Colleges with Christian Psychology Programs: How to Choose

Christian psychology programs are based on applied science, Christian philosophy and a Christian understanding of psychology. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are available in this field.

How to Select a Christian Psychology School

Christian psychology programs are only offered at Christian colleges and universities. Undergraduate programs in psychology are sometimes necessary for acceptance into graduate programs.

Some important considerations when choosing a Christian psychology school include:

  • Determine which post-undergraduate programs a school offers, as many careers in this field require master's degrees or Ph.D.s.
  • Look for schools which offer concentrations in specific areas of interest, such as clinical, child and family, cross cultural, general, health or I/O psychology.
  • Identify which denomination of the Christian church the university or college is associated with, as information presented and topics focused on can vary.
  • Ensure a program is accredited through a major accrediting body, such as the Council for Accredidation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the American Psychological Association (APA).

Christian Psychology Program Options

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Baccalaureate programs in psychology offered by Christian colleges and universities combine theology and psychology. Both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science options teach students the fundamentals of human development, learning, personality and physiology in the context of Christian philosophy. In addition to general education classes, coursework can include:

  • Theories of personality
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Clinical counseling methods
  • Psychology of religious experience

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree candidates typically are required to complete a yearlong, full-time internship in addition to coursework in psychology and research. Students also examine religious topics, such as ways children come to understand religion and the relationship between psychology and religious conversion. Some courses include:

  • Introduction to psychopathology
  • Research design
  • Advanced statistics
  • Psychology of women
  • Human sexuality

Ph.D. Programs

Some Christian colleges require Ph.D. candidates to minor in theology in addition to completing an internship and dissertation. Applicants to Ph.D. programs typically must have a bachelor's degree in psychology, social work, Christian leadership or a closely related subject, or at least have taken a specified number of psychology classes. Topics of study in a Ph.D. program include:

  • General psychology
  • Research
  • Field training
  • Theology

Psy.D. Programs

Psy.D. programs generally last 4-5 years and accept students with bachelor's or master's degrees. They generally include extensive clinical experiences, in addition to internship opportunities, and usually do not require a dissertation. At schools for Christian psychology, these experiences might be completed at centers focused on marriage ministry or missionary outreach. Coursework could include:

  • History and systems of psychology
  • Affect, cognition and motivation
  • Biological bases of behavior
  • Statistics
  • Multicultural psychology

10 Schools with Christian Psychology Degree Programs

College/UniversityInstitution Type
Anderson University4-year, Private
Bethel University4-year, Private
California Baptist University4-year, Private
Crown College4-year, Private
Bethany College4-year, Private
Houston Baptist University4-year, Private
Louisiana College4-year, Private
Marian University4-year, Private
Mississippi College4-year, Private
Missouri Baptist University4-year, Private

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