Understanding People: A Ministry to God’s People. To truly understand people, we must combine the rigorous formal study of developmental issues with our own observations and thorough study of Scripture. In this course we will seek to enhance Christian care and counseling skills to work with people in different developmental stages to get the most out of life in each stage.
The course will cover an understanding of human development through the life stages: prenatal to senior adult. We will explore how all growth is spiritual growth with principles grounded in the Bible. An overall approach to growth and ways to help others grow will be examined. After this course, you will have a deeper understanding of human development and how and why people grow. In the processes of helping others, we also help ourselves to grow.
Required Live Video Zoom sessions are held each Thursday, 7:00-8:00 pm Central time. This is an opportunity for students to discuss weekly studies in a virtual group and complete contact hour requirements.
Students are required to have the following books for this class:
- Understanding People: Ministry in All Stages of Life, by Cheryl Fawcett, Ph.D.
- How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals About Personal Growth, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
- How People Grow Workbook, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
- Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide, by Gary R. Collins
This course is eligible for 3.0 CEU.
About the Instructors
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.