Loyola University Maryland

Department of Pastoral Counseling

Ph.D. Program

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What Is It?

Designed for students who wish to further their prior graduate level counseling education, Loyola’s Ph.D. program in pastoral counseling is the only CACREP-accredited counselor education and supervision program specifically designed to study the integration of spiritual, ethical, and religious values into counseling. Students embark on a journey to interrelate theory and techniques of the helping professions with the insights of theology, spirituality, and faith while working to develop their own holistic paradigms of professional and personal integration for the purpose of helping others and furthering the counselor education profession.
The doctoral program, with its unique emphasis on supervisory training, prepares candidates for teaching and supervisory positions in the counselor education field as well as developing clinical expertise, theological/spiritual/religious understanding, and research acumen. Candidates should possess a master’s degree in counseling or closely related field, e.g. psychology or social work that included clinical training, prior to admission into the Ph.D. program.

What Are Possible Career Paths?

Student listening in lectureThe program seeks to prepare graduates to make quantitative and qualitative research contributions to the helping professions through the integration of psycho-theological issues with counselor education's interdisciplinary models which embrace subjects like ethics, prevention, diversity, education, efficacy, and treatment of psychopathology.

Graduates of the program serve as:

  • Advanced level clinicians,
  • Counselor educators,
  • Clinical supervisors, and
  • Researchers integrating the fields of psychology and counseling.

The pastoral counseling Ph.D. program accepts the following primary obligations:

  • extending the knowledge base of the counseling profession in a climate of scholarly inquiry;
  • supporting faculty and students in publishing and/or presenting the results of scholarly inquiry;
  • preparing students to contribute to the conversations that inform professional practice by generating new knowledge for the profession through dissertation research focusing on areas relevant to counseling practice, counselor education, and/or supervision; and
  • preparing students to assume positions of leadership in the profession, their area(s) of specialization, or both.

How Long Does it Take?

The Ph.D. program consists of a minimum of four academic years of graduate level preparation (including entry-level preparation). The structure of the program consists of a core curriculum of at least 45 credit hours and combines academic courses with supervised clinical training. In addition to the core curriculum, students choose one advanced concentration of at least 12 credits that is individualized to their professional or research orientation. The advanced concentrations are within the research/academic field or the counselor, education, supervision (CES) field.

To learn more about the Ph.D.  program, please review the doctoral program learning goals.

Is This Program Accredited?

Loyola’s Ph.D. program in pastoral counseling is the only CACREP-approved counselor education and supervision program specifically designed to study the integration of spiritual, ethical, and religious values into counseling.

What are the Program Outcomes? 

Ph.D. Graduates in 2013:  5
 Completion Rate (percentage of students who complete within the expected time period)
 Job Placement Rate


 *Statistics based on the 2013 CACREP Vital Statistics Report.

How Many Credits are Required?

65 credits. Click here to review the University tuition and fees.


Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
American Association of Pastoral Counselors: Professionally Integrating Psychotherapy and Spirituality
American Counseling Association: Your Passion, Your Profession. Our Purpose