Department of Clinical Psychology
The Department of Clinical Psychology houses two major programs: the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). Each program offers a variety of concentration options, which allow students to hone the skills needed to be vital, contributing members to the practice of Clinical Psychology.
Character & Purpose
The Department of Clinical Psychology is a unique venture in higher education, the purpose of which is to prepare Clinical Psychologists whose understandings and actions are deeply informed by both psychology and the Christian faith. The Department seeks to graduate Christian psychologists with a special ability to assist persons on their journeys to spiritual and emotional wholeness.
The models of training that emerge from this perspective have been termed the Scientist-Practitioner-Christian model (PhD), and the Practitioner-Evaluator-Christian model (PsyD). Each of these reflect a commitment to clinical training grounded in scientific psychology and Christian theology.
The distinctiveness of Fuller's program lies in the attempt to integrate psychology and theology in theory, research, and practice. To this end, students are encouraged to refine their own appropriation of faith (intrapersonal integration), reflect upon the ways in which the data of both disciplines can be fused (conceptual integration), research the intersections of faith and behavior (experimental integration), and share insights with those in related vocations (inter-professional integration). Most importantly, students are encouraged to develop their own synergy of psychology and theology in clinical practice (professional integration). Graduates of this program are qualified to do research, to teach, and to offer mental health services in both the church and wider community, including hospitals, private practice, churches, missions agencies, and higher education.
Students are assigned faculty advisors who support and guide students as they matriculate. Advisors assist students at critical decision points during the program (e.g., internship selection); mentor students as they design and conduct research projects; and, when necessary, act as an advocate for the student. As students advance through the program, they may elect to change faculty advisors if this results in a better match of research and academic interests.
The Department of Clinical Psychology has adopted the scientist-practitioner-Christian model for PhD students and the practitioner-evaluator-Christian model for PsyD students. These models assume that training includes broad and current knowledge of general psychology, experience and supervision in research, psychological assessment, psychological intervention, and personal growth and integration.
The course of study usually spans a period of six years for PhD students and five years for PsyD students, which includes the final internship year and the time necessary for completion of required theology coursework. Students may register for up to 16 units of course work per quarter, with core courses offered in the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Each curriculum requires completion of coursework in general psychology (42 units), which includes coursework in research and evaluation; clinical psychology (138 units), which includes all practical training; electives (PhD 10 units, of which 6 are master's units; PsyD 4 units); dissertation and research colloquia (PhD 34 units, PsyD 10 units); and Integration (20 units).