Experts address religious and sexual identities in counselor accreditation programs

In a recent scholarly exchange of ideas, experts address how the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) honors both religious diversity and sexual orientation diversity in its accrediting practices. CACREP is the largest accrediting agency for counseling programs within the United States and the only professional body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit master's programs in school counseling; clinical mental health counseling; and marriage, couple, and family counseling, as well as doctoral programs in counselor education and supervision.

The experts ask, How should CACREP-accredited programs function when they are housed within certain faith-based and other institutions that are non-affirming of lesbian, gay, bisexual sexual, and transgender individuals?

While the authors of the separate articles differ in various respects, they are in agreement that there is no place within the counseling profession for students to fear expulsion from a CACREP-accredited because of their sexual orientation. They also agree that protections for sexual minorities can thrive with protections for religious liberties.

The articles are published in the Journal of Counseling and Development.

More information: James N. Sells et al, CACREP Accreditation, Ethics, and the Affirmation of Both Religious and Sexual Identities: A Response to Smith and Okech, Journal of Counseling & Development (2016). DOI: 10.1002/jcad.12083

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