In the fall of 2008, Dr. Burks, President of Harding University, appointed a group of individuals to determine the feasibility of establishing a new program at Harding University. The committee concluded that a Physical Therapy Program fit well with the mission of the University. Therefore, in 2010 a program director was hired, and the Harding University Physical Therapy Program began. Over the course of 2010 and 2011 several faculty members were hired and the charter class of students was accepted and matriculated in the fall of 2011.
Michael McGalliard, ScD, PT, COMT is the Program Director and Chair of the Physical Therapy Department. He teaches content in the areas of anatomy, musculoskeletal physical therapy, therapeutic exercise, physical agents and modalities, evidence based physical therapy practice, clinical reasoning, and Licensure Preparation and Review. Dr. McGalliard also coordinates the Medical Missions track of the HUPT program.
The mission of the Harding University Physical Therapy Program is to graduate physical therapists who are prepared to practice contemporary Physical Therapy from a service oriented Christian World View guided by scientific evidence, professional ethics, and responsibility.
The Vision of the Physical Therapy Graduate Program will be recognized nationally for its leadership and innovation in Christian physical therapy education and scholarship as well as for its service to society and the profession. To accomplish this vision the Harding University Physical Therapy Program embraces the following University goals:
- Generally, the integration of faith, learning and living - developing the whole person through a commitment to Christ and to the Bible as the Word of God, an emphasis on lifelong intellectual growth, and the encouragement of Christian service and world missions through a servant-leadership lifestyle.
- Specifically, the development of Christian scholarship - while acknowledging dependence on God, stressing Christian commitment to intellectual excellence through a strong liberal arts foundation and effective professional preparation.
- The promotion of Christian ethics - creating an atmosphere that emphasizes integrity and purity of thought and action.
- The development of lasting relationships - fostering personal and social relationships through interaction among faculty, staff and students; and stressing a lifelong commitment to marriage and the Christian family.
- The promotion of wellness - emphasizing that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that lifetime health habits contribute to a better quality of life.
- The promotion of citizenship within a global perspective - developing a Christian understanding of and respect for other cultures through an emphasis on liberty and justice.