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. The goal of these programs is to relate to and help psychological patients from a religious perspective.
How to Select a Christian Psychology School
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 six accredited Christian colleges and universities through their schools of psychology.
Summary of Important Considerations
- School philosophy
- Degree types
- Fields of specialization
The emphasis of Christianity within each program varies from school to school, existing as a prominent and all-encompassing part of some curricula while being featured as a separate but equal component of others. Certain programs reinforce Christian ideology with every class, emphasizing its importance in all aspects of psychology. Other colleges teach the bulk of their psychology courses and Christianity courses separately and include a smaller number of class hours that teach integration of the two. Prospective students should look for programs with Christian philosophies that match their own goals and interests.
Some schools offer both Ph.D. and PsyD programs, and in these cases, the programs are more distinctive and provide different educations. Other schools, however, may offer only PsyD programs, and due to the narrower selection, the program itself may be broader in educational opportunities, offering courses that could be found in either a PsyD or Ph.D. programs.
Fields of Specialization
A doctoral degree program in clinical psychology might be the right choice for a student looking to help people with severe psychological disorders. Clinical psychologists often work in hospitals, community centers, and in private practices. Select Christian colleges also offer doctoral degrees in counseling psychology, and this may better suited to students who wish to work as school counselors or in mental health facilities. Students of either program will be qualified to work in the academic world or with the public.
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. Students might take courses that include:
- Religion and psychotherapy
- Clinical assessment
- Multicultural psychotherapy
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. Courses might be taken in:
- Research design
- Neuropsychological assessment
- Test administration
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