PsyD Colloquium on Counseling Middle Easterners and Arab Americans

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is hosting Naji Abi-Hashem, Ph.D., this Friday, February 5th from 2-4pm in the Moot Courtroom. Dr. Abi-Hashem is speaking on “Counseling Middle Easterners and Arab Americans.” He is a highly-respected scholar on multicultural psychology, having written several chapters on the topic and been featured in an American Psychological Association (APA) video titled Working with Arab Americans.

I have known Naji for several years now. He often speaks at the Christian Association for Psychological Studies national conference, and I either run into him there or at APA. He is a tremendously active professional; he is a kind and generous person, and he has a unique platform as someone with expertise on the Middle East. It will be a delight to have Naji at Regent to speak to our students and to provide training for all of us interested in enhancing our cultural competence.

Note: We’ve been notified today of a location change for the colloquium. It is now scheduled for the Library Auditorium.

Transethnicity Study

I had a meeting this morning at a local church that is known for its emphasis on transethnicity. That is, they understand the importance of a multicultural community, and their membership is quite diverse, but they want to encourage respect for cultural/racial/ethnic differences while also transcending those differences in keeping with a Kingdom perspective that emphasizes a shared identity in Christ. 

The meeting kicks off a study we are conducting on this church’s model of transethnicity in particular. One student working on the project is going to complete his dissertation on transethnicity as an organizational identity, which it is in this case.

We are asking people in the congregation and lay leaders to complete a survey. We also anticipate interviews with some of the pastoral leadership, as well as visits to Life Groups to allow additional people from the congregation to share their experiences. We are particularly interested in why people were initially drawn to a transethnic church, as well as why people choose to stay in a transethnic church.

It is interesting to think about transethnicity as a novel concept that contrasts somewhat with the broader multicultural movement. Some experience the multicultural movement as emphasizing cultural or ethnic or racial distinctives but that the conversation can at times begin and end with an awareness and perhaps even a celebration of those differences. Transethnicity appears to be a different way to engage people interested in some of what the multiculturalism movement offers.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this church’s model is understood and experienced by people in the congregation, lay leadership, and pastoral leadership, and to see what it might bring to a mainstream understanding of multiculturalism.

Trans-ethnicity – 2

Just a friendly reminder that New Life Providence Church here in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is hosting a conference this weeken on the topic of trans-ethnicity. The title of the conference is Trans-Ethnic Transitions Conference, and it will be held May 15-17.

Trans-ethnicity refers to the idea of recognizing and valuing cultural differences and also transcending cultural differences by emphasizing Kingdom values. Put differently, although cultural differences are celebrated, Christian relationships are based on Kingdom values that transcends sociocultural values.

Trans-ethnicity

Trans-ethnicity is currently an emphasis in several churches around the United States, including New Life Providence Church here in Virginia Beach. An upcoming conference on this topic is likely to draw a lot of people together to discuss the challenges and opportunities in creating transethnic communities of faith. The conference is called the Trans-Ethnic Transitions Conference and it will be held May 15-17 at New Life Providence Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

What is trans-ethnicity? New Life Providence Church talks about it as transcending cultural differences by emphasizing Kingdom values. They would say that we are to recognize, promote, and celebrate cultural differences but transcend culture, recognizing that Christian relationships are based on Kingdom values that transcends sociocultural values.

For reflection: Have you heard of the concept of trans-ethnicity before? How has it been defined? Does it resonate with you? Do you have any concerns about it?