David Ward

Dean of Health Professions

David Ward

Office Location: Garfield Station - 106

  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy


  • Ph.D., Marriage and Family Therapy, Texas Tech University, 2006
  • M.S., Marriage and Family Therapy, Virginia Tech, Falls Church, 2002
  • B.S., Family Science, Brigham Young University, 1999

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • The Power of Hope to Affect Change
  • Clinical Training and Supervision
  • Couple Relationships


  • 2015 - Volunteer of the Year for the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • 2012 - Faculty Excellence Award for Mentoring, Pacific Lutheran University
  • 2012 - Anselm Strauss Award along with Jennifer Davis ’07 PLU MFT graduate and Dr. Cheryl Storm PLU professor emeritus
  • 2009 - Educator of the Year by the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Professional Memberships/Organizations

  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy


Dr. David Ward became Dean of the College of Health Professions in 2022 and is a Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). He arrived at PLU in 2005 and became Chair of the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy in 2009. In addition to these roles, he has served in various leadership positions at PLU (including Budget Advisory Committee and Faculty Affairs Committee) and as a volunteer within the field of MFT and the community.

Dr. Ward continues to actively practice as a marriage and family therapist and is active in public speaking on topics related to mental health and strengthening relationships. His research has focused on the power of hope to affect change. He developed the Ward Hope Scale that measures hope related to specific goal attainment and incorporates the importance of relationships in the measurement of hope.