also contributed to several parenting publications, including Women’s Health Magazine on “How to Deal with Unwanted Parenting Advice,” P&G Everyday on “7 Ways to Handle Temper Tantrums,” and Parent and Child Magazine on “Traveling with Preschoolers Made Easy.” Her expertise has also earned her speaking engagements at the NJ Children Mental Health Conferences and women’s conferences nationwide.

For a full view of Stacy Haynes’ career, her thoughts on working as a counseling psychologist, and the benefits of a Christian education, read our full interview below.

Tell us more about your education and background. What led you to attend Liberty University and then go into the counseling profession?

I grew up in youth group and Liberty athletes would visit our church when they were playing teams in the area. I really prayed about where to go when it was time and Liberty was the perfect choice for me. I wanted to be a pediatrician but thought that I did not want to be in school forever. My father suggested counseling and I have loved the choice I made.

How did your experience at LU shape your current and future aspirations?

Liberty truly is a great foundation in Christian education and they really do “train champions.” I was always encouraged by the faculty to pursue excellence in my field and to establish myself as a professional and a Christian.

How did your education prepare you for your time as an adjunct professor at Liberty University? Can you tell us more about your responsibilities in that role?

As an adjunct, I teach Abnormal Psychology and Intro to Research courses through LU online. My education has prepared me by providing me with the foundation to teach online students. I did my final degree online because I was already licensed and working in the field. I could appreciate the ability to finish my degree while building my practice and working in the field.

How was it to teach online courses for Liberty University? How does it create a different experience than learning in the classroom?

It is amazing to teach online for Liberty. I am able to reach students all over the world. This is different than teaching in NJ with only local students. I am able to interact with servicemen in Japan and mothers in California. It is a great learning environment for students.

You’ve not only earned your Bachelor’s degree, but your Master’s degree and your Doctorate of Education degree in Counseling Psychology. To what do you attribute your commitment to education? Did you complete any of your education online and if so, what were the benefits?

I attribute my education to my father. He only had a high school GED but encouraged us as children to pursue a college degree. My doctorate was completed online and was the best decision I made. I was already licensed and working as a counselor, but I wanted to finish the education journey. Being online allowed me to continue to work with families and build my practice. My own children were small so it allowed me to be with my children at night instead of commuting to a campus. My professors were all doctorate-level professionals working in the field of psychology so it was great to hear their experiences in each class.

Talk about the company you founded, Little Hands Family Services. Did your Christian education factor into that endeavor, and if so, how?

Our mission is to help families, one child at a time. Little Hands Family Services is about giving families peace in their homes by providing children and families quality, evidence-based counseling services. My heart is invested in helping reduce conflict and hurt in homes and providing as many families the opportunity for peace.

You have many roles in the Christian community that center around helping people—psychologist, author, radio host, motivational speaker, parenting expert. How does your faith play a part in these?

My faith is the foundation of all I do. God has opened up so many doors to share my faith and to help others find the peace that He can provide.

What are the most exciting and rewarding things about the work you do?

Helping families live in peace. I love to help a family that was in conflict and watch them learn to understand one another and to create new relationships through counseling. I tell my staff all the time at the end of the night how great it is to know that we are changing the course of families. 

How do you connect to people who are starting out on a similar faith journey? Do you recommend attending a Christian Education institution?

I do recommend attending a Christian college. I loved my experience as a student and professor at a Christian college campus. I believe that we have a better opportunity to learn and to grow when we attend a Christian college. Many have this notion that a Christian education is watered down or only focuses on the Bible. I am teaching students all the principles and information in an online college classroom that I am teaching on campus at secular schools plus my students get the Christian perspective. 

What advice do you have for students pursuing a Christian education? How can students prepare themselves for the challenges?

I believe that any student going to college has to learn how to be the best student they can be. God will show them how to study, how to prepare for classes and how to be a good student. College is part of the education journey and requires commitment of time. Students will do well to understand that college is about time management as much as it is about knowledge and gaining education in their professions. I find the student who learns to balance life while attending school will be prepared at any college or institution.

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