Candidate Information - S. Kent Butler

The five candidates vying to become the American Counseling Association’s next president-elect were asked to provide their answers addressing several issues of importance to the association and the counseling profession. Additional information for each candidate, including biographical information, qualifications and reasons for seeking office, is published online here. Online voting for all ACA, division and region elections will begin Dec. 1.

Editor’s note: The following answers are published as the candidates submitted them. They have not been edited.

Photo of S. Kent Butler


Ph.D. Educational Psychology: Counseling Psychology & Counselor Education – University of Connecticut

Certification and licenses

National Certified Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
Licensed Professional Counselor 

Current position

Associate Professor – University of Central Florida

Professional experience

Assistant/Associate Professor – University of Missouri – St. Louis
Member and Faculty Advisor, Chi Sigma Iota – Upsilon Chi – University of Central Florida
Team Member, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Counseling and Development (2013 – 2016)
Invited Reviewer, Special Issue of Journal for Specialist in Group Work – Group Work and Social Justice (2008)

Association experience

American Counseling Association Governing Council Representative (2015 – 2018)
Chairperson, Cultural Encounters Task Force
President, Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (2011 – 2012)
Member, AMCD Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC) Committee
Founder and Co-Chairperson, AMCD Writer’s Consortium
AMCD Delegate, American Counseling Association – 20/20 A Vision for the Future Committee
AMCD Conference Coordinator (2006 – 2010, 2014 & 2017)

ACA/Divison/Branch membership


Awards and honors

American Counseling Association Fellow Award
AMCD Kitty Cole Human Rights Award
University of Connecticut – Center for Academic Programs, Outstanding Alumni Award


Butler, S. K., Crespi, T. D., & McNamara, M. (2017). Family counseling in the schools. Counseling Today.
Crespi, T. D. & Butler, S. K. (2016). Family Therapy In The Schools: Considerations, Concerns, and School Counseling. Professional Issues in Counseling.
Harris, S. & Butler, S. K. (2016). Promoting Resilience in Children of Alcoholics: A Family Perspective. The Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling Annual Review: Best Practices (3rd Edition).
Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S. C., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2016). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies: Guidelines for the counseling profession. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 44(1) 28-48.
Ratts, M. J., Butler, S. K., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., & McCulloch, J. R. (2016). Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies: Practical Applications in Counseling. Counseling Today.
Dempsey, K., Butler, S. K., Gaither, L., & Cramer-Buck, U. (2016). Black churches and mental health professionals: Can this collaboration work? Journal of Black Studies. 47(1) 73–87.
Butler, S. K. (2015). Financial Literacy of African American Students. J. Curry & M. A. Shillingford (Ed.) The journey unraveled: College & career readiness of African American students. Rowman & Littlefield Publishing.
Butler, S. K., & Shillingford, M. A. (2014). Counseling African Americans. In M. J. Ratts & P. Pedersen (Eds.), Handbook for multicultural competence and social justice competence. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
McHenry, B. J., Butler, S. K., & McHenry, J. (2012). Attaining an Academic Appointment. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing.


Butler, S. K., (2017, March). Issues of Race and Culture in Counseling: The Taboo Unraveled. American Counseling Association Convention, San Francisco, California.
Butler, S. K., (2016, June). AMCD Multicultural Social Justice Counseling Competencies: Future Directions in Counseling Practice and Research. International Conference on Integration of STEM Education & Mental Health. Noorul Islam Centre for Higher Education. Tamilnadu State, India.

Community service

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Katrina Assistance Project, Team member deployed to New Orleans, Louisiana (May – June 2006)
AMCD Service Days

Qualifications and reasons for seeking office

Helping others find their true selves as they strive for emotional wellness is the cornerstone of who I am as a counselor and educator. I position myself daily to know people, engage in meaningful conversations and make serious efforts to make the world better. Continuously pursuing excellence, believing in honesty and hard work with a determination to positively impact communities I serve. I pride myself in being conscientious, ethical, faithful, purposeful, structured, culturally responsive, and a man of my word. Each characteristic describes me, motivates me, defines my counseling identity, and explains why I’m uniquely positioned to serve as President of the American Counseling Association. They collectively represent the foundation of my service, enthusiasm, and commitment to ACA’s mission “to enhance the quality of life” of our constituents. The leadership ACA has provided the counseling profession is undeniable. As a Governing Council Representative, ACA’s current trajectory excites me because it defines us as counselors and controls the narrative as to why professional counselors make a statistically significant difference to the human condition. I wish to extend this legacy of putting clients first, developing outstanding counselors, and promoting cultural sensitivity and social justice….a legacy that inspires hope in all of us who continue to believe in the inalienable rights of all people to have their life experiences and worldviews validated. If honored to be your President, I promise to “listen”, to be a voice and champion for the entire ACA membership, and to protect the human rights of our diverse clientele who deserve only the very best we have to offer. I will also lead by example, collaborating and working tirelessly with my Governing Council colleagues and the ACA staff to expand upon already established efforts, such as portability, moving the profession forward judiciously and in accordance with our strategic plan.