Students are exposed in the classroom, mentoring, internships, and other Phoenix Seminary training to sensitive material on subjects such as domestic violence, child maltreatment, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and severe psychopathology. Ministry in general, particularly counseling and one-on-one discipleship, entails being able to address these topics biblically and professionally and to navigate the complex personal emotions and thoughts these situations evoke. Students must be able to study these topics and discuss them in educational settings. Students must also be prepared to seek professional counseling should these issues evoke reactions that faculty or staff conclude will impede their ability to provide competent services to others.
Students participate in experiential, process, counseling skills, personal growth, and supervision groups as well as in one-on-one exercises. These exercises require the practice and demonstration of various skills including the evaluation and critique of other students’ personal characteristics. Students practice essential ministry and counseling skills in the presence of other students and faculty and are exposed to feedback in group settings from other students and faculty concerning their skills and abilities. Students are expected to reflect on and comment on their own personal histories (culture, faith tradition, ethnicity, life choices, etc.) as it relates to their ability to work with, or biases their attitudes toward, individuals of differing or similar cultures, faiths, ethnicity, gender, orientation, life choices, and so forth.