Campbellsville University to Present Seminar on Building Healthy Stepfamilies

By Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University will present a seminar on building healthy stepfamilies Wednesday, Nov. 1 titled “Stepping Together: Building Blocks for Blended Families.”

Dr. Scott Wigginton, associate professor of pastoral ministries and counseling at CU, who is also a licensed marriage and family therapist, will lead the session which is free and open to the public.

The seminar is from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the Winters Dining Hall, room D, of the E. Bruce Heilman Student Complex.

Wigginton said the session is sponsored by the Wellness Committee of Campbellsville University. “The goal of this seminar is to provide some insight into stepfamilies and to equip family members with tools to minimize pain and maximize satisfaction in their families,” said Wigginton.

Wigginton said, according to the Stepfamily Foundation, 1,300 new stepfamilies are forming each day and over 50 percent of United States families are re-married or re-coupled.

“When you take into account that one of two marriages ends in divorce and that 75 percent of these persons remarry, there are a lot of people in Campbellsville who are trying to ‘blend’ families,” he said.

Wigginton said, “Blending a family is tough. Evidence of this is found in the statistic that two-thirds of couples with children who are remarried or living together break up.”

He said most of these families will report that they have had no training or instruction whatsoever in successfully blending a family.

“They simply expect that it will happen for them,” he said. “Most of the time it does not.”

Wigginton, who directs Campbellsville Baptist Church’s Lighthouse Counseling Center, said the seminar will address such questions as:

1) How do parents handle children’s anger over the decision to remarry?

2) How does one avoid playing favorites with biological children?

3) How long does it take to blend?

4) What are the “Top Ten” worst mistakes that stepparents make?

5) What are the most effective ways to handle discipline?

6) What are the specific tasks that step-families must accomplish to successfully merge?

Wigginton cited Judith Wallerstein’s 25-year longitudinal study of children of divorce titled “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study” which “reminds us that the consequences of divorce are long-term.”

He said her study has revealed that only 45 percent of children do well after divorce. “Trying to blend a family after the pain of divorce is a difficult task that is loaded with relational land mines,” he said.

Wigginton served from 1993 through 2004 as executive director of LifeCare Counseling Center and counseling minister at Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.

He is married to Elizabeth Wigginton, who is the family and consumer sciences teacher at Campbellsville High School.

The couple has been married for over 20 years and are the parents of Auburn, Hope and Caleb.

Wigginton has a master of divinity, master of theology and his Ph.D. degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a clinical member and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as well as a clinical member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and a fellow with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

In addition to counseling and teaching, Wigginton has written a family column for the Western Recorder, the weekly newspaper for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, since 2001.

Before coming to Campbellsville University, he taught adjunctively at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for almost 10 years and served full-time as associate professor and chair of the counseling area at Boyce College for two years.

For more information about the seminar, contact Wiggington at or at (270) 789-5037.

Campbellsville University, now celebrating her Centennial year, is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,310 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & WorldReport’s “America’s Best Colleges” 14 consecutive years as one of the leading Southern master’s colleges and universities, Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his eighth year as president.

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