Counseling graduate applies skills to profession and ministry

File Under: Outcomes

For Dania King ’18, Malone University was literally an answer to prayer.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from a nearby state university, King served as an administrator for a licensed childcare facility in Twinsburg and as the community liaison for her church. She enjoyed both of those positions, but also felt a pull within her to continue her education. That’s where she felt stuck. While she vacillated between staying in Ohio and leaving the state for her graduate education, and waffled between the paths of education or counseling, King happened to see an advertisement for an upcoming Graduate and Professional Studies information session at Malone. She thought to herself, “why not?”

“I remember very clearly that Dr. Brock Reiman closed the session in prayer,” she said, “and with his words, ‘Father, I pray for anyone who is in the midst of making a decision about where to attend,’ my anxiety was gone and I knew that Malone was for me. In that moment, that was all I needed.” 

King’s academic experience at Malone was plagued with illnesses and setbacks, but with the help and support of the professors in the counseling department, she not only completed her degree, but did so with honors.

“The best part of Malone is the professors because we students aren’t just numbers,” she said. “Each faculty member is compassionate yet firm, they are listeners and discerners, and they have a knack for skillfully balancing expectations and grace. I deeply cherish my time at Malone.”

Now a graduate from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, King was prepared to pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE) the first time she took it, which enabled her to apply for licensure with the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She is now a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

“I currently work full-time at Freedom Health LLC as assistant to the controller,” she said. “Although my current position is not in the counseling field, the curriculum, theories, skills, and interventions I learned while in Malone’s program help me tremendously in this customer-based field. It is important to me that person-centered attributes like empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness come into play in my daily work because everyone deserves to be heard.”

Malone’s counseling program has helped King integrate a listening ear not only into her professional role but into her ministry at church, as well.

“As a part of the teachers and speakers ministry at my church, I teach Christian education, Bible study classes, youth specialty classes, among other things,” she said. “The resources we used in the counseling program, like The Cry of the Soul: How Our Emotions Reveal Our Deepest Questions About God by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, showed me the value of bibliotherapy. I often use it when teaching and I count it a true blessing to continue using my textbooks in the ‘real world’ when ministering to the souls of others.”