NNU News

Dr. Michael Pitts honored with Idaho Counseling Association award

February 2, 2017

Northwest Nazarene University Professor and Chair of the Graduate Counseling Program Dr. Michael Pitts was honored with the Idaho Counseling Association (ICA) Lifetime Achievement Award at the ICA annual conference held in Boise, Idaho January 27–28.

Recipients of this prestigious award must demonstrate both distinguished service to the counseling profession and consummate care for people as well as consistent and reliable contributions in all the areas of service, scholarship and teaching over an exemplary career span.

Colleague Curtis Garner nominated Pitts for the award and had this to say about his friend and leader, “Having worked with Michael as my department chair, I, along with my colleagues, hold Michael in the highest regard and identify him as a role model for how to behave as a professional counselor and counselor educator.”

Garner continued, “In the course of Pitts distinguished career as a counselor, counselor educator, pastor and administrator, he has managed to provide leadership in and advocacy for our profession, while expertly navigating, his professional activities in public as well as private Christian graduate education, church, private practice and scholarship. This he has accomplished, all the while maintaining the integrity and compassion.”

In his acceptance remarks, Pitts said, “Those of you who know me, know that it would be difficult for me to accept this award and thank you for this wonderful honor without quoting Viktor Frankl. So, in “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Dr. Frankl reminds us that having a cause to serve or another person to love is one of the most significant ways in which we experience life as meaningful. In this profession, I have found both a cause to serve —the needs of clients and the education of counselors-to-be—and people to love.”

NNU President Joel Pearsall expressed his admiration for Pitts saying, “Dr. Michael Pitts is a wonderful representative of Northwest Nazarene University and what makes NNU so very special. Michael is an excellent example of what it means to embody Christ-like character, as well as the mission and values of NNU.”


From left to right: Curtis Garner, Michael Pitts, Lori Fairgrieve, and Sean Nixon