Psychology Department Faculty

Dr. Thomas Luttrell

Education Profile:

PhD in Marriage & Family Therapy, Loma Linda University, 2016

MS in Marriage & Family Therapy, Loma Linda University, 2010

BA in Theology, Andrews University, 2006


Dr. Thomas Luttrell’s life passion for engaging in deeper encounters that lead people to hope, worth, meaning, and healing began in his conflicted home in northern Virginia. It was through his Christian faith and therapy journey that he is able to help students who have similar struggles. Dr. Luttrell first studied at Columbia Union College before deciding to make some fast money working in web development for five years. It was at this time that he decided he enjoyed talking to people more than machines. He finished an undergrad degree in Theology from Andrews University, meeting his wife, Hannah while studying in the same department.

Dr. Luttrell has since expanded his ministry to counseling and teaching. He was formerly an adjunct instructor at Loma Linda University, La Sierra, and Univ. of La Verne. Outside of teaching, he served for a few years as a part-time pastor and almost a decade as an associate marriage and family therapist. As an experiential therapist, Dr. Luttrell has advanced training in his preferred models of Gestalt therapy, psychodrama, and emotionally-focused therapy for couples. His experience as a therapist informs his teaching and speaking. He and Hannah regularly give talks about relationships at churches and enjoy leading out and being involved in an intimate, spiritual community when they are not busy with their 1-year old. After living in California for a decade, they recently moved across the country to Maryland to be closer to family. Dr. Luttrell is licensed in Maryland, DC, and California as a Licensed (Clinical) Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT or LCMFT).

Research and Professional Activities:

Professionally, Dr. Luttrell enjoys teaching, public speaking, writing, and psychotherapy with individuals and families. In order to stay connected with the family therapy profession, he has a private practice, HigherChange, LLC, where he sees individuals, couples, and families about mood disorders, addiction, marriage, sexuality, and spirituality. His Ph.D. dissertation involved multiple years studying several hundred individuals in order to pair 95 couples in a dyadic questionnaire for couples that he created, called the “Relationship Balance Assessment.” Findings have been published in his dissertation, as well as the journal Contemporary Family Therapy.

After that, Dr. Luttrell plans to publish several other research articles that he has been working on related to the roles of gender, race, and religion in marital satisfaction and the balance of power in couples. While Dr. Luttrell’s clinical focus has been mostly with couples, he has also created an experiential program for young adults who want to grow their dating lives. In addition, Dr. Luttrell has some training in sex therapy, looking forward to certification, as sexuality is a hot topic for him. His philosophy is summed up in his “Treasure Therapy” model – an experiential and systemic model that integrates a critical “feminist” approach to power with an emphasis on emotions and drawing on the a priori assumption from spiritual traditions that humans have intrinsic worth.