The Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling trains pastors, counselors, and scholars to think and practice wisely in caring for people amid the complexities of human life. The modular format allows for students already established in their respective ministries or vocations to pursue the highest level residential research degree. This degree not only provides advanced scholarship in the theological, historical, and contemporary aspects of biblical counseling, but also fosters case wisdom, skill in biblical interpretation, and appreciation for the church’s role in the care of people.
If you are interested in applying for the Ph.D. in this area of study, learn more about the Admissions Process. To prepare for the entrance exam in this area of study, consult the entrance exam study guide.
A reading knowledge of two modern and/or classical languages is required. In the field of Biblical Counseling, students can choose to take traditional languages (German, Latin, etc.) or modern research methodologies (Empirical Research Methods and Analysis of Empirical Research).
Incoming Ph.D. students are matched with a supervisor from our world-class faculty who shares their research interests. Professors who can supervise students in this area are:
Five Course Core
87750 Scripture and Theology in Counseling
Christian counseling is based upon God’s plan, accomplishment, and application of redemption to God’s people. In this class we will explore biblical and dogmatic descriptions of redemption and develop a model for helping others in the application of redemption: both internal transformation and lifestyle change.
87740 Theological Hermeneutics in the Care of People
This seminar is an exploration the role of hermeneutics in applied theology and counseling. Seminar participants will apply a theologically developed hermeneutic to the exegesis of specific passages of Scripture and to the interpretation of specific counseling situations, demonstrating how the gospel of Jesus Christ is the central interpretive concern of both.
87725 Applied Theology and Typical Problems
This seminar will explore how Scripture (utilizing exegesis of specific passages as well as biblical and systematic theology) relates to typical problems often found in counseling situations. The seminar will consider how the major theological loci relate to the care of people in general as well as how specific issues can be addressed with biblical theological themes. This ability to move in both directions—from Scripture to life and from life to Scripture—is a vital skill for the wise practitioner.
87780 Dynamics of Counseling
This seminar focuses on the relational skills of understanding, drawing out, and addressing individuals and couples in counseling. Students are challenged to evaluate the experience of the counselor as well as the counselee according to a theological framework. A theology of human experience and relationship is put into practice in order to raise students’ self-awareness and improve skill.
97015 Marriage and Family Counseling
An in-depth analysis of the fundamental principles of biblical counseling and of the application of these principles in the context of marital and parental relationships. Student will apply principles from biblical counseling through the development of case studies.
Minor Courses – Students select 2 out of 3 for minor in Applied Theology
Theological Hermeneutics in the Care of People
Social, Medical, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling