Meet the Graduates:
See video clips of graduate Deb Hannaford here.
More than 700 students complete their degrees at Fuller this year, with plans that will take them into a range of ministries and vocations. This series highlights just a few of these graduates.
Prepared for Service in the Helping Professions
Deborah “Deb” Hannaford comes from Australia—where, she says, “‘doing church’ is challenging. We are a nature-loving, people-centered nation, where real ‘evangelism’ only works in the context of an incarnational lifestyle.” Hannaford worked both in church ministry and with at-risk youth in Australia before moving to Pasadena with her husband, Ronald Hannaford (now Fuller’s director of distance learning/program development), with both of them planning on seminary study.
Hannaford came to Fuller seeking skills in two areas, she says: “being missiologically effective across cultures, and empowering people with the skills needed to replace destructive family systems and patterns of communication with healthier ones.” While concurrently working for many years on Fuller’s staff, Hannaford chipped away first at her MA in Cross-cultural Studies, which she completed in 2004—and this year, earns her MA in Family Studies.
“My passion was and still is to work toward healthy, functional relationships within the family, the church, and beyond. I believe this to be a dynamically ‘attractive’ and natural tool for mission in our broken world,” she says. “I have always been intrigued to know how theology and psychology integrate to impact the realization of God’s potential for healthy relationships across the lifespan. I came to Fuller with many questions and much soul searching, and found a rich environment that made room for both.”
Hannaford envisions using her dual Fuller degrees to teach and train people in cross-cultural contexts using a solution-based, preventative psycho-educational approach. “I see this as a mission field,” she explains, hoping eventually to work in a consultancy capacity with individuals and families who move internationally to multicultural urban contexts with their work, ministry, or mission.
At Fuller, Hannaford has learned that “brokenness needs a Healer, but it also needs a revealing, transformative, and formative process for people to reach their potential in the context of self and other relatedness.” She has found Fuller’s Family Studies program—with such professors as James Furrow and Cameron Lee—“to embrace with integrity both the Healer and the learning, formative process. While my God-given passion and gifting has remained consistent,” asserts Hannaford, “I have emerged with newly defined understanding. I have, along with so many others, been uniquely prepared for work and service in people-centered helping professions.”
Learn more about Fuller’s MA in Family Studies program.
Read more stories about Fuller’s 2009 graduates.