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Notable Faculty

Nearly all of Capella's faculty from the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences have a doctoral degree and many work as licensed practitioners, school psychologists, school counselors, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, alcohol and drug abuse counselors, registered play therapy supervisors, psychologists and social workers. Our instructors have expertise in child and adolescent development, and family and geriatric issues. They are also proficient in designing programs to meet state and national accreditation standards, and have experience consulting with privately held businesses with a focus on succession planning, organizational development, executive development, and coaching.

Beth Koenig, JD


Beth Koenig serves as Dean for the School of Public Service Leadership at Capella University. With an over 20-year career in higher education, she has taught, advised, and mentored both undergraduate and graduate students. She has also developed and supported numerous sponsored research initiatives and has led several enterprise-wide, university infrastructure improvements.

In addition to background in education, Beth has worked in government relations, has served as a Minnesota Supreme Court qualified mediator, and presented best practices in building university research. She also sponsored program initiatives to local, state, national, and international audiences. Beth holds a JD from Hamline University School of Law and a BA from St. Catherine University (formerly the College of St. Catherine) in Speech Communication and Music, Opera Performance.

Brian Christenson, PhD


Dr. Christenson has worked for Capella University in the Doctoral Social Work Program for more than five years and was promoted to the Chair of the Social Work Program in October , 2014, following his leadership as the DSW Program Lead at Capella University.  Dr. Christenson obtained his BSW from Lewis-Clark State College, his MSW from Eastern Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Education and Organizational Leadership and Adult Higher Education from the University of Idaho.