Alumni Profiles - James Allen
Like most students who go through Regent’s Human Services Counseling (HSC) program, James Allen, of Virginia, learned to reach deep inside himself first so that he could better understand how to reach out to others. The recent Regent graduate, who is currently an art director and advertising manager for a major daily newspaper in coastal Virginia, definitely brought some experience to the task.
In 2001, Allen was finishing his undergraduate studies and preparing to begin work on his graduate degree at Regent. As he walked into the orientation class his cell phone rang. It was his cardiologist. The rapid heartbeat Allen had been experiencing wasn’t just a minor episode. The 33-year-old would need open heart surgery right away.
Allen put his school plans on hold after his surgery and decided to leave the newspaper and work at a Christian Retreat Center in Oregon. There, he says, “I allowed God to heal my heart.” Another job offer from the newspaper brought James back to Virginia and back to Regent. “From there, the doors just kept opening,” he says. Allen could see the practical benefits of the counseling skills he was learning through the HSC program almost right away. “Whether they’re clients or co-workers, everyone wants to be heard,” says Allen. “Learning how to listen and how to reflect back—those skills continue to serve me very well in my profession.” Allen was especially impressed with his Regent professors and their combination of academic credentials and relevant, real-life experience. “They are living examples of the theoretical,” he says. “They make it really come off the page.” Allen and his wife, a licensed therapist, hope one day to work together in a faith-based counseling setting. In the meantime, he’s getting the news out—“and waiting to see what God has planned.”