New York Times best-selling author Dr. John Townsend to launch the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine

Partnership makes Concordia the only university in the nation to offer the Townsend Institute for Leadership & Counseling  

IRVINE, Calif. — Concordia University Irvine (CUI) has announced the opening of the Townsend Institute for Leadership & Counseling (TILC) led by New York Times best-selling author, leadership coach, psychologist, and Newport Beach-based speaker John Townsend, Ph.D. Pending  approval by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), classes for a master’s degree program in organizational leadership and a master’s degree program in counseling are scheduled to begin March 2017.

John Townsend. Ph.D.

Known for its competency-plus-character model which emphasizes the importance of competence (task and subject matter expertise skill sets) and character (one’s abilities to relate well to others and oneself) in leadership roles, the Townsend Institute will be part of the School of Professional Studies at Concordia University Irvine. Formerly located at Huntington University in Indiana, the Townsend Institute will now be located at the private non-profit university in Southern California where John Townsend is based. CUI is the only university to offer the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Dr. Townsend,” says Concordia University Irvine President Kurt Krueger. “The Institute’s curriculum aligns seamlessly with Concordia’s goal of equipping future leaders for their vocations, and preparing graduates for lives of learning, service, and leadership.”

“Concordia’s commitment to empowering students to live a life of love and service towards others makes it a perfect home for the Institute,” Townsend says. “I look forward to working with Concordia to provide students meaningful curricula for leadership and counseling.”

As founding director of the Townsend Institute, John Townsend will teach in-person at the Irvine campus for opening four-day intensives, and monthly virtual classes. Other instructors include Townsend Fellows, high-profile authors and experts such as Daniel Amen, Ken Blanchard, Dr. Henry Cloud, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, John Ortberg, and Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. Fellows will share their latest findings and engage with students in a virtual classroom setting each month. Enrollment for March 2017 classes is now open at

Degrees offered at the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine include a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, and a Master of Arts in Counseling. The master’s program in organizational leadership is designed to help students become proficient in the necessary skills of influencing and strategizing others to achieve organizational performance. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for leadership roles is positive.

Graduates can work in the corporate world, startups, small business, family-owned enterprises, churches, non-government organizations, and nonprofits. The master’s program for counseling, or licensed professional counselor (LPC) designation, will offer a therapeutic program based on scriptural teachings, neuroscience, and research-driven methods. Graduates can work in public and private schools, college counseling centers, student affairs positions, mental health agencies, substance abuse clinics, and other settings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is expected to grow 19 percent through 2024, faster than the average for all jobs.

John Townsend — who has written 30 books and sold 10 million copies, including the best-selling Boundaries series — has been helping organizations and individuals to achieve success for more than 20 years. He co-hosts a national-syndicated radio program with three million listeners, New Life Live. Prior to earning his doctorate in clinical psychology from the Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University and master’s in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from North Carolina State University.


Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a private non-profit Lutheran Christian four-year liberal arts university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and coaching/athletics administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of “Grace Alone. Faith Alone.” Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master’s institutions. Marking its 40th anniversary this year, the university enrolls over 4,000 students annually and is in its final year of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Membership Process.


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