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EU Behavioral and Social Sciences Department receives two $15,000 DESE grants to promote school-based mental health

Published on Sep 6, 2023 by Erin Hedlun

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Evangel University’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Department (BSS) was recently awarded two $15,000 grants from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) under its School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) Recruitment and Retention Initiative.

Christine Flores, EU assistant professor of social work

The BSS Department plans to use the DESE funds to support student scholarships, to educate and promote school and general social work, and to provide continuing education on mental health in schools for the community.

DESE’s SBMH Recruitment and Retention Initiative aims to address SBMH workforce shortage challenges in Missouri. It notes an increased need for student mental health support, as more than 70 percent of children who receive mental health support do so in a school-based setting.

“Our program is grateful to have these extra funds to encourage and promote the good work that social workers do in the community and attract future mental health professionals to the field,” said Christine Flores, assistant professor of social work at EU. “We are excited to provide education and training on how to foster mental wellness in our students and schools.”

Dr. Christine Arnzen, EU graduate counseling programs coordinator

Dr. Christine Arnzen, coordinator of EU’s graduate counseling programs, shared, “Many of our students are juggling full time work while pursuing a graduate degree. This grant funding allows us to focus efforts on seeing students through to graduation as they then become practicing school counselors in our community.”

About EU’s Behavioral & Social Sciences Department

Students in the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department desire to pursue a career in service to others, finding commonality under the banner of the “helping professions.” Professors with real-world field experience offer innovative training in major degrees including criminal justice, government, history, psychology, social science, social science education, and social work.


About Evangel University

Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.

EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:

  • #1 Best College in Springfield & #2 Best Christian College in Missouri by Niche
  • US News & World Report Best Colleges Top Performer in Social Mobility
  • Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
  • Top 10 Best Universities by
  • Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
  • Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by

With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers. Learn more about the university at