Douglas Tillman

Associate Professor

Office: COE B138   |    Phone: (308) 865-8360   |    Email:

Douglas Tillman

About Me

“The most rewarding thing about teaching is seeing people get the material, get better at using their skills or become more effective at really helping people. It’s really neat to watch the growth that happens.”


Professor Tillman’s areas of interest and specialization include wellness, spirituality, and solution-focused counseling to individuals, couples, children and families. He teaches practicum, advanced practicum and theories of counseling.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UNK. He thought he wanted to be a cop. And he was for a while.

“My mom was a deputy sheriff as I grew up, and so I grew up around cops and I loved and idolized cops.” He entered the law enforcement field where he worked for the Kearney Police Department and Perkins County Sheriff’s Office for a combined five years.

But Tillman wanted to be more involved with helping people in need. He began working with troubled adolescents at the I Believe in Me Ranch and later worked as a safety worker for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

“I would watch the counselors at the ranch working with kids and I was energized by that,” Tillman says.

In 2007, Tillman earned his master’s degree in community counseling (now clinical mental health) from UNK. He then worked as a counselor for Mid Plains Center’s Multi-Systemic Therapy and in private practice with Family Resources in Kearney.

In 2008, he began pursuing a doctorate in counselor education from the University of South Dakota, and began teaching classes as an adjunct instructor for UNK in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology.

In 2011, he completed his dissertation on how counselors develop confidence in working with clients in the area of spirituality and/or religion. That year, he became a full-time professor at UNK.

He has conducted research on how social media can and should be used in counseling and counselor education.


  • Green Bay Packers fan -- owns one share of the team. His owner’s certificate is displayed proudly in his office.
  • NASCAR and restoring cars. Tillman kept the 1971 Monte Carlo that he drove in high school and, in 2012, restored the vintage car.
  • Turkey hunting. He’s a traditional bow hunter, and makes his own arrows – a hobby his father introduced him to.
  • Sons. He is passing on his love of bow hunting to his sons – Noah and Nathan.
  • His spouse. Pam is a drug and alcohol counselor at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney.