Judy Staples

Judy Staples

After I retired from a career in education and already held two graduate degrees, the Lord prompted me to take coursework in biblical counseling.  Two of my pastors and a relative steered me toward Light University Online.  From my first contact with an advisor, I felt very comfortable that this was the route to the training I sought.

I wondered how rigorous an online program could be, but I was pleasantly surprised to get into the coursework and recognize that top-notch lecturers and panels were carefully selected to deliver the focused curriculum.  One of the attributes of Light U Online that I love is that I can listen to the lectures again and reinforce my learning.

Posting essays, taking quizzes, and participating in the online discussions kept me fully engaged in my learning.  I learned so much from others on this same journey, as well as gaining new perspectives from the professors.  In less than a year, I took ten courses and earned my Master’s Diploma in Biblical Counseling. 


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Balancing Work, School and Family

Balancing Work, School and Family

Greetings students!

I wanted to encourage you this month in finding a balance between your work, schoolwork and family time. During my undergraduate work, my Master’s degree and now my PhD studies, I have worked full-time along with being a husband and father. It has been a constant state of give and take and sometimes things have had to fall through the cracks. We can’t expect corporate America to recognize how much parents are needed at home. The employee’s family life isn’t a part of the annual report, nor can it be measured on the bottom line. And if you are beginning a program or degree in school, how can you balance all of this?

Work smarter. What’s your body clock? Are you a morning person? Or do you do your best work at night? If you get more done in the morning, perhaps you should begin working earlier in the day. That way you can get off earlier, thus giving you more time at home.

Cheat on something. As a parent, a student and an employee you are constantly being pulled in many different directions. Andy Stanley wrote a great book called Choosing to Cheat. His point was that we cannot do it all really well and that something is going to suffer. Choosing what will suffer will help you sort out your priorities. Do you want your family life to suffer? Your work? Your grades…?

Skip going out to lunch. Yes, it’s nice to be served a prepared meal, but by the time you’re seated, given a menu, order an entree, wait for the food to arrive, eat, ask for the check, make the payment — well, say sayonara to a huge chunk of time. And that doesn’t include the minutes lost driving or walking to the restaurant.

Be Intentional. Purpose yourself to schedule time for work, school and family. Being intentional and planning your calendar will help to give everything the amount of time it’s due. From the beginning of their marriage, Don and his wife, Rhonda, have gone out for a piece of pie and a cup of coffee every Sunday night. Shortly after the waitress clears the plates from the table, Don and Rhonda reach for their personal calendars. For the next hour, they go over their schedules — work, church activities and kids’ programs — for the coming week.

Reserve the weekends for the family. If you let work — the Monday-through-Friday variety — encroach on your weekends, you’re headed for misery. Christopher, a salesman for a marketing firm, still puts in 50- and 60-hour weeks, but he’s stopped working on weekends. “Saturday and Sunday are for the kids,” says Christopher. “They should know that from Friday night to Sunday is family, and that we’re going to do something together, whether it’s playing baseball, going to Sea World or whatever.”

Believe God’s promises. Gregory used to work 11 and 12 hours a day, but after five years of burning the candle at both ends, his marriage fell apart. When he became a Christian awhile later, Gregory remarried. Inside, he felt different about his reasons for working so much.

“I first read God’s promises, then I really started to believe them,” he said. “Especially the one where it says that God will provide for all your needs”. I thought, “OK, Lord, I’ll slow down and trust You to bring in enough work so the business can survive. These days, I won’t work more than 10 hours a day. I’m not always able to get what I want, but we always have what we need.”

Choose a few of these areas today to work on and turn some of the bad patterns around in your life.

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Everyone Deserves Someone Who’s Crazy About Them

Everyone Deserves Someone Who’s Crazy About Them

“Every child, in every church, deserves someone

who’s crazy about them…”

 By Dr. John Trent and Dr. Tony Wheeler

We were sitting down with Dr. Tim Clinton, President of AACC, at breakfast not long ago and it just “clicked.” Dr. Tony Wheeler and I shared while he ate, our heart for training and unleashing an “army” of Blessing Champions. People excited to impact lives for Christ. People in every city, every church. People who start by bringing the Blessing home to their own family first. Then who become a catalyst for training, coaching and inspiration for people and parents in their church, their workplace and world.

