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A pastor speaks with a visitor in his office: Explore Regent's online PhD in Counseling and Psychological Studies – Pastoral Counseling program.

Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies – Pastoral Counseling

Lead in Mental Health With a Pastor’s Heart

Mental health leaders with pastoral emphasis are often the first line of assistance and gatekeepers to faith-based professional services. Communities need Christian leaders like you to make a difference. Regent’s Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies – Pastoral Counseling will prepare you for a career in the areas of mental health counseling, research, education, and psychological science. Grounded in Scripture, this track draws from the Christian psychology, mental health counseling, and clinical pastoral education fields. 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.

Online
51
August 23, 2021
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Reinforce Your Pastoral/Clergy Interest

Learn counseling techniques and gain knowledge in areas such as marriage and family, substance abuse, and crisis counseling.

Gain Field Experience

Strengthen your skills through 150 hours of preapproved on-site experience and human services work.

Empower Your Career

Gain doctoral credentials to increase your opportunities and help you stand out in your field.

Presented from a Christian worldview, coursework is offered online and supported by award-winning faculty in Virginia Beach and beyond.

To learn more about this program, please complete the Request Information form on this page.

Through this Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies – Pastoral Counseling degree you will:

  • Learn integrative Christian psychology approaches to treat people with behavioral and emotional issues.
  • Break new ground in this specialized field of psychology through your dissertation.
  • Integrate biblically-based strategies for effective emotional and spiritual healing.

Career Opportunities

  • University Faculty/Leadership
  • Researcher/Writer
  • Mental Health Services Executive
  • Pastoral Guidance Director
  • Nonprofit/Church Counseling Consultant
14%
Projected employment growth for psychologists from 2018-28 (much faster than average) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Pragmatic and psychospiritual components related to the organization, administration and operation of counseling related services within the context of the local church and other ministry environments. Examines the practical application of ministry oriented counseling for commonly addressed problems. Addresses various legal, ethical and liability issues, and discusses specific treatment issues. Consideration to thorough assessment and referral functions in each of these areas. Examines the impact of small group ministry. Cross-listed with HSC 513, PAC 513.

Overview of marriage and adult relationships. Analysis of one’s own marriage and/or family of origin will facilitate deeper understanding. Examine systems theory, life span, and issues associated with marriage counseling such as premarital counseling, marriage enrichment, sexuality, and divorce/remarriage. Presents a multicultural focus pertaining to marriage, adult relationships and ministry. Cross-listed with HSC 544 and PAC 544.

Presents the psychological and physiological aspects of addiction. Explores components of an addictive cycle, empirically supported treatment modalities, relapse prevention, and the approaches in facilitating family and community supports.

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 150 hours of pre-approved on-site experience, including 50 contact hours in human services work with identifiable client/participants. Cross-listed with PAC 596 & HSC 596.

2021-22 Semester Check-In Deadlines:

All new students are expected to check-in for the semester two weeks before the session start date. Students should apply, be accepted, enroll in their first courses, and confirm a plan to pay for their courses prior to this date.

SessionSemester Check-InSession Start Date
Session EFriday, April 29Monday, May 9

Prerequisites:

Ph.D. applicants must:

  • Hold a regionally accredited 30 hour master's degree in a mental health field, such as counseling, psychology, social work or pastoral counseling. Completed coursework should include, but is not limited, to the following: research or statistics, counseling skills, ethics and group counseling, or family systems.
  • Have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA in your graduate level coursework.
  • Have at least one year of experience in a mental health field (highly desirable).
  • International Applicants who have studied at institutions outside of the United States, will need to submit a course by course evaluation showing the completion of a regionally accredited graduate degree.

Admissions Process:

Step 1: Application
Submit your application using our Regent University Online Application.

Step 2: Application Fee
Pay the nonrefundable $50 application fee by check or money order mailed to Regent University, Enrollment Support Services, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464.

Step 3: Complete an Academic Background Questionnaire

Step 4: Resume or CV
Submit a resume or curriculum vitae. Please email to your admissions counselor at apply@regent.edu using the subject line: SPC Doctoral Application Pieces.

Step 5: Unofficial Transcripts
We are able to examine and view your unofficial transcripts from U.S.-based schools, which indicate successful completion of bachelor's and master's degree programs, in order to review you for an admissions decision. Please submit your unofficial transcript to our Admissions Office by email to apply@regent.edu using the subject line: SPC Doctoral Application Pieces.

