The focus of this project is developing a business plan for faith-based counseling for college students. Renewed Living Counseling Center (RLCC) is a faith-based counseling center in the Tempe area serving Arizona State University students. RLCC strives to bring healing and wholeness to each student who comes through the doors, to empower them to realize and live out their potential, by providing them with the skills to accomplish their dreams and live full lives, through counseling, motivation, education, and treating studentʼs behaviors to become whole and successful. Research indicates that the proposed center, Renewed Living Counseling Center (RLCC), has great potential for success because:
1. Spirituality and faith are increasingly recognized as important aspects in a personʼs life. National research shows that 66% of people feel counseling should include spirituality. Research with ASU students found that students reflect this statistic, as they feel spirituality is an important part of counseling. Students also feel spirituality is appropriate to include as part of counseling services offered by centers referred to by ASU.
2. There is a need for counseling at ASU. Nationally,approximately1,100 college students commit suicide each year. At ASU, almost one-third of students reported feeling so depressed that it is difficult to function, and 0.9% report having attempted suicide within the past year.
3. Surveys of ASU students indicate that students who describe themselves as being religious are more desirous that counseling include a spiritual dimension. Surveys of campus pastors indicate that over 80% believe there is a need for faith-based counseling and would refer students to a local center.
4. Price is an issue. Indeed, a survey of campus pastors indicated that they believed cost of counseling to be one of the primary deterrents to students seeking help. One way to control costs is to use a mixture of residents and licensed counselors. As in medicine, students must complete coursework along with a period of residency or internship to obtain licensing. Both religious and secular masters programs in counseling exist in the greater Phoenix area. Thus, there is a potential supply of students who could work as residents, permitting RLCC to offer counseling services at reasonable prices.