The University of Divinity is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Tom Edwards as Counselling Program Director.
His appointment follows the award of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) to the University of Divinity for its Bachelor of Counselling in 2023 and 2024, part of 20,000 additional places recently announced by the Albanese Government. This is the first time the University has received CSP funding.
As Counselling Program Director, Dr Edwards will lead a redevelopment of the University’s Bachelor of Counselling which is intended to grow opportunities for the training of graduates who can help meet the future demand for skilled accredited counsellors in Australia.
Tom balances his professional life between counselling and academia. While being the Senior Counsellor at Crossway Lifecare he has also previously held roles at Monash University and at Eastern College Australia, including as Director of Research. He has also been an honorary research associate at the University of Divinity and is the Chair of the Board of the Christian Research Association.
Tom is a passionate researcher and educator. His present interests focus on a cluster of virtues which contribute to a cognitive architecture which is evolutionarily consistent and socially relevant. He is the author of two books, and a third is in press. Tom has also published in high impact neuroscience journals, and has the unique distinction of having his research (in collaboration with a colleague) being favourably mentioned in the Commonwealth Parliament. He has also been a guest on ABC RN’s God Forbid speaking on the important virtue of forgiveness. With Emeritus Prof Wendy Mayer (Uni Divinity) and Prof Sarah Wendt (Flinders Uni) Tom is currently supervising a PhD candidate through Whitley College who is looking at a virtue/vice framework to better understand and reduce domestic violence. It is hoped that the project will lead to an innovative behaviour change program for perpetrators.
Speaking about his appointment, Dr Edwards said:
I’m both surprised and delighted to be offered this unique opportunity to craft a counselling degree at a time when mental health services are so vitally needed. The University of Divinity is just the place to form the next generation of counsellors ready for the challenges of the mid-21st century. So, as we move forward I am excited to be part of programs that are (1) innovative; (2) integrative; and (3) impactful to as many lives as possible.
Professor Peter Sherlock, Vice-Chancellor, said:
Dr Edwards brings a wealth of experience to the University in professional practice, research and education. I am enormously excited about the potential for his leadership to grow and extend the University’s Counselling Program in 2023. Combined with the Commonwealth Government’s financial support for students, we can now realise our vision to prepare graduates who contribute to better mental health and well-being outcomes for the benefit of all Australians, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
Stay tuned for more announcements about the Counselling program in January 2023!