When we’d finished sharing our hearts, Tim sat back and said, “And here’s WHY we have to do this. Every child, in every church, deserves someone who’s crazy about them…” Wow. There are those moments where it just seems like time and eternity meets. Sometimes I’ve felt that way at a wedding. Other times I’ve felt like the Lord just dropped His thoughts into a counseling session, a sermon, in teaching a class. But I cannot remember a breakfast in my life, where time just seemed to stand still.

WHY have Dr. Wheeler and I jumped in with both feet with Light University Online and worked so hard to launch a brand new Marriage and Family Ministry Certificate program? Because by training God’s people, grounded in the biblical concept of the Blessing, “Every child, in every church, will have someone who’s crazy about them…”

WHY challenge men and women, people of all ages and stages of life, to become Blessing Champions? Because these people already know how crucial it is in our disconnected, attachment disordered world, that “Every child, in every church, deserves someone who’s crazy about them…” if at this crucial time for our country and world, we’re to impact the next generation for Christ.

And WHAT’s holding you back from creating a culture of the Blessing in your family, church and world? The Blessing is a biblical tool that helps kids – and spouses – and people in our churches – really “get” how “crazy” our God is about them, as they see and experience our living our God’s Blessing with them.

Know that Dr. Wheeler and I will walk with you each step of the way is you’ll join us.  Whether it’s getting your Blessing Champion Certificate that launches THIS AUGUST, or by completing the entire Marriage and Family Ministry Certificate program we’re building right now. And know that in my mind, all we do will always go back to that table at breakfast – and hearing a wise man “nail” the WHY we’re so “crazy” about training and encouraging Blessing Champions – because “every child, in every church, deserves someone who’s crazy about them…”



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7 Tips for Success at Light University Online

7 Tips for Success at Light University Online

In many ways, online learning poses greater advantages, and challenges compared to the traditional classroom environment. From learning how to navigate the online classroom to managing your time to complete assignments on time, online learning requires a whole new set of tools for success.  To succeed in online learning, here are a few tools to add to your toolbox:

1.Know and Record registration dates and deadlines. Organization is crucial to not feeling overwhelmed. Write down registration dates and deadlines, and be sure to meet them! Phone calendars are great for pop-up calendar reminders if you don’t use a formal planner. You will be able to begin each term with significantly less stress and anxiety than those rushing to register and meet deadlines.

2.Know your resources:Light U Online has worked hard to create every resource that you need to succeed in our program and we have integrated them into our online classroom. They are at your disposal, make sure that you know and are using them.
Familiarize yourself with Edvance360, and the menu options at your fingertips. Once the term begins, you have immediate access to your lessons, discussion boards, community discussion forums, email, grade books, and more in this program.

In addition to your helpful faculty, you also have an Academic Coach that are waiting to work with you to map out a plan so that you can reach your goals. The guess work of registration is taken out of the equation. Your coach wants to help you be equipped to succeed—-contact them, use them, and let them know what you need. They want to help!

In each lesson folder, you have access to course notes for the module, lectures from world-renowned Christian counselors, discussion boards, and more. These are all designed to help you maximize your education with Light University.

3. Build your library:  While not required, you may consider investing in your personal library. Dr. Clinton has several helpful books that are great references throughout your time as a student and into your professional career. Caring for People
God’s Way,
and The Quick Reference Guide to Biblical Counseling are two outstanding works that may come in handy to supplement the course material, and to act as quick-reference guides within a professional setting.

4.Manage your time:  Tell your time where to go, and have a plan each week for when you will do your school work. If you don’t tell your time where to go, it will go on its own.  Most students with Light University Online have families, full-time jobs, or other
responsibilities. It is essential to your success that you tell your time where to go. Plan out your week, and have a priority list each day. Where will you make time to listen to the lectures? When will you write your quality discussion question responses? When will you take your weekly quizzes? When will you write your Capstone Essay? Map it out. Know the plan. Work the

5.Take notes:  You have the privilege of learning from the best of the best in the field of Christian Counseling. Take advantage of the lectures and take notes. Not only are you more likely to retain the information by using multiple senses, but you will have a great portfolio for quick reference, and easy access in the future.

