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J. Frederick Bland, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Master of Arts in Counseling
Poling Center
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I accepted Yeshua/Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 14 years old; entering high school in Highland Park, Michigan. I was a diligent student; attending and excelling in both secular and Christian education. When I was 16 years old, I became a Sunday school teacher; replacing a teacher whose health was failing. What I did not know at that time, was that in accepting that Sunday School teaching position, God was preparing me to one day, become a college professor at a Christian college where I would use God’s Word as my foundation!!! All praises be to God!!! In addition to teaching at SAU, I have also taught at Baker College and served as the Counseling Clinic Manager and Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy. I consider myself a “facilitator of education” because learning occurs when both the instructor and the students co-teach and therefore, co-learn together.
Some of my hobbies include: fitness training, jogging/power walking, canoeing, music (I am an organist, pianist, vocalist, vocal trainer, composer, and chorale trainer), preparing delicious desserts, and traveling. I am a mentor and have blessed to see the fruits of my labor. Faith in Christ helps me to love, forgive, strive to please God, and love my fellow human.
The “memory verses” of my life are: Proverbs 3:5-6 and St. Matthew 6:33 (NIV):
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (St. Matthew 6:33)
I consider these scriptures “TP’d”: Tried & Proven!!!


  • Doctor of Philosophy: (Counselor Education with an emphasis in school counseling)


I have been teaching for Spring Arbor University (SAU) as an adjunct instructor and full-time faculty for a total of 18 years and I am still enjoying the experience. I came to SAU as a result of a fellow doctoral student telling me that she was teaching at SAU and that I should consider applying as an adjunct instructor. As I researched SAU, I was pleased to read that the Christian perspective guided instructional material and that instructors were expected to share their Christian perspective in all courses taught! Having served as a Sunday School teacher from my youth, I felt that coming to SAU was bringing Christian education full circle in my life! I enjoy being able to live and share my faith in an academic milieu. Faith in Yeshua/Jesus impacts my teaching and learning by serving as the foundation upon which I build both, teaching and learning.

Memberships and Affiliations

American Counseling Association

American School Counselor Association

Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

Chi Sigma Iota

Michigan Counseling Association

Michigan School Counseling Association

National Association for Ethnic Studies

Quest South East Jackson Lions Club

Awards & Honors

Chi Sigma Iota

Mu Beta Chapter, Western Michigan University – Outstanding Supervisor Award. Kalamazoo, Michigan 2015

Richard Sies Broaden Your Mind Award

from the Department of Human Services at Baker College, Jackson, Michigan, June 2014. “Challenging students to look beyond what they are comfortable with to sync their minds and increase their knowledge!”

Highland Park Community High School Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame recognizes graduates who have exhibited outstanding leadership, character, and service to their communities and professions. Highland Park, Michigan, November 2011.

Doctoral Associateship Recipient

Academically Talented Youth Program, Lee Honors College, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, January 2006

Doctoral Associateship Recipient

Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, August 2001

Gil and Marcia Mazer Caring Award from the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, October 1998



DOCTORAL DISSERTATION: Assessing Michigan School Counselors’ Preparedness to Meet the Needs of Attractional/Sexual Minority Students. Exploratory study employing a survey and quantitative research methods, to assess the attitudes, knowledge, skills/experiences, and training programs of Michigan school counselors with regards to working with attractional/sexual minority students.

Recent Research

School Counselors Working With Attractional/Sexual Minority Students: A Rogerian Approach. Explores the tenets of Rogerian (person-centered) therapy in relation to school counselors working with attractional/sexual minority students.

The Overrepresentation of African American Males in Special Education: Etiological Considerations and Implications for School Counselors. Examines the current state of African American males in U. S. K-12 public education, teachers’ dynamics and classroom environment, the referral process for special education consideration, and diagnosis for special education designation in relation to African American males.

