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Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Psychology and Counseling (PHD 64-credit hours)


A blended approach Field With Science & Faith

More than ever the field of psychology needs influential leaders who integrate science and faith. The Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies – Biblical Counseling prepares you for a ministry in the areas of mental health counseling, research, education, and psychological science. You will be positioned as an authority within these and other settings: Private practice in the biblical setting, church, community, mission field, counseling firm, or biblical counseling center and chaplaincy. If you’re a scholar seeking to impact the culture beyond the Ph.D. counseling arena and don’t need professional accreditation, then this doctoral degree is for you.

With Cornerstone Christian University Online’s Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Counseling Psychology program, you can specialize in Pastoral Care and Counseling Psychology, children and Family. This program can provide you with advanced knowledge of counseling and pastoral care to work in private practice and ministry settings. CCU’s Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling – Pastoral Care and Counseling program could be the perfect choice if you hold a biblical degree and are ready to further your work in the field.


Ph.D. in Christian Counseling degrees seek to advance students’ skills and knowledge in ministry. Earning a Ph.D. in Christian counseling may help you to take an in-depth look at biblical principles and strategies to help you step into a variety of pastoral roles. As such, these programs are often geared toward pastors, missionaries, and other church leaders who seek professional and personal growth.

How long does a Ph.D. in Christian Counseling degree take?

A Ph.D. in Christian Counseling may take three years if the student is full-time. Time to completion may vary by program and method of study.

The purpose Doctorate of Biblical Counseling (Ph.D.) program is to provide the candidate with advanced competencies and biblical insights through the teaching, preparation, and observation of those actively involved in vocational Christian ministry of education.

This program provides the biblical, theological, and practical education required to provide leadership in a church-counseling center or an independent lay counseling ministry. It is not intended to prepare individuals for a State Licensure but will qualify the candidates for organizational professional licensed counseling credentials through their city/county authority.

Program Objectives:

Graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Psychology and Counseling (Ph.D.) program will be prepared to:

Demonstrate an advanced understanding and integration of ministry concerning the biblical, theological, academic, and educational disciplines.
Articulate and apply a comprehensive and critical philosophy of ministry.
Demonstrate advanced competencies in the areas of critical thinking, Research and Writing, Biblical Theology, Biblical Communication, Administration/Education Leadership, and Great Commission Strategies.

Plan, implement, and critically evaluate major undertakings in ministry toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
Evaluate personal, spiritual, and professional development and design a plan for lifelong learning.

An Online Ph.D. Degree Based on Biblical Principles and Values, Designed Specifically for those who are highly functional with a higher learning and independent conceptual mindset.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Psychology and Counseling (Ph.D.) degree provides individuals with the opportunity to develop advanced research skills using the flexibility and convenience of distance learning aptitude. The curriculum consists of 64- hours of study and provides a solid foundation in major business functional areas. Ethical psychological and counseling leadership, information literacy, speaking, writing, and interpersonal skills are emphasized throughout the curriculum. This program is available to qualified Ph.D. candidates both in North America and internationally.

After completing this program, you’ll earn a doctor of philosophy in Psychology and Counseling (Ph.D.).

Required Courses: 

Course #

Course Descriptions



Term I

10 credits


Research Methods in Psychology

Course Description: This course will give students of religion and theology the ability to conceptualize, develop, and write a paper, thesis, or dissertation step-by-step for students’ quality research papers demands that fits the standards of contemporary scholarship.

4 credits


Philosophy of Psychology

Course Description: Philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology cover topics such as the mind-body problem, consciousness, mental states, perceptions, concepts, reasons as causes, rationality, emotions, freedom of will, and more.

4 credits


Cognitive Psychology-student   

Course Description: Cognitive psychology is an area that focuses on the science of how people think. This branch of psychology explores a wide variety of mental processes including how people think, use language, attend to information, and perceive their environments.

4 credits


Term II

12 credits


Crisis and Trauma Counseling          

Course Description: Both natural and human-generated disasters, which are associated with destruction as well as loss of loved ones and irreplaceable belongings, often overwhelm one’s normal coping capacity. Disasters also tend to stress emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physiological, and religious/spiritual beliefs.

4 credits


Christian Counseling-Collins

Course Description: This proven guide in pastoral counseling has been extensively expanded and revised by the author to include recent developments and research, new resources, and attention to newly urgent needs such as AIDS, eating disorders, homosexuality, and violence. Written with clarity and sensitivity, this volume builds on biblical foundations and the best resources of professional psychology. It reflects the insights the author has gained from many years of Christian counseling.

4 credits


Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling 

Course Description: A focused investigation of specific techniques and interventions utilized in trauma care. Focus is given to the physical and psychological effects of trauma, a Christian theology of suffering, and assessment use in counseling clients in trauma.

