Programs Bachelor of Arts in Child Development - Arizona Christian University

Bachelor of Arts in Child Development


The Bachelor of Arts in Child Development is the newest program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. The program focuses on the intellectual, social, emotional, and biological development of children and the planning, design, and delivery of child life and child advocacy services. The program includes instruction in healthy child and adolescent development, parent-child relations, family structure, families and trauma, play therapy, environmental influences on child and adolescent development, and additional topics related to child advocacy and the child life profession. Students participate in practicum experiences in settings of their choice that deepen their learning experience and provide valuable networking opportunities.

Why Child Development at ACU?

In addition to a faculty to student ratio of 17:1 and a rigorous and biblically-integrated curriculum, ACU’s Child Development program offers several unique advantages:

  • Our faculty serve as mentors and models of Christian practice.
  • Our Child Life courses are included on the Association of child Life Professionals website as offering Child Life curriculum taught by highly qualified Child Life Professionals.
  • The Child Life curriculum surpasses the Association of Child Life Professionals’ academic requirements, serving to help the student build a competitive resume to compete in this exciting field.
  • ACU’s HFDS department is privileged to be affiliated with local hospital pediatrics programs offering exceptional practicum experiences for our students.
  • Arizona Christian University is widely networked with Christian organizations around the Valley that provide opportunities for students to serve their practicum.
  • The faculty approach educating students from a strong position of a biblical worldview.

What will I study?

Undergraduate students are provided a comprehensive course of study that meets all the academic course requirements of the Association of Child Life Professionals.

  • Child Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Introduction to Play Therapy
  • Child Development Practicum
  • Family Structure and Function
  • Introduction to the Exceptional Child
  • Parent Child Relations
  • Loss, Bereavement & Dying
  • Trauma and Families




Career Paths

Arizona Christian University’s Child Development Degrees prepare students to serve in a variety of settings including medical settings, serving as child life specialists*, and churches, foster care, child protection, and family advocacy organizations serving as social workers, children’s ministers, foster placement managers, child and family legal advocates, family program coordinators, and many additional roles.

*Students pursuing Certification as a Child Life Specialist can access the additional requirements for certification here:


Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Arizona Christian University
1 W. Firestorm Way
Glendale, AZ 85306

(602) 489-5300

[email protected]

Academic Major Courses

Core requirements accumulate to 30 credits, 15 credits of Biblical and Theological Studies and 8 credits of foreign language courses.

CourseCourse NameCreditsPrerequisite/
CHD101Child Development3
PSY 210Statistics for Behavioral Studies3
CHD 314Adolescent Development3
FAM 316Family Structure and Function3ECE 261 or CHD 312 or 314 (Prerequisite)
CHD 416Trauma and Families3
FAM 440Gender Studies3
PSY 475Research Methods3PSY 210 (Co-Requisite)
CHD 490Child Development Capstone3Prerequisites: Practicum or fieldwork completed or taken concurrently. Senior status, or department chair permission.