A Phenomenological Investigation of the “Life Worlds” of African American Clergy Counseling Parishioners with Sexual/Attractional Identity Concerns. Exploratory study employing interviewing and qualitative research methods, particularly from phenomenological research methods. Examining the experiences of African American clergy relative to counseling congregants with issues of sexual/attractional orientation.

Other Relevant Experience

Faculty Committee Member. Spring Arbor University Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council (DIAC) August 2017 – present.. A committee of faculty, staff, and students who are committed to advancing the cause of a diverse and inclusion on the campuses and global sites of Spring Arbor University. The DIAC committee hosts events like “Courageous Conversations” and “Bridging the Gap;” consortium that encourage dialogue and discussions regarding race/ethnicity, attractional orientation, and other opinionated and difficult discussions.

Faculty Advisor/Music Director. Spring Arbor University Gospel Choir (SAUGC) October 2017 – Present. Provides music selection and chorale and individual voice training for a multiethnic choir consisting of college students. The SAUGC provides music ministry for selected Chapel Services at SAU as well as performances in the surrounding communities.

School Counselor/Consultant. Jackson High School, Jackson, Michigan 2016 – Present. Meet with Dean of Students as a consultant; advising regarding specific student issues. Works with a student organization and its faculty advisor. Provides individual (face-to-face) counseling for students experiencing a variety of academic, social, and personal challenges as assessed by the Dean of Students.

Faculty Advisor. Chi Sigma Iota International, Mu Alpha Chi Chapter at Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Michigan September 2016 – January 2018. A national honor society for graduate-level counselor education students. Monitored and approved memberships and organized and hosted Induction Ceremonies for new members.

Faculty Advisor. My Brothers Keeper at Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Michigan August 2014 – Present. Provides one-to-one and group academic, personal, social, and spiritual support for the members. Arranges for guest speakers from the university and surrounding community. Interprets policies and procedures as a Registered Student Organization.

Task Force Member. The Detroit Safe Schools Initiative under the auspices of Charles Pugh, Detroit City Council President, seeks to protect all students from bullying, harassment, and discrimination due to actual or perceived differences and ensure a safe learning environment for all students attending Detroit Public Schools, Detroit, MI January 17, 2011 – Present.

Reverse Job Shadowing. Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes created a program in which professionals show students how classroom work relates to careers/jobs. Deliver 55-minute presentations regarding life skills, the professoriate, counseling, and other employment positions that I have held, to middle and high school students attending schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan and surrounding areas, October 2010 – Present.

Mentor. F.A.M.I.L.Y. Mentoring Project, Elizabeth Upjohn Community Healing Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan October 2006 – August 2010.

Life Skills Speaker. Greg Jennings Football and Cheer Leading Camp sponsored by the Greg Jennings Foundation, Kalamazoo, MI June 19, 2010. Provided a presentation to male and female youth, ages 8 to 18, regarding life skills that will help them to be successful on the football field, in the classroom, and throughout life.

Graduate Advisor. Young Black Males Support Network at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan September 2004 – Present. Provides one-to-one academic, personal, social, and spiritual support for the members. Arranges for guest speakers from the university and surrounding community. Interprets policies and procedures as a Registered Student Organization.

Student Representative. Counselor Education Doctoral Training Committee. Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan November 2003 – April 2004.

Founder and Consultant. The Voices of Western Michigan University Gospel Choir, September 1979 – Present. A chorus of approximately 60 college students whose mission is to contribute to the spiritual component of campus life. Served as Director of Music, vocal trainer, organist/pianist, composer/arranger of music, and soloist. Honorable mention: Performed at two commencement programs and released recording in 1984.

Certification and Licensure

Specialty in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification (SPADA) since June 1999.

National Board for Certified Counselors (NCC) ID No. 56663 since January 2000.

State of Michigan License Professional Counselor (LPC) ID No. 6401009072
since May 2004.

State of Michigan School Guidance Counselor Licensure K-12 since November 2004.

Board Certified Professional Counselor (BCPC) ID No. 9262 since November 2007.

National Provider Identifier (#1942546833) since December 2012.