Graduate School Course Syllabus school of Health Sciences

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Graduate School

Course Syllabus
SCHOOL of Health Sciences

Center for Counseling & Family Studies
COUN 610 Human Sexuality

FACULTY: John C. Thomas, Ph.D., Ph.D., Professor

OFFICE: Old Thomas Road Property, Carter Building

PHONE: 434-592-4047


OFFICE HRS: By Appointment

SEMESTER: June 17-21, 2013

TIME: M-Th = 8:15-4:30; F = 8:15-12:00

Location: Liberty Mountain Conference Center

  1. Course Description

An analysis of the physiological, psychological, cultural, and religious aspects of a wide range of topics in the area of human sexuality. Emphasis is on the development of an understanding and appreciation of the role of sexuality in individuals, couples, and families throughout the various phases of the life cycle. (3 credit hrs.)

  1. Rationale

Christian counselors are positioned to encourage and develop a sexually healthy church. Rooting our understanding in a biblical worldview affirms that sexuality and sex were conceived in the mind of God. Sex and sexuality are a precious gift from our Creator. Because they are wed to our creation, sex is an expression of our sexuality and involves our body, soul, and spirit. Although sexual behavior incorporates many meanings, values, morals, and cultural perspectives, a biblical worldview shapes our understanding of how to view and approach sexual topics.

Sadly, the church has failed to foster a healthy understanding of sex out of a commitment to preach against the misuses and sins associated with sex. Forming a healthy perspective on sexual issues across the lifespan empowers people to virtuously thrive amidst the overtly sexualized contemporary culture.
Our study of human sexuality will often create unexpected reactions from students. Some topics may make students uncomfortable, while others may be amused, confused, or offended. That is not the intent of this course; on the contrary, it is important for individuals to focus on their own feelings and consider their own upbringing, cultural beliefs, experiences, and faith to grow personally and professionally. Students must learn to engage in competent and open dialogue about human sexuality and sex that accounts for the ethical, legal, physiological, psychological, sociopolitical, and therapeutic considerations from the solid basis of a biblical worldview. Accordingly, this course critically examines human sexuality and its central importance to personhood from professional and theological perspectives within the context of a biblically informed worldview.

  1. Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites. As stated in the Liberty University Catalog, however, it is the student’s responsibility to make up any prerequisite deficiencies that would prevent the successful completion of this course.

  1. Materials List

Required Texts:
King, B. M. (2012). Human sexuality today (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. [ISBN-10: 0205015670]


Hyde, J., & DeLamater, J. (2010). Understanding human sexuality (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. [ISBN: 9780073382821]

Penner, J. J., & Penner, C. L. (2005). Counseling for sexual disorders. Pasadena, CA: Authors. [ISBN: 0-8499-0482-X]
Rosenau, D. E. (2002). A celebration of sex (Revised ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. [ISBN-10: 0785264671]

Rosenau, D., & Wilson, M. T. (2006). Soul virgins: Redefining single sexuality. Atlanta, GA: Sexual Wholeness Resources. [ISBN: 978-0-9858107-1-9].

Required Articles: Students can download these chapters from Blackboard:
Brinkmann, S. (2004). The Kinsey corruption: An exposé on the most influential "scientist" of our time. West Chester, PA: Ascension Press.
Rosenau, D., Childerston, J., & Childerston, C. (2004). A celebration of sex after 50. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. (Chapters 1 and 20 only.)

Recommended Texts:

Jones, S. L., & Yarhouse, M. A. (2000) Homosexuality: The use of research in the church’s moral debate. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. [ISBN-10: 0-8308-1567-8]

Laaser, M. (2004). Healing the wounds of sexual addiction. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. [ISBN-10: 0310256577]

Leiblum, S. R. (2006). Principles and practice of sex therapy (4th ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press. [ISBN-10: 59385-349-5]

Smedes, L. (1994). Sex for Christians: The limits and liberties of sexual living. (Rev. ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans. [ISBN-10: 0-8028-0743-7]

Throckmorton, W., & Yarhouse, M.A. (2006). Sexual identity therapy: Practice framework for managing sexual identity conflicts. Retrieved from Sexual Identity Therapy Framework website:

Textbook Disclaimer Statement

The above texts provide information consistent with that required by state licensing boards in the class subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these texts.