Non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by an NACES-approved company. For further details, please review the International Admissions Checklist on the International Students Admissions page.

International Applicants: Please visit the International Students Admissions page for a more detailed explanation of the Regent University application information and to determine whether or not you qualify as an international student.

*Upon conditional acceptance to the program by review of unofficial transcripts, Regent University's Admissions Office will attempt to obtain your official transcripts from your U.S. degree-granting institutions, which indicate successful completion of bachelor's and master's degree programs. We will notify you if your previous institutions will not release transcripts directly to us.

Step 6: Graduate Academic Paper
Please submit an APA formatted academic writing sample from your completed Master's Degree which will be relevant to the field of Mental Health. Your submission needs to be at least five pages in length (preferably research based) and with at least five scholarly references. Email to apply@regent.edu using the subject line: SPC Doctoral Application Pieces or fax to 757.352.4725.

Step 7: Government-Issued ID
To ensure academic integrity, Regent University requires a copy of a government-issued ID. Please email a scanned copy or photograph of it to apply@regent.edu with the subject line: Government ID.

Step 8: Online Interview
Interviews for this Ph.D. program are completed for each applicant after all above mentioned items have been submitted. Participation in this online Skype or phone interview is mandatory as a portion of the application review process. It is expected that the candidate will be willing to discuss personal history within the interview process.

Both local and international student applicants should allow at least 2-3 weeks for an admission decision to be made once the applicant has submitted all required documents to the appropriate offices and has followed all processes and procedures required for an admission decision.


All forms related to application to the Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies program may be requested through the School of Psychology & Counseling Admissions Office. Please feel free to contact the Office of Admissions at 757.352.4498 or psycounadmissions@regent.edu should you have any further questions about the application process.

Note: All items submitted as part of the application process become the property of Regent University and cannot be returned.

PART-TIME STUDENTS

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts in Human Services (MA)$5956$3,570
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MA)$5956$3,570
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)$6756$4,050
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)$7106$4,260
Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA)$7106$4,260
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling (MA)$7106$4,260
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies (PhD)$6753$2,025
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (PhD)$8753$2,625
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)Full time enrollment is required.

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts in Human Services (MA)$5959$5,355
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MA)$5959$5,355
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)$6759$6,075
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)$7109$6,390
Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA)$7109$6,390
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling (MA)$7109$6,390
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies (PhD)$6756$4,050
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (PhD)$8756$5,250
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)$87512$10,500

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$800
University Services Fee (Online Students)$650

Part-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts in Human Services (MA)$5956$3,570
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MA)$5956$3,570
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)$6756$4,050
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)$7106$4,260
Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA)$7106$4,260
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling (MA)$7106$4,260
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies (PhD)$6753$2,025
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (PhD)$8753$2,625
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)Full time enrollment is required.

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts in Human Services (MA)$5959$5,355
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MA)$5959$5,355
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)$6759$6,075
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)$7109$6,390
Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA)$7109$6,390
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling (MA)$7109$6,390
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies (PhD)$6756$4,050
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (PhD)$8756$5,250
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)$87512$10,500

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$750
University Services Fee (Online Students)$600

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

Estimated Cost of Attendance: View the estimated cost of attendance to see an example of the total cost of tuition and fees.

“If you are focused, determined, willing to put in the work and make sacrifices, anyone can do this. I give all praise to God. Keep going no matter what.”

Antonio Tuck, M.A. in Counseling, 2020 Human Services Professional

“Regent University is a place where you'll be involved. There are so many opportunities through Regent that, if you're willing to go there, you're going to be afforded the opportunities.”

Toni Gines-Rivera, Ph.D., 2010 Counselor Education and Supervision

“I'm grateful for my Regent mentors. Their emphasis on relationships and guidance has helped me navigate a challenging yet rewarding journey.”

Alexandra Melchiorre, M.S. in Psychology, 2018 Registered Behavioral Technician

“I wanted a rigorous doctoral program that could travel with me wherever I was in the country. I found this and more at Regent.”

Heather Paessler-Chesterton, Ph.D., 2009 Counselor Education and Supervision

“Learn all that you can while you're a student at Regent. Take everything the professors say and learn from their wisdom and expertise, because soon you will be the leader in your field.”

Kelly James, Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision, 2011 Licensed Professional Counselor, Professor, Author & Radio Host