Department Highlights | Psychology & Sociology
by Alumni Office Staff
July 28, 2021
in Academic Excellence
The discipline of psychology is the scientific study of cognition, emotion, and behavior. Students at Covenant are equipped to conduct research on human behavior, prepared for advanced work in psychology, and instilled with the professionalism necessary to apply the principles learned in psychology, all in the context of Covenant’s rich liberal arts tradition. The psychology department has two distinct goals, one for students from any major who are filling a general education requirement or taking a class for fun, and the other for students majoring in psychology.
Students from any major who take a psychology course are taught to appreciate and respect the behavior and mental processes of God’s creation in all its diversity. They develop an ability to understand the value and importance of utilizing both biblical and empirical methods for understanding human behavior. The psychology department provides participatory, hands-on, educational opportunities to enhance the understanding of psychological science, as well as give students exposure to the varied perspectives, research, theories, and applications of psychology.
Students who major in the field of psychology itself are additionally guided in developing the capabilities needed to understand and conduct research in psychology and other related fields. The department prepares students for advanced work in psychology and instills in them life-long values of competence and professionalism when applying principles drawn from psychology. Lastly, students are encouraged to be actively involved in professional activities such as field trips, internships, department colloquia, and on-going faculty research.
Carole Yue (University of California) is the department chair of the psychology department. She has been on staff since 2014 and has special research interests in educational applications of human learning, memory, and metacognition.
David Washburn ’86 (Georgia State University) is a professor of the psychology department. He has been a part of Covenant’s faculty since 2019 and his research interests lie in effortful, goal-directed control of attention, learning and memory, and other cognitive processes, as reflected in the behavior of adults, children, monkeys, and other animals.
Studying sociology at Covenant includes the study of social interactions, concerns, and institutions. Students will develop a Christian perspective on the complex relationship between individuals, groups, and the larger society. “In terms of our mission, we hope to enable our students to better ‘see the unseen.’ In many ways sociology is about adjusting one's gaze and learning to ‘read’ the social world from a variety of angles and social locations. By learning to see, students are better equipped to live as those, ‘in, but not of, the world,’ and can better discern and resist the ‘patterns of this world.’” - Dr. Matthew Vos ’90, Chair of the Department of Sociology
The goals of the Department of Sociology are: First, to enable the students to develop a Christian perspective relating to humankind’s involvement in groups and in the larger society. Second, to provide students the necessary methodological tools whereby they may uncover social reality in a variety of contexts (survey research, participant observation, and content analysis). Third, to demonstrate the practical relevance of the discipline by applying sociological insight and methodology to the work of God’s kingdom.
This past semester, two new adjunct professors, Dr. Lorri Merchant and Mrs. Kristie Wilder, co-taught our "Introduction to Social Work" course.
The department is in the process of organizing a certificate program dubbed “Older Adult Care.” This program would be a partnership with Thrive, a nursing home and assisted living facility located on Scenic Highway near the college.
This coming April, the sociology department intends to reintroduce a pre-covid tradition of visiting the Southern Sociological Society annual conference, which will be held in Birmingham, AL.
Dr. Matthew Vos ’90 (University of Tennessee) is the chair of the Department of Sociology. He has been on faculty at Covenant since the year 2000 and in the past two years has written many articles and pieces for books, and he is currently working on his own book that Baker Academic agreed to publish for their summer 2022 catalog.
Dr. Chris Robinson (University of South Carolina) is the associate professor of sociology. He has been a part of Covenant’s faculty since 2015.