  1. Measurable Learning Outcomes

The students should be able to:

    1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the nature, development, and function of human sexuality throughout the life span of human development. (Program Learning Outcome 1, 5, & 6)

    2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of disorders and treatment of human sexual problems with consideration of ethical and legal standards. (Program Learning Outcome 1, 4, 5, & 6)

    3. Conduct a sexual history interview and reflect on the personal experience of assessing and being assessed by another. (Program Learning Outcome 2, 3, & 5)

    4. Analyze and synthesize one’s sexual development as a means of enhancing sexual self-awareness and its application to the work of a therapist. (Program Learning Outcome 2 & 3)

    5. Integrate biopsychosocialspiritual dimensions of the human sexual experience with emphasis on application as a helping professional. (Program Learning Outcome 2 & 3)

  1. Course Requirements and Assignments

    1. Pre-Intensive Assignments

      1. Complete ALL READING: King OR Hyde, Penner and Penner (2005), Rosenau (2002), Rosenau and Wilson (2006), and the required articles. Required reading is essential for successfully accomplishing the objectives of this course. Recommended reading can further enhance the students’ knowledge base and prepare them for a more meaningful intensive. There is no required form to submit the reading report. Honestly estimate the amount of reading your completed based upon the number of pages recorded below. Use the reading link in the Assignment Folder; place the percentage of completed reading into the message area. Please be honest in estimating and reporting the amount of reading; remember God is always watching. This assignment is worth 100 points of your total grade. (This assignment partially meets Learning Outcomes A & B



Brinkmann: The Kinsey corruption:


King: Human sexuality today


OR Hyde: Understanding human sexuality


Penner & Penner: Counseling sexual problems


Rosenau: A celebration of sex


Rosenau & Wilson: Soul virgins


Rosenau, Childerston, & Childerston: Intro & Chapter 1


Rosenau, Childerston, & Childerston: Chapter 20






      1. TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS. Students should create one (1) well thought-out discussion question per Chapter from either King or Hyde’s textbook. Questions should reflect that the student has read the material and digested it sufficiently to create questions that would generate good discussion. Avoid close-ended questions and the type of questions that would require a respondent to provide factual information. For instance, avoid questions such as “what are the four phases of the Master’s and Johnson’s Model and briefly describe them?” Instead, create questions that require the respondent to use critical thinking. For example, “If Christians are committed to Scripture, which teaches that one of the purposes of sex is for procreation is the use of birth control in keeping with that truth? Also, what, if any methods would be within or outside of what the Bible teaches?”

In addition to writing a discussion question, each student should include a critically thought-out response to the submitted question. The response can be in narrative or in bullet point form as long as it adequately addresses the question. This assignment is worth 100 points or 10% of your grade. (This assignment partially meets Learning Outcomes A & B).

Please submit the assignment through the link in Bb by attaching the document with your last name first followed by the assignment:
Lastname Text Questions.docx OR .doc (I cannot accept any other format)

    1. Intensive Assignments

      1. Attendance/Participation. To fully benefit from the intensive, students must attend and actively participate in the classroom experience. It is important for students to consider travel plans and the potential for delayed or cancelled flights in order to arrive for the start of class on Monday.

Students will participate in small group work and discussions; they are expected to fully participate. Attendance/Participation is worth 50 points of your total grade. The determination of this grade rests solely on the subjective perspective of the professor. See IX. E. 1 for more information. (This assignment partially meets Learning Outcomes C & D)

      1. Sexual History Interview. The purpose of this specific assignment is to practice interviewing and observational skills essential for conducting a sexual history as part of a more comprehensive client interview.

Towards the end of the intensive students will be organized into pairs to engage in a role-play where each student will have an opportunity to role-play an interviewer and interviewee. The interview will follow an assigned format to be explained during the intensive.

As an interviewee, students will share a sexual history that may include elements of one’s own story. Students should not share their personal story; if you do use your story as the basis of your character’s story DO NOT tell the interviewer you are doing so. The interviewees’s story should be embellished to force the interviewer to deal with difficult sexual histories. The interviewee’s story should have interesting facets to help the interviewer wrestle with such questions and responses. Although the information for the interviews is fictional, it must be realistic, consistent, and based upon knowledge obtained as a result of participation in the course. (This assignment partially meets Learning Outcomes C & E)

    1. Post-Intensive Assignments

      1. SEXUAL HISTORY Reaction Paper: After the intensive, students will write a 2-4 page paper describing your experience doing the sexual history assessment. Follow current APA format (6th ed.), but you do not need to have an abstract or references. You can also write this paper in first person. The reaction should focus on your experience as both the interviewer and interviewee. You should include: (a) how the assessment went—what went well and what you would do differently; (b) the dynamics between you and the other person; (c) what it was like to ask and answer specific sexual questions (especially where age or gender issues are involved); (c) areas where you need to grow; and (d) what was it like to share a sexual history. This requirement is worth 150 points of the total course grade. (This assignment partially meets Learning Outcomes C & D). Attach the assignment through the link on Bb as:

Lastname Sexual Assessment.docx OR .doc

      1. PAPER/PROJECT. There are two options for your paper: a paper detailing your personal theology of sexuality and sex or a PowerPoint training program on some aspect of sexuality and/or sex. This assignment is worth 250 points of the total course grade. (This assignment partially meets Learning Outcome E). Attach the assignment through the link on Bb as: Lastname Paper/Project.docx OR .doc

                1. OPTION A: Theology of Sexuality & Sex Paper. Each student will develop a personal theology of sexuality and sex. The theology of sex and sexuality paper is the foundation upon which you will do all of your sex counseling and prevention work. This assignment is a research paper that must interact with the literature as you fashion your own theology. At least ten (10) scholarly references in the paper as well as the Bible, concordance, and commentaries. Students are not to write personal opinion; the paper must be based in the literature and in an exegesis of God’s Word. The paper should be no less than 8 pages and no more than 10 pages (not including title page, abstract, and references). It should be written in the current APA Style Manual (6th ed), third person.

