School of Psychology & Counseling

Program Objectives -
Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Psy.D. Program Objectives

  • Teach and evaluate students in the practitioner-scholar model of clinical psychology so that they will be capable of leadership in a variety of settings, including community outpatient and hospital settings, the church and mission field, academia, and much more.
  • Educate students in accordance with the Christian faith – we refer to this as “integration across the curriculum,” and you will find it here at Regent.
  • Mentor professional development that balances the spiritual, personal, relational and intellectual components of life.
  • Facilitate the integration of Christian perspectives with scientifically-based clinical procedures in all of our core courses and electives.
  • Train students in service-oriented clinical modalities that include an emphasis on underserved individuals, families and communities.

Program Philosophy & Goals

The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is designed to train students to practice in a highly integrated and professional manner that is informed by the science of clinical psychology and the richness of Christian faith and practice. The program is committed to the outworking of a Christian worldview. Our unique approach to training from a Christian worldview is “integration across the curriculum.” What this means is that rather than giving you separate learning experiences in psychology and theology that students must integrate on their own, our faculty members will both model and join you in the integration journey. Integration is central to the Regent identity and part of every core course and elective.   

Students are also trained to apply analytic, problem-solving skills of scientific thinking to their clinical practice. Although the faculty represents a variety of clinical orientations, an emerging emphasis in empirically-supported treatments is present throughout the curriculum. This means that students are trained to utilize intervention techniques, which have empirical support for their effectiveness.

The program culminates in the award of the Doctor of Psychology degree (Psy.D.). Consistent with the rich and influential account of the Psy.D. training model advanced by the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), the goal of the program is to produce "local clinical scientists." It is important for students to recognize that the adoption of a Psy.D. rather than a Ph.D. training model at Regent does not mean a devaluing of the scientific identity characteristic of professional psychology. Instead, the goal is to develop those research, critical thinking, conceptualization, problem-solving and other scientific skills that are particularly pertinent to clinical practice. Graduates of this program are to be "field scientists" whose practice is grounded in scientific psychology and whose approaches to practice reflect scientific attitudes.

In contrast to pure practitioner programs, the Regent program is committed to training local clinical scientists who are "practitioner-scholars." As an institution, Regent University is committed to training professionals who are prepared to develop as leaders in their professional contexts. Consequently, the Psy.D. program is designed to produce students who are well equipped to emerge as leaders in health, mental health and other practice settings. This is accomplished through a carefully planned sequence of course work, clinical practica and adjunctive training experiences. Students are also afforded other opportunities, such as participation on faculty research teams and exposure to a range of preeminent scholars through the program's colloquia series. All of these program components are designed to cultivate a life-long commitment to ongoing learning and professional scholarship, which is particularly relevant to practice and professional service.

While the Regent University Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is a program of professional psychology, it is also a program that is committed to the outworking of a Christian worldview. There are only a limited number of such programs in the United States. Regent's program is the only program of its kind east of Chicago. The Psy.D. program is committed to an integration of faith and professional training that enhances and enriches both traditions without compromising or weakening either. The faculty utilizes a variety of integration approaches to accomplish the goal of training highly competent professional psychologists who operate from a Christian worldview.

An article published in the Journal of Psychology and Christianity provides additional information about our approach to clinical training and science in the Regent Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. The Journal of Psychology and Christianity has agreed to allow us to make that article available to you. Read the article: "Training Christian Practitioner-Scholars: The Regent University Example."

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