David J. Jennings, II
Assistant Director of the Psychological Services Center
Assistant Professor (2013)
- Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University
- M.S. Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University
- M.A. Professional Counseling, Richmont Graduate University (formerly Psychological Studies Institute)
- B.A. Liberal Arts, Bryan College
- Contemplative Spirituality and Psychotherapy
- Marriage and Family
- Positive Psychology
The path that brought me to Regent University may appear circuitous upon first glance, but one of my favorite sayings is that "God writes straight with crooked lines." I knew I wanted to earn a doctorate degree and work in academia since first beginning college as an undergraduate, but I decided to take the scenic route to get there.
I grew up in Orlando, Florida, where as a teenager I was heavily involved in a dynamic youth group at a protestant evangelical church. Florida is a land of sunshine and beautiful beaches, but I always had this gnawing feeling that something was missing in my life, something majestic and bigger. I found that something on a youth trip with my church when I was in the eighth grade – mountains! One look, and I was in love. When it came time to apply to colleges, I was willing to go wherever God led me, provided of course there was a mountain range involved. Fortunately, the Lord blessed me with the desires of my heart, and I was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. Bryan was a small, Christian liberal arts college nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. At Bryan, I pursued a broad educational experience in humanities, science, and biblical studies, graduating with a major in Liberal Arts and minors in History and Bible. During this period, I also began working part-time at a group home for male teenagers, where my desire to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds and a love of psychology were put into practice.
Armed with a liberal arts degree and some mental health experience, my first two places of employment were in mental health settings working with children and adolescents. One job entailed intervening with families in hopes to prevent the removal of at-risk children from the home, and the other was at an in-patient psychiatric hospital. I knew I wanted to return to school eventually, but I had not decided exactly what I wanted to pursue. After taking a respite from mental health and working at a small business for a few years, I felt God leading me to return to school for psychology and counseling. I went on to attend Richmont Graduate University (formerly the Psychological Studies Institute) in Atlanta, where I received a M.A. in Professional Counseling with an emphasis in spirituality. It was here that I fell in love with the integration of psychology and theology and its potential to heal the whole person. Following graduation, I worked at a local community services board as I pursued licensure, and I slowly transitioned to full-time private practice at a Christian counseling center over the next several years. Once everything was running smoothly and I was well-established in my new career, I felt the familiar tug to return to school yet again. While I loved doing clinical work, I also desired to teach, mentor, and train students in psychology from an integration perspective.
I completed my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2013 at Virginia Commonwealth University, which included a clinical internship at the University of Virginia's Counseling and Psychological Services center. At VCU, I had the privilege of working with a leader in integration, Everett Worthington, in the areas of forgiveness, religion and spirituality, relationships, and other topics related to positive psychology. I also expanded and developed my love for teaching and clinical training during this time. Upon graduating, I was fortunate to be hired as an Assistant Professor and the Assistant Director of the Psychological Services Center at Regent University. I am excited to be in a position where my passion for teaching, clinical training, and research have come together in one place. The only thing missing are mountains, but I'm happy to have returned to my oceanic roots here in Virginia Beach. In my spare time, you will find me at the beach with my wife and daughter, or perhaps you will see me riding along the road or a back-woods trail on my mountain bike.