We provide a new model of Christian higher education for those who were formerly addicted, homeless or in prison, enabling these “high-risk” students to get jobs and lead transformed lives. We call this our Wounded Healers program, and it consists of about 20% of our students.
Each year there are thousands of individuals that complete Christian addiction recovery programs, prison reentry programs or job readiness programs for the homeless, but many still struggle to find a job. City Vision provides a national program partnering with many of these ministries to help them enable their clients to get jobs. We do that by partnering with ministries serving high-risk clients to enable them to develop career tracks into addiction counseling, nonprofit management and ministry jobs. While there are a wide variety of partnering options available to these ministries in many career fields, we have found that for most organizations, City Vision provides a unique offering that significantly improves job outcomes in these three fields.
Traditional Christian higher education is not very affordable or accessible to these high-risk students. City Vision provides the strengths of Christian higher education with the affordability and accessibility to disadvantaged students of a community college to effectively serve high-risk students. By doing this, we are enabling these students to become wounded healers that transform the pain of their past to help others coming from similar circumstances.
We teach these wounded healers that God never wastes a painful experience, and that often the best addiction counselors are those who have recovered from addiction themselves. Those who graduate from our Addiction Counseling program typically get a job counseling hundreds of individuals where they can truly live out the parable of the sower and the seed, producing a crop of “a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matt.13:8)
After more than 20 years of working with addiction recovery programs, we have found that the most difficult part is not getting someone sober through a treatment program, but helping them stay sober after the program. Each year, thousands of former addicts successfully complete Christian recovery programs and establish their sobriety, but still struggle to find a job. Those that can’t find jobs often are drawn back into the cycle of addiction. Many of these people not only want to maintain their own sobriety, but have a passion for helping others out of addiction. However, they can’t afford the tuition of most Christian addiction counseling degrees, so the field remains closed to them.
City Vision’s Bachelor’s in Addiction Counseling is the most affordable online Christian degree in the field, at about half the tuition of other Christian schools. In order to make it even more accessible, it was designed with the needs of recent Christian recovery program graduates in mind. Note: the above statistics are for all addiction counseling students, not just those in our Wounded Healers program.
“When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”
– Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer
Jon Dean was an addict for 22 years and a gang member for 27 years after starting drugs at age 13. He had a profound encounter with God that ultimately led him to decide to follow Jesus at the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission. He continued his recovery and discipleship through the House of Disciples in Longview, Texas and as a student in City Vision University’s Addiction Counseling program. Jon graduated with a bachelor’s degree and is now a case manager with the House of Disciples, where he works with recovering addicts and ex-offenders to help them experience the transformation that he did.
“City Vision provided a Biblical understanding of addiction that helped transform my life.” – Jon Dean
Brittany Hargrove was introduced to drugs by hanging out with the wrong crowd in college. After she became addicted, she dropped out of college. When she was arrested, she was facing a prison sentence.
She turned back to Jesus, and entered a recovery program at St. Matthew’s House in Naples, FL where she was discipled and got free from her addiction. She completed her Bachelor’s in Addiction Studies through City Vision, and now counsels former addicts through St. Matthew’s House. She is happily married. In 2021, she graduated from City Vision’s MBA program, and is on the way to bearing hundredfold fruit.
“City Vision is not only a school, but also a ministry.” – Brittany Hargrove