Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapy 

This is a 42 credit program.
  • 36 credits (12 courses)
  • 6 credits (thesis)
This Ph.D. concentration is designed for those in various forms of counseling ministries who wish to concentrate upon the classical schools of psychotherapy with special attention to the theoretical constructs and therapeutic modalities developed by Freud, Adler, Jung, Frankl, Maslow, Erikson, Rogers, and Sullivan. Whether within the parish context, a private practice, or an instructional setting, Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapy will provide the ministry practitioner with insights and skills developed through a systematic study of these eight classical schools of psychotherapy. Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapy is the study and treatment of dysfunctions in interpersonal relationships within the context of a spiritual worldview and ethos which provides a values-based framework for analysis and therapy.
Course Requirements (E-Tutorials)
These courses should be taken in the following sequence.
  1. Classical Schools of Psychotherapy
  2. Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis
  3. Alfred Adler and Individual Psychology
  4. Carl Jung and Analytical Psychology
  5. Viktor Frankl and Logotherapy
  6. Abraham Maslow and Humanistic Psychology
  7. Erik Erikson and Developmental Psychology
  8. Carl Rogers and Person-Centered Psychotherapy
  9. Harry Stack Sullivan and Interpersonal Psychoanalysis
  10. Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapy
  11. Clinical Psychopathology and Personality Disorders
  12. Geriatric Psychotherapy: Pastoral Care And Nurture Of The Elderly
Completion of the non-credit writing assignment Research Methodology is a prerequisite to beginning the doctoral thesis.
The degree is completed by writing and defending a research-based thesis of 45,000 to 60,000 words.
Individuals must comply with the licensure and/or board certification requirements of the state in which they intend to be engaged in professional counseling, as nomenclature is controlled by State Boards related to the various fields of counseling practice.  Visit this webpage for The American Counseling Association to review a full roster of counselor licensing boards throughout the U.S. For information on licensure, contact your state’s counselor licensing board directly. Visit this webpage, State Licensure for Pastoral Counselors, for licensure details. For information on licensure relevant to clergy and pastoral counselors, contact your state’s counselor licensing board directly. Students who are seeking to elevate their status within the profession rather than seeking to obtain licensure or certification will benefit from pursuing the Ph.D. in Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapy.
This program is open to those who have been actively engaged in some form of professional ministry (parish, social service, community outreach, chaplaincy, etc.) for at least five years and who meet the Admission Requirements listed for this degree. The applicant must hold one CPE Unit at the time of application. The degree is offered exclusively to the already credentialed ministry professional and is in no sense designed for those seeking to enter the field of counseling. Professional counseling and ministry credentials are viewed as prerequisites to entering this course of study with the GTF.
  1. Human Growth and Development including studies that provide an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels.
  2. Social and Cultural Foundations including studies that provide an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society.
  3. Helping Relationships including studies that provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes.
  4. Group Dynamics, Processing and Counseling including studies that provide an understanding of group development, dynamics and counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group work approaches.
  5. Career and Lifestyle Development including studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life factors.
  6. Appraisal including studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
  7. Research and Evaluation including studies that provide an understanding of types of research methods, basic statistics, and ethical and legal consideration in research studies.
  8. Professional Orientation including studies that provide an understanding of all aspects of professional functioning including history, roles, organizational structures, ethics, standards, and credentialing. 
Note: Doctoral students are encouraged to consider professional membership in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) and/or the American Counseling Association. 
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