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Experience transformational education that operates at the crossroads of competence, character, and connection through the Townsend Institute’s life-changing counseling and leadership programs.
The Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine offers fully accredited online graduate degrees, a bachelor's degree, and professional certificates in three content areas: Organizational Leadership, Executive Coaching and Consulting, and Counseling. Masterful psychologist and relationship expert Dr. John Townsend founded the Institute to address both the head and the heart, incorporating scriptural truths with current neuroscience. Discover how the Institute’s approach goes deeper than behavioral change and moves us to growth.
Dr. John Townsend is a New York Times bestselling author, leadership consultant, psychologist, and relationship expert. He has written 35 books, selling 10 million copies, including the bestselling Boundaries series. His depth of experience and research result in practical counsel that has been sought-after by scores of listeners through his live broadcasts. Built from the foundation of his teachings, Dr. Townsend established the Townsend Institute in 2015 and still plays an active role with leading the way we learn about counseling and leadership.
Experience a new kind of relational education. Join us online LIVE and hear from our faculty, academic advisors, current students, and alumni about their experience in the Townsend Institute.
Townsend LIVE Information Night
Wed, Mar 13, 2024, 5:30 PM PST
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Wed, Apr 17, 2024, 5:30 PM PST
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This program not only gets into your mind, it gets into your heart. I feel like the Townsend Institute is behind me in my endeavor to supply restorative support to others.
Meet the Fellows
When you make a choice to invest in your future by continuing your education, you want to be sure your time is well spent. That’s where the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine offers a distinct advantage. In addition to top-tier faculty, Dr. Townsend has assembled a world-class team of influencers, author-teachers and practitioners with broad platforms who are widely recognized. Enrolled students will connect to these top thinkers and practitioners in the monthly virtual symposia.
Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of six books and was named an INC top 100 leadership speaker. His work is taught by the NFL Player's Association and each year he talks to some of the biggest brands in the world including Microsoft, Nissan, Comedy Central, and FedEx.
Psychiatrist, brain disorder specialist, founder of the Amen Clinics, bestselling author, Change Your Brain, Change Your Mind.
Founder and chairman, New Life Ministries and New Life syndicated radio program, founder of Women of Faith, bestselling author, including Every Man’s Battle.
Founder of the Barna Research Group, leadership expert and bestselling author of many books, including Master Leaders.
Karen Bergstrom optimizes her over thirty years of experience as an executive in nonprofit agencies and enjoys her role as a leadership coach and directing Safe Families for Children.
Management expert, founder and spiritual director of the Blanchard Companies, Founder of Lead Like Jesus, speaker, bestselling author, including One Minute Manager.
Past President of Continental Airlines, past CEO of Burger King; past CEO of Quiznos; past CEO of Price Waterhouse Cooper Consulting.
Former CEO LensCrafters and Family Christian Bookstores.
Jim Burns speaks to thousands of people around the world; he has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages including Faith Conversations for Families.
Speaker, author, teacher, and leader of an organization that invests in equipping women to serve God’s purpose in missions and ministry. Inspire Women reaches thousands of women each year through its citywide events, programs and Leadership Academy curriculum.
Psychologist, marriage and family expert, founder of the Gary Chapman Chair at Moody Bible Institute, author of many books, including the New York Times bestseller The Five Love Languages.
Leadership expert, business consultant, psychologist and bestselling author, including Boundaries for Leaders.
Popular author, including the title Finding Home.
A Dallas-based couple that spends their after-work hours as speakers, stage actors, and advocates for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Executive Coach, Therapist, Townsend Leadership Program Director.
In a long-term career, Roy has owned minor league baseball, hockey, and football teams. He has sold his fight promotions company 4 times.
Anthony is a highly sought-after adviser to CEOs, Key Executives, and their companies. He has been a leader with numerous Fortune 100 giants (e.g., Kraft Foods, RJ Reynolds, and 3M) and a pioneering executive in several multi-million dollar non-profit ventures. Anthony has been a featured speaker at Harvard University, Emory University, TEDX, and many podcasts and keynote addresses. Anthony has authored three books: The Execution Pipeline, The Happiness Map, and The 120 Planner.
He formerly served as CEO of The 100 Black Men of Atlanta, in addition to scaling his consulting practice. He currently serves as CEO of WorkFaith Connection, headquartered in Houston, TX.
Anthony serves on many nationally renowned boards. His clients include many high-net-worth individuals, companies, professional athletes, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and churches. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Sales from The University of Memphis, and he also holds a Master of Arts in Religion from Memphis Theological Seminary, where he graduated with honors.
President and Founder of Trochia Ministries providing Christian discipleship online, a Teaching Pastor at Mariners Church, host of Uncharted Podcast, and CFO of J.D. Franklin Holdings.
He has served as senior vice-president for LifeWay Christian and authored the bestselling church leadership book, Simple Church.
Relationship researchers, clinicians and bestselling authors, including The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
Founder and past CEO of Mardel Christian and Education bookstores, and co-host of illumiNations, a collective impact alliance working to eradicate Bible poverty.
Chairman of the Board for the Museum of the Bible. Steve started working at Hobby Lobby when he graduated from high school when there were only 8 stores. Today Hobby Lobby has over 900 stores in 47 states.
George and Tondra Gregory have worked with many current and retired couples throughout the National Football League and started a marriage ministry called Journey for Life.
Halderman Companies is one of the largest family-owned professional farm management and real estate organizations in the United States.
Teays River Investments is a food and agribusiness company with over 1,200 employees.
Ray is also the Co-Founder of Truth at Work, an association which helps Christian business leaders build strong organizations, popular author, including The Janitor.