4 credits


Term III

12 Credits


Miracles : God, science, and psychology in the paranormal

Course Description: Can science, psychology, and biology explain miracles? This course set attempts to answer that question, presenting the latest, as well as classic, thinking and research regarding miracles from fields that include psychology, psychiatry, theology, biology, and history.

4 credits


God, Religion, and Spirituality

Course Description: This course introduces students to the academic study of religion by focusing on those major themes that connect religious experiences from around the world. We will explore the complex ways in which issues in religion relate to topics such as spiritual beings, birth, death, ritual, the afterlife, ethics, and the good-life.

4 credits


Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology

Course Description: Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology presents actual clinical cases, providing developmental histories essential to appropriate diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. This text presents 23 distinct case studies, applying abstract theoretical research to real-world situations.

4 credits


Logical Thinking

Course Description: An introduction to the basic principles that underlie critical thinking, including: recognizing premises and conclusion of an argument; language and meaning; common errors in reasoning; Aristotle’s system of logic; the symbolic representation of simple and complex

sentences; the idea of cause and effect and J. S. Mill’s scientific method. The subject matter of this course does not assume any prior acquaintance with logic or mathematics.

4 credits


Term IV

12 credits


Social Psychology

Course Description: This course examines how individuals affect and are affected by others. Topics include impression formation, conformity and social influence, self-perception, attitudes, aggression, prejudice, helping, attraction, group processes, and other components of social interaction.

4 credits


Trauma Counseling Theories and Interventions

Course Description: Trauma Counseling is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary guide to the theory and treatment of survivors of a broad spectrum of traumatic events, including interpersonal violence, hate crimes, school violence, community violence, natural disasters, and war and terrorism.

4 credits


Psychology of Religion

Course Description: The course is designed to enhance critical thinking skills, demonstrate how the methods of science can be applied to the study of religious and spiritual phenomena, provide an overview of a wide range of such research, and encourage you to make as many personal applications of course content as possible.

4 credits


Term V

12 credits


Human Motivation and Interpersonal Relationships

Course Description: The course is designed to enhance critical thinking skills, demonstrate how the methods of science can be applied to the study of religious and spiritual phenomena, provide an overview of a wide range of such research, and encourage you to make as many personal applications of course content as possible.

4 credits


Basic Statistics for Social Research

Course Description: Gives students in the social sciences (sociology, anthropology, political science, and metropolitan studies) an introduction to the logic and methods of descriptive and inferential statistics with social science applications. Deals with univariate and bivariate statistics and introduces multivariate methods. Problems of causal inference.

4 credits


Field Experience

Course Description: Combined reflection and analysis of an applied field experience with course-based discussion of the integration of Christianity and human service work. Students must obtain a total of 250 hours of pre-approved on-site experience, including 60 contact hours in human services work with identifiable client/participants. Students can use their own employment, ministry or another venue to provide

4 credits


Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Course Description: This course meets the Core Curriculum Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Essential Learning Outcome; it provides students with the opportunity to practice fundamental intellectual skills for approaching problems and evaluating evidence in order to develop solutions and draw informed conclusions.

4 credits


Term VI Dissertation phase

12 credits


Seminar on Dissertation

4 credits


Dissertation Proposal Writing

4 credits


Dissertation Writing

8 credits


·         DIS901: Doctoral Dissertation Independent Research I

·         DIS902: Doctoral Dissertation Independent Research II

·         DIS903: Doctoral Dissertation Independent Research III

·         DIS904: Doctoral Dissertation Independent Research IV


Description: This dissertation is the culminating point of this program.  The work must be a significant original in nature, which will seek to making a contribution to the world of psychology and counseling. This final course culminates the entire course of studies and research required by this program. This is a very involved endeavor and will require an undivided attention. The research project comprises two parts—a quantitative and qualitative research or a mixed method can be used. Both parts must demonstrate doctorate level quality of work in respect to magnitude of effort and the end result for such program.

Student are allowed choosing their own research topic and getting it approved by the Dissertation Review Board through a Dissertation Proposal. The Research proposal contains a sample of the first three chapters, table of content and partial bibliography that will be submitted to The Dissertation Review Board. A fee of one hundred ($750.00) dollars must be submitted with the proposal. The Proposal will not be reviewed without this fee.

The Review Board will review the research proposal. The board will either approve it, approve it with recommendations, or denied it altogether. If the dissertation is denied, a separate fee will be required for revisions. Students are solely responsible to present the research project as required the first time to avoid any denial proposal and extra fee.

Note: do not confused this fee with any other expenses to this project. May need to hire at your own expenses a dissertation coach to guide you through this process.


Upon the final review and grading of the final research project, the student will submit two bound copies to the school. One will be graded, endorse, and return to the student and one copy will remain the property of the school. 

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