Within the Division of Education and Human Services, the Department of Pastoral Care and Counseling offers a Doctorate of Philosophy in Pastoral Counseling. The Ph.D. is an advanced studies degree integrating spiritual perspectives with the practice of clinical counseling, mental health research and psychotherapy. Candidates for the degree are prepared to link their clinical knowledge, counseling skills and mental health research to assist clients with real-life problems and to develop significant contributions in the area of mental health and spirituality. People of all faiths and spiritual practices are welcome. Academic and clinical hours acquired within this doctoral program can be applied toward state licensure and professional credentialing.
As a post-graduate program within Neumann University, the Ph.D. equips diverse communities of practitioners and scholars by providing innovative, transformational education in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. Based on its values of reverence, integrity, service, excellence, and stewardship, the doctoral curriculum “promotes thoughtful and ethical leadership in service and response to a global and a technologically complex world” (Vision Statement, Graduate Catalog). Within the course load, specific Franciscan virtues, traditions and theology are integrated in courses that focus on:
• The development of the human person from Franciscan values and their implications for the pastoral identity and clinical competence of the counselor.
• The development of leadership skills rooted in the Franciscan perspective of the value and dignity of the human person, and
• The integration of the Franciscan virtues and traditions by applying evidence-based knowledge of preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative interventions to individuals, families and/or population groups.
Applicants with a master’s degree in a counseling-related field from a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution are eligible for entrance into the Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling program, subject to the approval of the Program Director, and must provide the following:
• A completed Graduate Student Application, in print or online through www.neumann.edu
• Submit official transcripts from each college, university, or seminary attended.
• Submit your resume or vitae listing clinical experiences.
• Provide scores from the most recent Miller’s Analogy Test.
• Provide two official written recommendations, e.g., a faith community leader, clinical supervisor, or academic professional.
• Provide a letter of intent of 4 pages covering: personal strengths and growing edges, your own faith identity, and career goals.
• Submit TOEFL Score Report (required only if English is not your native language).
• Meet with the Director of the Ph.D. program for a personal interview.
Limitation on Transfer Credit
Because of the ever-evolving and pre-paradigmatic nature of the foundation upon which Pastoral Counseling rests, the program has set a limit of seven years for the acceptance of transfer credit for which a minimum grade of “B” has been earned from a regionally accredited, degree granting institution to Neumann University. This time limitation applies to all courses in the Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling program. Exceptions to this policy can only be made with the written approval of both the Dean of the Division of Education and Human Services and the Director of the Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling program.
The Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling is a 12-month, weekend seminar format that is flexible and attractive to students who must maintain their employment and family obligations. Out of a typical 14-week semester, students are required to attend classes at Neumann University five-six weekends. In between classes, students complete assignments via web-assisted programs, along with practical and research applications. For example, students take one class on Friday night (5:00-9:00pm) and a second class on Saturday (9:00am-1:00pm) within a 14-week semester.
For the Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling, continued progress requires that the student maintain both a “B” average, as outlined in the Ph.D. Handbook and a satisfactory rating in all characteristics judged necessary for the profession. Students in practicum courses must demonstrate excellence in technical performance and professional attitude in the clinical setting.
Students gain several measureable skills and competencies by the completion of the program. Demonstration of student mastery is assessed as follows:
• Students are assessed by a clinical evaluation matrix for PC 830 Counseling Supervision and Consultation;PC 860 Doctoral Practicum; PC 880 /PC 881 Doctoral Internships I & II.
• Students are required to pass a Research Comprehension Examination upon completion of PC 840, Qualitative Analysis, PC 850 ,Quantitative Analysis, and PC 870 ,Doctoral Research Methods. Student assessment in this area occurs prior to dissertation candidacy status, and monitors student progression toward successful defense of dissertation.
• Students complete requirements of PC 890 ,Capstone Seminar: Franciscan Integration in Counseling, Education, and Supervision. By applying evidence-based knowledge of preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative interventions, students demonstrate an integration of the three major areas of emphasis in the program with the major Franciscan virtues and traditions. This course replaces the need for a separate theoretical comprehensive exam to advance to dissertation candidacy.
• Students are required to successfully conduct an IRB approved research topic and defend their dissertation.
All degree requirements for the Ph.D. program must be completed in no less than four years and not more than six years. Students who wish an exemption to this time frame must submit a written request to the Director of the program. Graduation from the program is contingent upon:
• Submitting a signed Application For Graduation to the Registrar on or before the date specified by the Academic Calendar;
• Completion of all program requirements with at least a cumulative 3.00 GPA, with no more than two grades of “C”, and
• Successful completion and defense of a dissertation.