Psychologist, psychoanalyst, co-director of The Brookhaven Institute for Psychoanalysis and Christian Thought (BIPACT).
Psychologist, psychoanalyst, founding director of The Brookhaven Institute for Psychoanalysis and Christian Thought (BIPACT), author Toward Mutual Recognition, When the Roll Is Called.
Townsend Leadership Program Director
Leading over 1,000 staff members in 65 countries who serve athletes and coaches.
Townsend Leadership Program Director
He has scaled multiple companies over the years, including a $250M publishing company with 700+ employees and his own leadership development company that has grown over 60% year over year for the past 4 years. Under his leadership, Full Focus has been featured in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in America and in 2020 and 2021 the company was named to Inc.’s Best Work Places list.
He is also the author of several New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling books, including Living Forward, Your Best Year Ever, Free to Focus, The Vision Driven Leader, and Win at Work and Succeed at Life. He has been married for over 40 years to his wife Gail, has five daughters, and ten grandchildren.
Psychiatrist, speaker, author of The God-Shaped Brain.
Developer of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, researcher, professor of clinical psychology, author of Hold Me Tight, The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
Teacher and author of Biblical Concepts for Christian Counseling, Board Member for the Narramore Christian Foundation.
The Gathering is a learning community of philanthropists motivated by their Christian faith. Previously, he was the Co-Founder and Partner at Praxis, a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship.
Retired Founder and CEO of State National Companies, Inc., a leading provider of niche property and casualty insurance services.
Psychologist, best-selling author, including The Birth Order Book.
Pat is one of the founders of The Table Group and is the pioneer of the organizational health movement. He is the author of 13 books, which have sold over 8 million copies and been translated into more than 30 languages. As President of the Table Group, Pat spends his time speaking and writing about leadership, teamwork, and organizational health and consulting with executives and their teams. Before founding the firm in 1997, Pat worked at Bain & Company, Oracle Corporation, and Sybase. Pat lives in the Bay Area with his wife and four boys.
Defender Direct is a $500m security and home automation company and founder of Companies With a Mission.
Award winning psychiatrist, columnist, teacher and mental health advocate.
Chairman of The Mabee Foundation, M.S and an M.A. Psychology, M.S. , Counselor for 32 years.
Psychiatrist and bestselling author, including Blue Genes.
Kairos Company provides branding, strategy and public relations counsel to leaders and organizations.
Co-Host Discover the Word, Speaker, Author.
Zondervan is a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
Townsend Leadership Program Director
Psychologist, bestselling author, including Mad About Us: Moving from Anger to Intimacy with Your Spouse.
Leadership expert, former pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and teaching pastor at Willow Creek Church. Author of several books, including If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.
Business consultant, speaker, popular author, including Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands.
Psychologists, bestselling authors, including Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.
Sacred Harvest Foundation is a ministry targeting Kingdom development worldwide.
Todd Peterson played for 13 years in the NFL. He has been chairman of different non-profits, interim CEO and a member of four private company boards.
Dr. Anita Phillips is a trauma therapist, life coach, and minister. Widely recognized as a thought leader at the intersection of mental health, faith, and culture, Dr. Anita holds a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling and completed an NIH-funded post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her expertise and research interests center on culturally competent theory development and the application of that work to understanding how diversity impacts the way that faith communities conceptualize mental health. As a professor at the Townsend Institute Masters of Arts in Counseling, a clinical supervisor, and a mentor, she challenges students to think critically –even skeptically-- about everything they learn in hopes that one of their fresh ideas might one day change the face of professional counseling.
From The Potter’s House to Lakewood Church and from Woman Evolve to the IF Conference, Dr. Anita’s dynamic voice has been heard on some of the largest Christian platforms in the country. As a media personality, she has been trusted by the likes of Tamron Hall, The Talk, Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Red Table Talk, and the Today Show. Dr. Anita’s faith + mental health advocacy campaigns have reached hundreds of thousands, and her podcast, In the Light with Dr. Anita, has more than two million downloads. She is also the author of the paradigm-shifting book The Garden Within: Where the War with Your Emotions ends and Your Most Powerful Life Begins.
Pastor. Bestselling author, The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, The Emotionally Healthy Church.
Former NFL Player, Current NFL Ambassador. Certified Transition Coach for the NFL Player Engagement Program and family expert for the NFL Players Association, conducting workshops across the country helping players transition from playing football professionally to becoming better leaders, husbands and fathers. Author of The Dad I Wish I Had, which has received national attention on CNN, HLN, Fox News, TBN, and Family Life.
The Gathering is a learning community of philanthropists motivated by their Christian faith.
Authors, speakers, marriage & family strategists at LifeWay. Famous at Home help leaders build emotional intelligence and 22:6 Parenting.
Psychiatrist. Author of Anatomy of the Soul.
Professor of Clinical Psychology at Azusa Pacific University. Private practice clinical psychoanalyst and psychologist. Co-author of Lacanian Psychoanalysis and Eastern Orthodox Christian Anthropology in Dialogue.
Popular leadership speaker.
Telec is a company specializing in connectivity, and a futurist thought leader.
Clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in Roswell, GA. Clinical consultant, speaker and facilitator of women’s retreats.
Consultant, author, founder of third largest Direct Marketing Agency, as a Private Equity partner, he has helped grow and sell five companies.
Writer, Author of the New York Times bestseller, The Shack.
The Townsend Institute is housed within Concordia University Irvine, a private, Lutheran university. Located in Southern California, Concordia serves over 5,000 students annually, on campus and online. Centered by a Christian worldview, and guided by the Great Commission, Concordia is home to a thoughtful and caring community of learners.
The Townsend Institute
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