Faculty

Your experience in the Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision will be guided by core faculty in the Townsend Institute who are experienced professionals and faithful to the university’s mission of learning, service, and leadership.

Christmas Thomas, Margaret

Biography

Dr. Christmas Thomas joined Concordia University ten years ago where she is an Associate Dean and was a leader in starting the Townsend Institute and has been instrumental in program design and launching of the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Prior to Concordia she led National Counseling/Academic services for the world’s largest human services provider and consulted internationally in the areas of counseling, education and special education services. She has helped host several national conferences for counselors and educators, provided coaching consulting and presented on these topics across the United States and the United Kingdom.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Education and Leadership, Barry University
  • M.A., Counselor Education, University of Central Florida
  • B.A., Psychology, University of North Florida
Lorraine Gordon

Biography

Dr. Lorraine Gordon earned her degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from Capella University. Dr. Gordon is a National Certified Counselor and is a mentor for the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation, Mentor Program. She is a Disaster Mental Health Responder for the American Red Cross. Dr. Gordon’s professional experience spans Mental Health, Teaching, Counseling, and Healthcare. She has extensive experience working in community mental health, private practice, and within a teaching hospital in a variety of capacities. Dr. Gordon is an On-Demand Military & Family Life Counselor (MFLC) at Fort Dix. Her areas of interest include trauma, crisis management, online counseling learners transitioning into internship fieldwork, family, and Multicultural Counseling. Dr. Gordon served as Adjunct Faculty at Middlesex County College. Dr. Gordon’s ministry involves Family Life, Youth and Young Adults. She operates a Community Counseling office within her church. She serves on her church school Board and especially enjoys helping learners achieve their educational aspirations. Dr. Gordon resides in Central New Jersey with her husband, a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant, they are the parents of five adult children. For relaxation she enjoys hiking, speed walking, camping, traveling, and gardening. Dr. Gordon is committed to higher education and is a life-long learner, she is enthusiastic about integrating her counseling experience with academics.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision, Capella University
  • M.S. Human Services - Mental Health, Capella University
Brenda Keck headshot

Biography

Brenda Keck, Ph.D., LMFT has been practicing as a therapist since 2008 and teaching since 2014. She grew up overseas (East Africa) and much of her work has been in the missionary community in the U.S., Asia, Africa and Europe. She is passionate about promoting resilience, health and healing in the emotional and spiritual lives of ministry leaders. Her specializations include: issues of cross-cultural living, Third Culture Kids, Trauma recovery, compassion fatigue/secondary traumatic stress, resilience and wellness. She also finds great joy in mentoring and teaching a new generation of counselors!

Brenda has been married to her husband (a pastor) since 1981 and enjoys time with her grown twin daughters, a son-in-law, and one crazy dog. She lives in the Pacific NW and spends part of the summers in Alaska with her husband where he runs a fishing lodge. Some things she enjoys outside of work include horseback riding, hiking, hot yoga, salmon fishing with her husband, and sharing a pot of English tea with good conversation.

Degrees Earned

  • PhD Counselor Education and Supervision, Regent University
  • MA Marriage and Family Therapy, Richmont Graduate University
  • Bachelor’s in Education, Guidance & Counseling, University of North Texas
Mark Newmeyer

Biography

Dr. Newmeyer is a licensed professional clinical counselor and supervisor in Ohio and Virginia with over twenty years of clinical and consulting experience in mental health services, addictions, and trauma. He is a professional member of the American Counseling Association, which recognized his achievements by honoring him in 2004 as an Emerging Leader. Dr. Newmeyer is an active member of ASGW and also serves on the Editorial Board for Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development. He enjoys running, including several marathons and recently a 50K.


Professor

Biography

Matthew John Paylo, Ph.D./LPCC-S (OH), LPC (GA), is a professor of counseling at Concordia University Irvine. He has over 12 years of experience in counselor education and 20 years of clinical experience in various settings including community mental health centers, prisons, hospitals, adolescent residential treatment facilities, and college counseling centers. Matthew is passionate about implementing evidence-based interventions within therapeutic relationships that highlight empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness. He has presented and published extensively in the areas of diagnosing and treating mental and emotional disorders. Matthew co-authored two books on assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental and emotional disorders. In addition, he has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on trauma, evidence-based treatments, offender treatments, adolescent counseling, social justice counseling, and the implementation of the DSM. Matthew has received a number of teaching and research awards including the Distinguished Professor of Teaching at Youngstown State University and the Research and Writing Award from the Ohio Counseling Association (OCA). In addition, Matthew completed two terms as a governor-appointed member of the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision - (CACREP- Accredited) - University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • M.A. in Community Counseling - (CACREP- Accredited) - Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA
  • B.S. in Business - Grove City College, Grove City, PA
  • Shelton, DeenaShelton, Deena
  • Assistant Director for Counselor Education & Supervision, Core Faculty
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Shelton, Deena

Biography

Dr. Deena Shelton is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in Texas and has a variety of experiences in clinical, educational, and nonprofit settings. Like many counselors, she feels a strong connection to her calling of helping others and feels equally passionate about training new counselors. She focused her counseling expertise in couples and families, career counseling, and supervising new counselors as they seek licensure.

Previously, Dr. Shelton has worked in university career services, administration and advising for online graduate counseling programs, and in coordination and executive management of nonprofit organizations. She has worked community services such as advocacy for children in foster care, federally funded education programs, and community-based crime prevention initiatives. Her research focuses include adoptive families, parenting, supervision in counselor education, and research methods. She is passionate about volunteering for her community and serves in volunteer groups and on local boards to help promote change in her community.

