Doctor of Philosophy in Pastoral Psychology
This is a 36 credit program.
  • 30 credits (10 courses)
  • 6 credits (thesis)
The Doctor of Philosophy in Pastoral Psychology is designed for those in ministry who are engaged in advanced study and research in the academic field of psychology as this reflects pastoral concerns of individuals and communities. The program involves graduate Units of Study designed to develop overarching perspectives on significant areas of theology and psychology, further graduate coursework in the candidate’s specialized interest, a research thesis of creative scholarship, and an oral defense demonstrating professional competence in the chosen specialty.
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 Pastoral Psychology.
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 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.
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