Asbury Psychology Professors Present Refugee Research at Conference – Asbury University
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Asbury Psychology Professors Present Refugee Research at Conference

April 11, 2024

Dr. Laura Dryjanska

Asbury Psychology professors Dr. Laura Dryjanska and Dr. Marcus Kilian recently presented research at the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) conference in Atlanta, Ga. Undergraduate students Elizabeth Bower ’24 and Landon Roberts ’24 served as research assistants and presented a research poster with Kilian and Louisville psychologist Dr. Paul Schmidt (founder of The Well, Inc.).

Dryjanska and Kilian presented a symposium titled, “Religion, Prayer, and a Hope for a Better Future: Stories of Resilience from Refugee Women,” which focused on the importance of religion and spirituality in developing and fostering resilience among refugee women in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Co-speakers included Dr. Jamie Sanchez (Biola University) and Dr. Rachel Hagues (Samford University).

Kilian presented his research, “Training in Pastoral Counseling for War Trauma
In Lviv, Ukraine: May 20 to 28, 2023,” conducted with Dr. Janet Dean (Asbury Theological Seminary) and Dr. Anthony Headley (Asbury Theological Seminary).

“I was delighted to speak about our week-long trip to Ukraine, during which we trained counseling students in trauma care and counseling at the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary,” Kilian said. “The focus of my presentation included the stories of students. These stories taught us how resilient these students have been during the war.”

As research assistants to Kilian and Schmidt, Bower and Roberts presented their poster titled, “The Assessment of Personal Well-Being: Initial Validation of a Free Anonymous Online Test.”

“Our assessment is based off of the seven deadly sins and helps you determine if you’re putting energy into good habits and lifestyles or unhealthy ones,” Bower ’24 said. “It focuses on soul care and how well you’re taking care of yourself internally.”

“For our research, we found that our assessment was decent but needed some tweaks on a scale,” Roberts ’24 said. “Through this conference, I learned about the importance of being able to show evidence for a study. The conference was amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone.”

CAPS encourages in-depth consideration of therapeutic, research, theoretical and theological issues. Founded in 1956 by a small group of Christian mental health professionals, CAPS has grown to more than 1,200 members in the U.S., Canada and more than 25 other countries. Learn more:

Two new minors in the Social Science & History Department include Human Trafficking Studies and Pre-Law for students to customize with electives in various areas including business, equine, computer science, and more. Learn more.

The Asbury University Psychology Department offers a major and minor in Psychology, with major emphases in Business Psychology, Biological Psychology, Child Psychology, Christian Counseling/Psychology, Clinical/Counseling Psychology, Equine Facilitated Mental Health, Forensic Psychology, Social Psychology, and Student Development Psychology. Learn more: