Number of weeks: 2
Required books: No
Certification or Series: No
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We often think of the family as father, mother and children, but this is only one form of family. Life hasn’t dealt us all a typical nuclear family, and even the Bible shows us that there are many different kinds of family! This course will focus on the purpose of the family, rather than who is in the family or who forms the family.
This course celebrates the healthy family as God’s vehicle to connect each of us to others. We will study the family as a link to the past, present and future, as well as the many forms of families. We’ll also discuss teaching a sense of right and wrong, traditions, education as the key to a better life, and the family as a unit of support.
In addition, we’ll identify the signs of a dysfunctional family and give suggestions of healthy ways to handle problems that may arise in the family. It will not deal specifically with what may be wrong or unhealthy in your family (that’s something for family counseling), but will look at characteristics of healthy families and passages of scripture that can inform that understanding.
In short, this course explores what the family unit should be and do for the individuals coming out of it. Healthy children can come out of any of the different forms of family, depending on their relationships with God.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
Reverend Shirley J. Connally is a retired teacher/counselor/minister with a B.A. (English/French), M.Ed. (Counseling & Guidance), M.Div. (Theology) and additional studies on the Doctor of Ministry Degree. She retired from public education with 36 years’ experience as an English teacher and/or secondary counselor. She also taught freshman English at the Houston Community College for several years. Additionally, she served as an adjunct professor at the Charles Harrison Mason Bible College and owned a private practice counseling office for several years.
She has served in ministry in the local church and community for most of her life. She was ordained after completing seminary while serving as an associate with three Baptist pastors and went on to serve as associate and senior pastor in The United Methodist Church. Even though most of her training and service as an adult has been in The United Methodist Church, her childhood years were spent equally divided between three denominations (Methodist, Baptist and Catholic).
She has always been drawn to teaching and helping people, so, naturally using her gifts of teaching and counseling have been dominant in her life. She has offered courses in Christian care and counseling and Bible studies for children, teens, young adults, middle adults and senior adults, reaching all developmental stages of life. She has also offered courses on God’s purpose for the family and prayer retreats, providing time and guidance for those times when we need to go to a quiet place and spend time alone with God. Her prayer is that we can study and continue to develop additional skills and a basic knowledge of how we can use the Bible to help people live better lives.
She is the mother of one daughter in business and one granddaughter. She loves teaching Disciple Bible Studies, serving on the Scholarship Committee, Nursing Home Ministry, St. Stephens Food Pantry and helping wherever she is needed in her church and community. When relaxing she loves reading, crocheting and watching Houston’s #1 sports teams (Texans, Rockets and Astros) and helping people.