COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – 2017 has been an eventful year for the renowned broadcaster, family psychologist, author, and founder of Family Talk, Dr. James Dobson. In the past seven months Dr. Dobson has already celebrated his 40th anniversary in broadcasting; eclipsed more than 60 years of family counseling and child development; launched the Dobson Digital Library that houses Dr. Dobson’s complete lifework in a searchable online site; served as a frequent advisor to the White House; and was awarded the prestigious Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Vice President Pence on behalf of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Now, due to an overwhelming response from its student body, Liberty University is increasing the size, scope and vision for the James C. Dobson Center for Child Development, Marriage, and Family Studies. Housed under the School of Behavioral Sciences, the Dobson Center “equips men and women with the knowledge to positively impact the family and society for Christ.” First launched 18 months ago, student demand has outpaced the university’s original growth projections, spurring major additional investment in the program.
“We are honored that Dr. Dobson, one of the world’s most respected family psychologists, authors and broadcasters as well as one of our culture’s most influential Christian leaders, has partnered with our university,” says Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. “Liberty University could not be more proud to bring Dr. Dobson’s teachings, research and unparalleled experience to bear in the growing James C. Dobson Center for Child Development, Marriage, and Family Studies.”
The Dobson Center offers graduate degrees as well as undergraduate minors that pair well with Liberty University’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree, or as described on the center’s website, coursework that can “supplement any major – helping students not only excel professionally but also become men and women of character who infuse our culture with faith.” Students who complete the program receive a certificate in marriage and family relationship coaching.
“The expansion of the Dobson Center represents a major initiative of Liberty University,” says Executive Vice President of Online Enrollment Ron Kennedy. “We envision one of the most robust and rigorous family and child counseling and advocacy programs in the nation. Already the demand for courses within the Dobson Center is overwhelming and we intend to grow the number of matriculated students many times over in the years ahead.”
Beyond formal tracks, all LU students can take one-off electives from the Dobson Center to supplement their own personal, spiritual, vocational or career development. Courses are currently available through Liberty’s online education program where Dr. Dobson, as well as other distinguished Christian psychologists and family therapists, teach video lecture series. Simultaneously, select classes are in development to be offered at Liberty University’s physical campus in the coming months.
After earning his Ph.D. in child development and research design from the University of Southern California, Dobson became an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, where he served for 14 years. He then served for 17 years on the attending staff of the prestigious Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, in the divisions of child development and medical genetics.
“After spending so much of my career inside the halls of academia focused primarily on counseling, clinical psychology and childhood and family development, I’ve seen firsthand the power of these skills when used in conjunction with a deep and abiding respect for the Word of God,” says Dr. Dobson. “The health of our churches, our government, and our society rests on the foundation of the family. This center seeks to instill in its students both a mastery of the best in family and child psychology with an understanding of what Christ first taught us about the human condition. Understanding one is good. Understanding both is the power to transform families and ultimately, the entire culture.”
“With Liberty’s deep and continued commitment to its founding ideals of honoring Christ through academic rigor and intellectual curiosity, we have the right partner for this very important work,” concludes Dr. Dobson.
Alarmed by the rapid deterioration of the family, Dr. Dobson felt compelled to devote himself fully to its preservation and made the difficult decision to leave academia. After opening a humble, two-room office in Arcadia, CA, on March 26,1977, the first “Focus on the Family” radio broadcast was transmitted across 34 Christian stations. That same program would eventually be carried on 7,000 stations in 150 countries and was heard by more than 220 million people a day.
After leading Focus on the Family for more than 30 years, he left the organization he founded and started Family Talk the very next day. Family Talk’s flagship broadcast is now carried on 1,300 outlets, Monday through Friday, every week.
Throughout his long and storied career, The New York Times referred to Dr. Dobson as, “The most influential evangelical leader in the country.” He has also advised five U.S. presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan in 1984. In total, Dr. Dobson has written over 30 books; published hundreds of articles, films and video series; and produced more than 8,000 radio broadcasts. Taken as a whole, Dr. Dobson’s voice is unmatched in Christendom the world over.
In response to increasing mobile and online demand for Dr. Dobson’s 40 years of biblically based, family centric content, Family Talk recently launched the Dobson Digital Library (DDL). This project brings the lifeworks of Dr. Dobson to a new generation of families around the world.
The following graduate degrees and undergraduate minors are available within the James C. Dobson Center for Child Development, Marriage, and Family Studies:
- Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling: Family Advocacy, Public Policy, & the Future
- Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling: Parent and Child/Adolescent
- Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling: Marriage and Family Studies
- Minor in Family Advocacy, Public Policy, & the Future
- Minor in Parenting & Child/Adolescent Development
- Minor in Marriage & Family Studies
Dr. James Dobson is a celebrated psychologist, Christian leader, and Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk.” He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family. Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years in the divisions of Child Development and Medical Genetics. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised five US presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 18 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. He is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.