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Christian Colleges with Doctoral Degrees in Psychology: How to Choose

Offered as either a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), psychology doctoral degree programs are offered by only six American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited Christian colleges in the nation. These programs train students in relating to and helping psychological patients from a religious perspective.

Those who wish to earn a doctoral degree in psychology from a Christian college can find a limited selection of Ph.D. and PsyD programs. These courses of study may be pursued at several accredited Christian colleges and universities through their schools of psychology.

Christian Schools with Doctoral Degrees in Psychology

The following 4-year Christian institutions offer doctoral programs in psychology:

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Offered Graduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Wheaton College Wheaton, IL 4-year, Private PsyD $1,005 per unit, 120 units
Regent University Virginia Beach, VA 4-year, Private PsyD $790 per unit, 124 units
George Fox University Newberg, OR 4-year, Private PsyD $863 per unit, 125 units
Fuller Theological Seminary Pasadena, CA 4-year, Private Ph.D.
PsyD
$660 per unit, 298 units
$660 per unit, 242 units
Biola University La Mirada, CA 4-year, Private Ph.D.
PsyD
$1,073 per unit, 78 units
$1,073 per unit, 76 units
Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA 4-year, Private PsyD $1,004 per unit, 133 units

*Sources: School Websites

College Selection Criteria

Things to consider when searching for the right program for you:

  • Emphasis of Christianity varies by each school, along with amount of integration into the curriculum.
  • Know whether or not you want to pursue a Ph.D. or a PsyD and which of them, if not both, a school has.
  • Programs may differ between specializing in clinical psychology or counseling psychology, which offer slightly different career paths.
  • Students may want to look at what field training and/or clinical internship opportunities are available through the program.

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Students interested in establishing their own private practices, becoming consultants or working as program administrators may be interested in a PsyD program. The PsyD is the more commonly offered of the two degrees amongst Christian colleges and is designed to prepare students for interactive work in the field of psychology. A doctoral dissertation will most likely be required for graduation, as well as field training, a clinical practicum or a clinical internship.

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

Students who wish to pursue research opportunities or careers as an educator may be interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology. Ph.D. programs are more scientifically oriented, but will also include training in the clinical, face-to-face setting.

Although rather uncommon, interested students can find doctoral programs in psychology at a few Christian institutions throughout the country. When selecting which school to attend, students should consider their career goals and how Christian values are incorporated into the program.

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