Professional Membership and Liability Insurance
Students in the Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling program are required to carry professional liability insurance throughout their clinical/supervision sequence (PC 830 ,Counseling Supervision, and Consultation; PC 860 ,Doctoral Practicum; and PC 880 /PC 881 , Doctoral Internships I & II). Proof of insurance is kept on file in the department office.
Students are also encouraged to join professional counseling organizations (e.g., American Counseling Association, Chi Sigma Iota, Association of Counseling Education and Supervision, Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling, or the American Association of Pastoral Counselors) and participate in annual conferences, seminars and workshops for professional development and networking.
Doctorate of Philosophy in Pastoral Counseling
The Doctorate of Philosophy in Pastoral Counseling is a spiritually integrated, research-based, Ph.D. that equips scholars and practitioners for leadership in today’s diverse world of mental health challenges.
The Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling program prepares candidates to have the vision, skill, and values that integrates religious, spiritual and theological issues within the practice of clinical counseling and psychotherapy. Candidates for the degree are prepared to link their clinical knowledge, skill and research to assist clients with real-life problems and to develop significant contributions in the area of mental health and spirituality.
The program provides candidates academic and clinical hours to obtain national certification through the National Board of Certified Counselors and as a Licensed Professional Counselor within his/her state residence.
Graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy in Pastoral Counseling program are prepared to:
• Assume positions of clinical leadership in mental health agencies;
• Conduct research and professional writing that advances the field of spirituality and mental health;
• Teach as a counselor educator at the collegiate level;
• Provide advanced clinical supervision for counselors-in-training and support staff;
• Work as an advanced practitioner to improve the quality of life of clients seeking mental health treatment; and
• Provide professional client advocacy and peer consultation within the mental health field.
Doctorate of Philosophy in Pastoral Counseling Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the Ph.D. program students are evaluated (in both a written format and oral consultation) on their readiness to articulate, integrate, and evaluate the following learning objectives under each of the following categories of proficiency:
1. Use advanced knowledge of the mental health profession to more fully integrate their identity as counseling therapist, supervisor, and educator.
• How does your pastoral counseling identity and understanding of Franciscan Core Values demonstrates your effectiveness as a professional therapist?
• How does your pastoral counseling identity and understanding of Franciscan Core Values demonstrate your effectiveness as a counseling educator?
• How does your pastoral counseling identity and understanding of Franciscan Core Values demonstrate your effectiveness as a professional counseling supervisor?
• Expected results are as follows: • Knowledge and skill of at least three counseling theories and their techniques. • Knowledge and skill of a personally applied education and teaching/learning style theory. • Knowledge and skill of a personally applied counseling supervision model(s).
2. Conduct research and engage in professional writing to advance the fields of clinical counseling, spirituality and mental health.
Students are required to pass a Research Comprehension Examination upon completion of PC 840 Qualitative Analysis, PC 850 ,Quantitative Analysis, and PC 870 Doctoral Research Methods prior to dissertation candidacy status. Student assessment in this area would be monitored as student progresses toward successful defense of dissertation. The final achievement of this outcome occurs when students successfully defend their dissertation.
3. Demonstrate clinical leadership.
After successfully completing PC 875 ,students are required to integrate their clinical knowledge and skills in PC 890 ,Capstone: Franciscan Integration in Counseling, Education and Supervision. This course satisfies a comprehensive exam to advance to dissertation candidacy.
Students are evaluated (both written and oral consultation) on their readiness to articulate, integrate, and demonstrate the following outcomes:
• Formulate a foundation for decision making that is applicable to a range of issues and a framework to deal with those that can arise with diverse populations;
• Identify specific areas in mental health counseling, consultation, and supervision that present potential difficulty for contemporary professional, ethical counselors and analyze those factors within to insure client-therapist safety and well-being;
• Identify issues that arise when working with multicultural populations and opportunities for outreach and advocacy; and,
• Apply the major codes of conduct for professional counselors and therapists [in particular ACA, APA Principles, MFT] as well as of national and international organizations that work to promote mental health and welfare.
4. Advocate as an advanced practitioner within the framework of the Catholic Franciscan Tradition
Students are evaluated (both written and oral consultation) on their readiness to articulate, integrate, and evaluate the following outcomes:
• Integrate major spiritual writers of the Franciscan intellectual tradition (through classic and contemporary sources), including personal reflection of the tradition for psychological development and spiritual healing as supported in the Neumann University Core Value Statement: Neumann University, a Catholic university in the Franciscan tradition, promotes the following Core Values as integral to all academic programs, services, partnerships, and co-curricular activities: Reverence, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Stewardship.