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Faculty Profile

Claudia Grauf-Grounds

Claudia​ Grauf-Grounds

Professor Emerita of Marriage and Family Therapy

Email: claudiagg@spu.edu


Education: BA, Stanford University, 1976; MA, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1978, PhD, University of Southern California, 1988. At SPU since 2000.

Before coming to SPU, Dr. Claudia Grauf-Grounds taught for 10 years at the University of San Diego in the graduate Marriage and Family Therapy Department, as well as at Bethel Seminary San Diego. She has also helped to train family medicine physicians both in San Diego and at the University of Washington’s Department of Family Medicine.

Licensed and active as a family therapist in both California and Washington since 1982, Dr. Grauf-Grounds says that her favorite part of her work is supervising and mentoring young clinicians in the field. She was named Washington State Association Marriage and Family Therapy Association’s Supervisor of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Grauf-Grounds is inspired when she can add “a spiritual voice” to her professional field of study — a voice lacking in traditional family therapy and medical training programs. Most background beliefs of psychotherapy and mental health regard human beings as inherently good and capable of self-generated change and growth. However, a Christian perspective, although valuing persons, does not have illusions about our capacity for relational and personal neglect and destructiveness. A biopsychosocial-spiritual way of addressing human suffering and healing is central to her training and work.

After her retirement from SPU in June 2017, Dr. Grauf-Grounds returned to San Diego where she continues to practice and teach.


​Selected publications

Grauf-Grounds, C., Edwards, S., MacDonald, D., Quek, K. & Schermer Sellers, T. (2009). Developing Graduate Curriculum Faithful to Professional Training and a Christian Worldview. Christian Higher Education, 8, 1–17.

Grauf-Grounds, C. (2007). Increasing social support to manage chronic illness. In D. Linville & K.M. Hertlein (Eds.), The Therapists’ Notebook for Family Healthcare. New York: Haworth Press.

Grauf-Grounds, C. & Edwards, S. (2007). Developing a Ritual to Honor Trauma: A Training Community’s Witness. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 26, 38–50.

Grauf-Grounds, C. & Schermer Sellers, T. (2006). Developing Internships and Creating Jobs in the field of Medical Family Therapy: Some Lessons Learned. Families, Systems & Health, 24, 230–237.

Grauf-Grounds, C. (1982). Language as a change agent: metaphor in the work of Jay Haley and in the parables of Jesus. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 10, 212–220.

Please view Dr. Grauf-Grounds’ CV (PDF) for additional publications.

Claudia Grauf-Grounds

Why I Teach at SPU

Claudia Grauf-Grounds, Emerita Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy

“I thrive when teaching. Watching the eyes of students light up, or hearing a small group eagerly engage in a task assignment (an amazing feat for school-hardened graduate students) still makes my day. I felt the calling to teach graduate students quite clearly while attending Fuller Theological Seminary. My strengths in teaching stem from my ability to integrate ideas, communicate clearly, organize my lessons, creatively assign projects, model what I am teaching, and remember how it was for me to learn things for the first time. As referenced by Parker Palmer, We Teach Who We Are (Palmer, 1998).”