Dr. Shelton is passionate about teaching new counselors in practical and connective ways. In addition to helping educate students about the process of counseling, she strives to mentor them in their personal development and professional identity. As most counselor educators, she loves helping students understand how they can connect with clients to promote change. She also loves teaching students how topics like research, assessment, evaluation, and documentation fit into the role of a counselor and how they enhance a counselor’s ability to serve clients well. In addition to serving as a faculty member, Dr. Shelton is the Field Experience Coordinator, overseeing practicum and internship experiences for students.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, Walden University
  • M.A., Community Counseling, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • B.S., Psychology, LeTourneau University
Stokes, Jeremiah

Biography

Dr. Jeremiah Stokes is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Florida, a National Certified Counselor (NCC), and a Board Certified PTSD Clinician with the American Psychotherapy Association. He utilizes various modalities of counseling that can be considered integrative, relational and organic. Jeremiah has a great deal of experience working with a multitude of clinical issues. He works with adolescents, adults, and families. His research interests are in the areas of wellness, counseling cancer patients, and substance abuse counseling.

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Argosy University
  • M.S., Walden University
  • B.S., University of Central Florida
Donna, Washburn

Biography

Dr. Washburn is a 1998 graduate of Evangel University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She went on to receive her master’s degree in Social Work from Missouri State University in 1999 and her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University in 2015. Her professional experience includes working with the adolescent population in areas such as school social work and as a therapist for teens in residential treatment, providing clinical supervision and consultation for social workers and counselors. Her areas of interest and past research include issues of abuse and neglect with children, negative behavioral functioning of adolescents, clinical supervision and social advocacy in the mental health field. Dr. Washburn has worked in Christian Higher Education for 20 years and has enjoyed many roles including teaching, administration, research and supervision. She is passionate about leading the CUI Townsend Institute Counseling Program and assisting the next generation of counselors in reaching the hurting world with excellence in clinical practice.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision: Regent University
  • M.S.W. - Master's of Social Work: Missouri State University
  • B.S.W. - Bachelor's of Social Work: Evangel University
  • LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker- Missouri

Administration & Staff

Christmas Thomas, Margaret

Biography

Dr. Christmas Thomas joined Concordia University ten years ago where she is an Associate Dean and was a leader in starting the Townsend Institute and has been instrumental in program design and launching of the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Prior to Concordia she led National Counseling/Academic services for the world’s largest human services provider and consulted internationally in the areas of counseling, education and special education services. She has helped host several national conferences for counselors and educators, provided coaching consulting and presented on these topics across the United States and the United Kingdom.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Education and Leadership, Barry University
  • M.A., Counselor Education, University of Central Florida
  • B.A., Psychology, University of North Florida
Donna, Washburn

Biography

Dr. Washburn is a 1998 graduate of Evangel University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She went on to receive her master’s degree in Social Work from Missouri State University in 1999 and her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University in 2015. Her professional experience includes working with the adolescent population in areas such as school social work and as a therapist for teens in residential treatment, providing clinical supervision and consultation for social workers and counselors. Her areas of interest and past research include issues of abuse and neglect with children, negative behavioral functioning of adolescents, clinical supervision and social advocacy in the mental health field. Dr. Washburn has worked in Christian Higher Education for 20 years and has enjoyed many roles including teaching, administration, research and supervision. She is passionate about leading the CUI Townsend Institute Counseling Program and assisting the next generation of counselors in reaching the hurting world with excellence in clinical practice.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision: Regent University
  • M.S.W. - Master's of Social Work: Missouri State University
  • B.S.W. - Bachelor's of Social Work: Evangel University
  • LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker- Missouri
  • Shelton, DeenaShelton, Deena
  • Assistant Director for Counselor Education & Supervision, Core Faculty
  •  
  •  
Shelton, Deena

Biography

Dr. Deena Shelton is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in Texas and has a variety of experiences in clinical, educational, and nonprofit settings. Like many counselors, she feels a strong connection to her calling of helping others and feels equally passionate about training new counselors. She focused her counseling expertise in couples and families, career counseling, and supervising new counselors as they seek licensure.

Previously, Dr. Shelton has worked in university career services, administration and advising for online graduate counseling programs, and in coordination and executive management of nonprofit organizations. She has worked community services such as advocacy for children in foster care, federally funded education programs, and community-based crime prevention initiatives. Her research focuses include adoptive families, parenting, supervision in counselor education, and research methods. She is passionate about volunteering for her community and serves in volunteer groups and on local boards to help promote change in her community.

Dr. Shelton is passionate about teaching new counselors in practical and connective ways. In addition to helping educate students about the process of counseling, she strives to mentor them in their personal development and professional identity. As most counselor educators, she loves helping students understand how they can connect with clients to promote change. She also loves teaching students how topics like research, assessment, evaluation, and documentation fit into the role of a counselor and how they enhance a counselor’s ability to serve clients well. In addition to serving as a faculty member, Dr. Shelton is the Field Experience Coordinator, overseeing practicum and internship experiences for students.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, Walden University
  • M.A., Community Counseling, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • B.S., Psychology, LeTourneau University

Biography

Dr. Andrew earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from California State University, Long Beach and her PhD from Regent University in Virginia. Her research interests include family communication, organizational communication and crisis management. She has taught at both private and public colleges and universities. Some of her past courses include Public Speaking, Workplace Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Organizational Communication, Journalism, and Interviewing. Dr. Andrew enjoys working at Concordia University because it allows her to combine her love of teaching and leadership with her Christian beliefs. Dr. Andrew resides in Northern California with her husband Brian and their daughter Brilie Kate.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Communication, Regent University
  • M.A., Communication Studies, California State University of Long Beach
  • B.A., Communication Studies, California State University of Long Beach
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