Dr. Gay Holcomb graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology in 1997, and received her Ph.D. in Educational and Counseling Psychology at University of Kentucky in 2004. Together with Dr. Art Nonneman, she was co-principle investigator of the Faithful Change Project, 1998-2006, partially funded by a $197,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The Faithful Change Project, a longitudinal study of faith and spiritual development of undergraduate students at Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) institutions explored the various factors that tend to foster or hinder faith development.
Faithful Change found that students unusually mature in their faith and spiritual development had experienced one or more of the following types of crises (something that caused them to seriously begin thinking about what they believed and why they believed it) for a prolonged period of time:
1. being around people who think differently (e.g., politically, theologically, etc)
2. being around people who live differently (e.g., different cultural assumptions)
3. experiencing emotional upheavals (e.g., mental or physical illness, divorce, death, family difficulties, etc.)
Other research interests include identity and moral reasoning development, gender related issues, and equine facilitated mental health. Courses taught include:
• PSY 101 Psychology and Everyday Life
• PSY 275 Sophomore Seminar: Writing for the Behavioral Sciences
• PSY 320 Psychology of Gender
• PSY 322 Equine Facilitated Mental Health
• PSY 342 Cross-Cultural Psychology
• PSY 375 Junior Seminar: Integration of Faith and Psychology
• PSY 393 Psychology of Death, Dying, & Bereavement
• PSY 442 Psychology of Religion
• PSY 475 Senior Seminar
Dr. Holcomb serves as Director of Institutional Research and Assessment for Asbury University. She also serves as a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Institutional Effectiveness (IE) and Quality Effectiveness Project (QEP) Evaluator for Onsite Visit Teams.