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Evangel alumni perspective: Jared Pingleton

Name: Jared Pingleton, Psy.D.

Graduation Year: December 1976 (Vice-President, Class of 1977)

Major: Psychology/Biblical Studies (Summa cum Laude)

Current Position: Vice-President, American Association of Christian Counselors

City and State: Forest, VA

Tell us about your career and what you do now. Dually trained and credentialed as a Clinical Psychologist and as a third-generation A/G minister, I have been in professional practice since 1977 helping bring healing and hope to hurting people. After graduating from Evangel, I earned an M.A. in Counseling from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, an M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, and did additional graduate work at the University of Kansas and at the Assemblies of God, Talbot, and Fuller Theological Seminaries.

In addition to clinical practice, I have served on the staff of two large churches where I founded and directed two church-based counseling centers and have taught at several Christian universities and seminaries (including Evangel and AGTS for several years part-time). For several years I was Director of Counseling Services at Focus on the Family and have extensive national and international media experience, appearing as a guest, host, or co-host on hundreds of television and radio programs and in leading print publications. I am a frequent speaker, preacher, and conference leader and have authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed professional journal articles and eight books, including Making Magnificent Marriages; The Struggle is Real: How to Care for Mental and Relational Health Needs in the Church; Be Strong and Surrender: A 30-Day Recovery Guide; Praying With Jesus: Reset My Prayer Life; Christian Perspectives on Human Development; and Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World, and am working on several more. I have received five “Who’s Who” awards and several other national recognitions and in the past few months was invited to the White House for a briefing for mental health professionals and also had the opportunity to speak at the United Nations in New York.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel? This is kind of like going to Andy’s Frozen Yogurt–there are so many wonderful memories it’s difficult to choose just one. So many fun experiences with lifelong friends, athletics, student government, other extra-curricular activities and silly fun times have made for a huge variety of stories which seem to improve with time and expand in the repeated telling of them!

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling? We were very privileged to benefit from an exceptionally strong Psychology Department during my matriculation which stimulated my thinking, integrated my worldview, expanded my parameters and focused my vision. In the 70’s Psychology was the most popular undergraduate major in the U.S., so it was more difficult to get into graduate school than it was into law school, medical school, or engineering school due to sheer demand and limited supply. Of the 29 or so Psychology majors in our class, if I recall correctly, 25 or 26 of us made it into grad school—and about half of us into the top two Christian doctoral programs accredited by the American Psychological Association in the world. Amazingly, we had seven licensed psychologists on the faculty of an 1100-1200 student undergrad program, and they were stellar. Their inspiration, role modeling, professionalism, and personal discipleship were instrumental in the shaping of my calling and career. 

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation? The most valuable component of my Evangel experience was learning the value of developing a Christocentric worldview. Academic rigor, commitment to excellence, and dedicated leadership among the faculty and staff were both inspirational and instrumental to my life and ministry.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce? Let the Holy Spirit guide, shape, refine, and develop your dreams and God-given skills and gifts as you dedicate yourself to serve Him. Don’t worry about your future but get out there and work hard and dream largely. Remember, it’s difficult for God to steer a parked car, so trust that He has your best in mind. Get moving, follow His leading and He will steer your course onto the path He has marked out for you. I realize you have student loans to pay off, but stay faithful—it’s worth it! 

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel? Godly character, humility, calling, vision, and potential.