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Pastoral Theology, Personality and Culture

The PhD in Pastoral Theology, Personality and Culture (PTPC) prepares persons for teaching in theological seminaries, for clinical services in pastoral care and counseling settings, and for leadership in the academy, clinic and church. Students study the integration of theology and psychology with a focus on developing as pastoral psychotherapists and pastoral theologians. The program is thus interdisciplinary as practical theology to increase the knowledge of the theories and practices of healing and care in church and society. There are two tracks in the program.  One track is either for students who want to teach or do research in pastoral theology from a pastoral care perspective, or for experienced clinicians seeking to become scholars in the field. The second clinical track includes clinical training toward licensure as a licensed professional counselor. Clinical training with additional course work is at our affiliated pastoral counselling center, the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago (


Admission Requirements:

    • Masters degree in religious or theological studies from an accredited college or university.
    • One year of clinical training is required (equivalent to two quarters of clinical pastoral education or one year of part-time training in pastoral counseling)
    • Proficiency in the English language. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to give evidence of such competence (demonstrated by a TOEFL score).

A completed application consists of:

  • Application
  • Research statement
  • Professional experience/Resume
  • Writing sample (15 pages)
  • 3 letters of reference
  • CPE/Clinical reference
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • $75 application fee
  • Background check (conducted by the seminary, may take up to two weeks to complete)
  • Additional financial and church documents are required of international students in order to satisfy interrnal and federal requirements.

The admissions committee reserves the right to determine in its sole judgment whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific concentration in the Ph.D. program.


PhD (PTPC) Degree - 40 semester hours
PTPC Degree Grid
PTPC Clinical Track Grid

  • 7 semester hours of core courses required for all PhD students
  • 18 semester hours in pastoral theology
  • 9 semester hours in a cognate concentration
  • 6 semester hours of elective work at Northwestern University or other seminary or university.
  • 2 research tools: minimum of 2 languages or a language and a research tool (2 graduate level courses in research)
  • 4 written qualifying examinations and an oral examination covering the following areas: 
    (1)Pastoral Theology 
    (2) Psychology of Religion 
    (3) Theology (related to area of study) 
    (4) Psychology (related to area of study)
  • Dissertation prospectus to be discussed and approved at the time of the oral examination or within three months following the satisfactory completion of oral exam, as negotiated with advisor.
  • Dissertation

Phd (PTPC - Clinical Track) Degree - 58 semester hours

PTPC (Clinical Track) Degree Grid

  • 18 semester hours in addition to the above requirements, taken in part at CRPC, and includes clinical practicum and internship required for licensure.
  • Students will usually begin training at CRPC in the second year of their doctoral work at Garrett-Evangelical.
  • CRPC is a 2-year training program including course work and supervised clinical work.

Program Goals

To know the rich interrelationship of theology, scripture, and Church history with the practice of pastoral care and counseling, informed by the disciplines of psychodynamic and systems psychology.

  • To deepen one's capacity to understand Christian perspectives on healing, care, suffering, and hope.
  • To know the history and traditions of pastoral care and counseling.
  • To know theories of depth psychology, systems psychology and the impact of neuroscience on practice.
  • To know the psychology of religious experience.
  • To know how cultural contexts impact the practice of pastoral care and counseling.
  • To know the methods of pastoral theological and quantitative research.
  • To know best practices in pastoral care, counseling, leadership, teaching and research in the fields of pastoral theology, psychology of religion and pastoral psychotherapy.

To provide competent clinical services, teaching and leadership to the academy, pastoral counseling setting and/or the church.

  • To develop clinical skills to the Fellow level of the American Association of Pastoral Counseling (clinical track).
  • To provide competent pastoral care and/or counseling.
  • To teach future providers of pastoral care and counseling.
  • To make scholarly contributions to the fields of pastoral theology, psychology of religion and/or pastoral psychotherapy.
  • To respond creatively, ethically and collaboratively to the challenges of clinical practice and management, pastoral care needs of the wider church, and the development of the fields of pastoral theology, psychology of religion and/or pastoral psychotherapy.

To become a pastoral theologian/pastoral psychotherapist to participate in God's work of healing and hope and to engage others in ways that can free all of us to live more fully into the gifts of God's creation.

  • To be a self reflective and open participant in the clinic, academy and church.
  • To be an experienced clinician and thoughtful teacher.
  • To understand oneself to be a critical and reflective leader in the clinic, academy and church.
  • To have an identity as a religious leader who integrates insights and traditions of theology and the science of psychology.
  • To be a pastoral leader who meets challenges with compassion, clarity and courage.