                1. OPTION B: Sexual Curriculum Project. Students will develop a detailed outline of a training series on some aspect of sex or sexuality covered in course material. The training should be of such quality it could be presented to a church, community group, organization, or some other such group. PowerPoint slides should look professional and draw the participant into your material.

Additionally, students should provide a curriculum that details what is taught in the training program. The curriculum can be written in the “notes section” of the PowerPoint slides or on a separate Word document. In developing your curriculum, how you will deliver the material. For example, include interactive processes such as stimulating discussion questions, group assignments or exercises, and technology (YouTube, videos, etc.). Be sure to consider the target audience and the purpose of your presentation in creating the curriculum. Do not create a presentation that is designed to be a 1 or 2 time event, but a series of sessions in order to demonstrate an adequate amount of information. The idea is that both options should require the same level of work.

For the project it is important that you detail the following information:

  • Target audience (i.e., couples, parents, singles, youth, men, etc.)

  • The intent of the talk (i.e., enrichment retreat, talking to your kids about sex, healthy sexuality for singles).

  • The overall thesis of your talk. (i.e., what is the main message you want them to walk away with.)

  • A detailed outline of topics to be covered. Make sure this is detailed. Add thesis statements for your major points.

The project should have at least ten (10) scholarly references, since it is assumed that students will use sources to develop and strengthen the training series. The assumption is that this assignment option will be as time consuming, if not more so than the theology of sex and sexuality.

      1. SEXUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY. The purpose of this paper is to promote sexual self-awareness so that students will be able to work ethically with their future clients. Some students find their heart in their stomach when they realize they are being asked to share their story, however, virtually all students have stated that this paper had a significant and critical impact on their lives. Each student should complete and submit a paper that shares his or her sexual story. Start with your earliest memory and develop specific, key experiences and situations that shaped who you are as a sexual person. As you develop your sexual history, relate which events you have struggled with and wish could have been different. It is not required that you answer these questions; they are only provided to stimulate your thinking.

  1. Those people, relationships and influences helped shape your attitudes/values about your body, masculinity/femininity and sex at various points of your development (elementary, high school, etc.).

  2. Can you remember specific messages or incidents that created some of your attitudes, values and priorities?

  3. How was sexuality handled in your family of origin?

  4. What were your early sexual experiences like? How did they impact you?

  5. What incidents brought insight and growth?

  6. Is there unfinished business that may need healing or further growth?

  7. How will your story affect your future work as a helping professional? Be sure to relate your paper to your future work as a counselor. For example, what will it be like for you to work with certain problems, ask

sexual questions, and how your story will help or hinder your work, etc.
This assignment will only be helpful if you are willing to be courageously open in exploring your sexual self. Information in the questionnaire is confidential and will only be reviewed by the instructor for purposes of evaluating student performance on this assignment. A more detailed description of this assignment will provided during the week of the intensive.

There is no required length, but students should adequately cover their story (I would question the effort of any autobiography less than eight pages). Be sure to adhere to the current APA Style Manual (2009) in submitting the paper, however, you can write the paper in first person. Assignment is worth 150 points of the course grade. (Partially meets Learning Outcomes C & D). Attach the document as: Lastname Autobiography.docx OR .doc

      1. EXAM. Students will have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete an online exam. You must be able to open up “doc” documents on your computer. Professor is not responsible if you are unable to open them.

The exam is a closed book, closed notes, and closed consultation. You may pray for illumination from the Holy Spirit. Assignment is worth 200 points of the total course grade. (Partially meets Learning Outcomes A & B.).

Program Learning Outcomes


Learning Outcome



      1. Illustrates appropriate knowledge in all core curricular areas of counseling in preparation for certification and taking licensure exams and in procuring employment in the mental health field. 

A, B

A 1 & 2; C 4

      1. Demonstrate appropriate research and report writing skills including the use of APA format and computer technology. 

C, D, E

B 1; C 1, 2 & 3

      1. Integrate biblical principles and secular theories in a responsibly eclectic manner.

C, D, E

B 1; C 1, 2, & 3

      1. Incorporate ethical and legal standards in counseling arena.


A 1; C 4

      1. Assess, diagnose, and treat clients with a broad array of presenting problems and mental disorders using multiple counseling skills in established best practices.

A, B, C

B 1; C 1 & 4

      1. Evaluate diverse individual, group, and family populations in order to effectively determine treatment for clients.

A, B

A 1 & 2; C 4

  1. Course Grading and Policies

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