6.Participate. Participate. Participate:  Delve into the discussion forums. There is nothing like classroom participation to help material “stick” and to glean new insights. Interact with your peers. Ask hard questions. Bounce ideas off of each other. This is your “practice” for the real world. It is to your advantage to have quality discussion in our forums, and not simply do the “bare-minimum” for a grade. This is your chance to share your insights, and begin helping others with the material, as well as
go deeper in your own knowledge and understanding.

7. Keep the end in mind. When weeks are stressful, “life” happens, and you have to continue “keeping
on,” remember why you signed up for courses in the first place: to be a beacon of hope to others in a broken world. Always remember your “why.” Did you want to help women recover from abuse or addiction? Did you hope to coach married
couples into greater levels of intimacy and companionship? Did you wish to help in traumatic events when people are lost and feel hopeless? What is your why? This is your foundation to press-on when weeks are difficult.
is your foundation to press-on when weeks are difficult.

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Theory to Action

Theory to Action

Theory to Action

As professors at Light University Online, during our journey of each new term, we receive an onslaught of emails and posts from students about how the courses have been insightful, thought-provoking and even life-changing. Almost all of our students are genuinely excited and challenged by the video content, peer interaction and the new insights offered throughout each class. Having the privilege of listening to some of the founders and pioneers of Christian counseling and Christian coaching will, almost inevitably, have such an effect. Many of our students will leave the classroom environment having been changed through the learning process that we offer at LightU.

For many of our students, we are only able to get to know them for between 5 weeks to 5 months of their lives, depending on their course of study and the pace at which they progress. During our time with them, as professors, we want to be able to make the most impact, within that small timeframe that we have, to help shape and potentially set a new direction for their lives.

In the classroom environment, the discussion forums are incredibly healthy places of learning and encouragement, where many students can sharpen one another as Scripture commands us to do. Sometimes though, we can’t help but wonder, “What becomes of these great new insights?”  Our greatest hope is that students move the information they’ve gathered from theory into practice! In the words of the poet Ralph Emerson, “an ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”

The question we’d like to encourage you to think about is, “How can I do that practically?” Those of you who work in the counseling or coaching ministry know how frustrating it can be when a client agrees with all your advice but fails to follow through with it. As Christmas and the New Year approaches, there is never a better time to think about making a resolution or deciding to do something differently than you have ever done before. Our challenge to you is the notion that you will never be able to take a client to a place that you yourself have not been willing to walk through. If you are not willing to take practical steps to apply the theory you learn, how can you lead someone through their own trials and hardships toward growth and change?

In most professions, it is known that the more you learn, the more you can do; however, counseling and coaching both break that mold by saying, the more you do, or grow personally, the more you can help others. Gaining insight and learning theories are vital tools to becoming an effective counselor or coach, but at Light University, we do not want to just teach you about how people change; we want to change you.


Ryan Carboneau & Aris Stavrianos

Light University Professors

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LUO Launching its New Student Information System

LUO Launching its New Student Information System

Forest, VA — September 10, 2012

Light University Online Launching its New Student Information System

Light  University Online of Virginia (www.lightuniversity.com) is set to launch its new, state-of-the-art student information system  on October 1st.   Working with  partner Waterford Technologies Inc. (www.waterfordtech.com), our in-house development team helped design a new Light  University Online  that will feature such  benefits as simple navigation, a graphically pleasing interface, and easy to  use course registration modules…just to name a few!

Shaun Redgate, Vice President for Enrollment  Management, says this new student information system was necessary because of  the growth of the university and the need to provide a more customized solution  to better serve its students.  “I’m  thrilled to see the end result of months of hard work and development.  And better yet, I know our students’ will  appreciate the user-friendly features as they register for courses, check their  academic progress, and interact with the university support staff.”

Steve Horton, President of Waterford  Technologies says it was time for a change.   “This time through we’ve designed a solution that meets the unique needs  of Light University Online.  By taking advantage of the latest technologies we  ensured that the system can grow to meet the demands of their growing  university AND offer the best experience to their students.”

Light University Online, a distinctively  Christian institution, offers world-renowned faculty, a robust and interactive  online learning experience, proactive student support, and a relevant  curriculum to help ensure students’ success. Students enjoy interacting with  peers around the world, flexibility in time and place of study, achievable five-week  terms, and small, tight-knit “virtual” classes. As a result of these  “best-in-class” features, Light University Online has experienced a  300% year over year growth rate and has already graduated close to 400 students  who are now better trained in the helping ministries.

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