PhD in Spirituality and Counseling-Coaching

Purpose and Goals

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Practical Theology with concentration in Spirituality and Counseling will prepare students for the scholarly work of research, teaching, and community engagement in an interdisciplinary field combining spirituality and counseling. Students will develop an advanced level of expertise in articulating, integrating, and applying the history, methodology, and contemporary perspectives of Christian spirituality and counseling in the context of the Korean churches. The PhD program is aligned with the School of Theology’s fundamental commitment to prepare and support leaders dedicated to serve the church and impact the world for Christ.


Program Learning Outcomes

The PhD in Practical Theology will focus on preparing students for scholarship of research, teaching, and engagement based on mastery of the history, methodology, and contemporary perspectives of spirituality and counseling in the context of the Korean churches. Through the PhD program, students will achieve the following learning outcomes.

  • Demonstrate, from a practical theology framework, a comprehensive knowledge of historical and contemporary ideas of the interdisciplinary field combining spirituality and counseling coaching.
  • Demonstrate advanced competence to apply research methods of practical theology in the student’s scholarship including integration of spirituality and counseling coaching in the Korean church context.
  • Demonstrate advanced competence to engage in original research and writing that contributes to an interdisciplinary and contextual understanding of spirituality and counseling.
  • Demonstrate capacities for scholarship of teaching suitable for higher education and scholarship of community engagement in congregational and community settings.


Admission Requirements

Students applying to the PhD in Practical Theology must have completed either a Master of Divinity degree or a master’s degree in counseling, coaching or theology or the educational equivalent from an accredited educational institution. Applicants must also have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all previous graduate work. Educational equivalence is defined as an earned master’s degree of 48 semester credits of graduate study, including 12 credits of graduate counseling and 12 credits of graduate theology (the prerequisites). Applicants must complete all of the required coursework prior to enrollment to the PhD program. Applicants are encouraged to have significant prior experience in pastoral leadership or in the practice of professional counseling and coaching. Students whose primary language is Korean must demonstrate competency in English before making application for qualifying examinations either by examination or by taking an approved course for academic credit.


Pre-Requisite Courses


To all applicants, at least 24 units of pre-requisites (12 units of counseling/coaching courses and 12 units of theological courses – biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, & Practical Theology) are required. If the applicant has completed pre-requisites in their master’s degree program, these can be waived.


Basic Requirements in Practical Theology (2 courses / 8 credits)

PT801 Research Methodology in Practical Theology (4 credits)

PT802 Biblical-Theological Foundation in Practical Theology (4 credits)


Spirituality (2 courses / 8 credits)

SF801 Profound Research on Spiritual Formation (4 credits)

SF802 Research on Integration of Theology, Spirituality, and Psychology (4 credits)


Counseling-Coaching (4 courses / 16 credits)

CC811 Advanced Psychotherapy and Counseling Techniques (4 credits)

CC812 Psychometric Theory & Assessment (4 credits)

CC815 Advanced Counseling and Therapy for Human Relationships and Family (4 credits)

CC803 Advanced Coaching and Christian Spirituality (4 credits)

CC804 Culture, Worldview, and Coaching (4 credits)


Directed Studies: 8 credits

PT811 Directed Studies 1 (dissertation advisor) (4 credits)

PT812 Directed Studies 2 (other major professor) (4 credits)


Dissertation: 8 credits

PT820 Colloquium (0 credits)

PT821 Research Clinic for Doctoral Dissertation (4 credits)

PT822 Dissertation and Oral Defense (4 credits)