In addition to addressing these goals, students engage in research addressing crucial issues in the fields of pastoral theology, pastoral psychotherapy and psychology of religion.


The present faculty members in Pastoral Theology, Personality and Culture have focused their research on pastoral theology, ritual studies, neurosciences and the relationship between worship and pastoral care, psychology of religion, gender and racial violence, justice and pastoral care, clergy emotional development, clinical practice and religious development.

 David Hogue

David Hogue

Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling 


“The Desiring Brain: Contemporary Neuroscientific Insights Into Pleasure and Longing,” City of Desires - A Place for God? Practical Theological Perspectives, R. Ganzevoort, R. Brouwer and B. Miller-McLemore, eds., (Berlin: LitVerlag, 2013)

“Brain Matters:  Practicing Religion, Forming the Faithful” (Religious Education, Volume 1, Number 4, Routledge, 2013)
“Life Transitions,” (editor) (Liturgy, the Liturgical Conference, Fall 2013)   
“Brain Matters:  Neuroscience, Pastoral Theology and Empathy” (Journal of Pastoral Theology, Fall 2010, Society for Pastoral Theology)

“On Catching the Dog’s Tail: An Essay in Honor of Catherine Bell” (Religious Studies Review, Volume 36, Number 3, Blackwell, 2010)

"Healing of the Self-in-Context: Memory, Plasticity, and Spiritual Practice," inSpiritual Transformation and Healing: Anthropological, Theological, Neuroscientific, and Clinical Perspectives, Joan D. Koss-Chioino and Philip Hefner, eds. (AltaMira Press, 2006)

Remembering the Future, Imagining the Past: Story, Ritual, and the Human Brain (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2003)

"Sensing the Other in Worship: Mirror Neurons and the Empathizing Brain" (Liturgy, Volume 21, Number 2, the Liturgical Conference, 2006)

"Whose Rite is it Anyway? Liminality and the Work of the Christian Funeral" inLiturgy, Volume 21, Number 1, 2006, the Liturgical Conference, 2006).

Promising Again, with Herbert Anderson and Marie McCarthy: (Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, KY, 1995)

"Development of an Assessment Instrument" (Hunt, Hinkle, and Malony, Clergy Assessment and Career Development, Abingdon, Nashville TN, 1990)

 Pamela Holliman

Pamela J. Holliman

Associate Professor in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Psychotherapy

Select Bibliography

"Why Bother With God?" Journal of the American Association of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, Spring, 2009

"Religious Experience as Selfobject Experience," in Progress in Self Psychology. (Analytic Press, 2002)

"Supervision: Pastor as Mentor," A Feminist Approach to the Arts of Ministry: A Working Practical Theology, Christie Neuger, ed. (Westminster-John Knox Press. April, 1996)

"Collegiality and Pastoral Care and Counseling," guest theme co-editor with Christie Neuger, Ph.D., Journal of Pastoral Care, Winter, 1991

"Agency Selection Committees and Evaluation," in Clergy Assessment and Career Development, ed. Hinkle, Hunt and Malony. (Abingdon Press, 1990)

Lallene Rector 

Lallene Rector

Associate Professor of Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Psychotherapy

Select Bibliography
"Selfobject Functions in Hope and Spirituality," in Psychologist-Psychoanalyst. Vol. 23 (3) Summer 2003

"Mystical Experience as an Expression of the Idealizing Selfobject Need," inThe Narcissistic Patient Revisited: Progress in Self Psychology, Vol. 17, Arnold Goldberg, ed. (Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 2001)

"Are We Making Love Yet? Theological and Psychological Perspectives on the Role of Gender Identity in the Experience of Domination," in The Good News of the Body: Sexual Theology and Feminism, Lisa Isherwood, ed. (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000)

"Developmental Aspects of the Twinship Selfobject Need and Religious Experience," in How Responsive Should We Be: Progress in Self Psychology, Vol. 1, Arnold Goldberg. Ed. (Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 2000)

Psychological Perspectives and the Religious Quest: Essays in Honor of Orlo Strunk Jr., ed. With Weaver Santaniello, and contributor (University Press of America 1999).



List of Dissertations in Pastoral Theology, Personality, and Counseling
(Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2003-2007)

1. Waite, Nancy M. Title: Women's illness narratives : the search for meaning in the experience of advanced cancer in white, Euro-American women who are evangelical christian in religious faith orientation. 2002.

2. Rodríguez, Jesús. Title: Protecting the self and resisting grandiose narcissistic selfobjects: a mainline Protestant Latino/a clergy self psychology hermeneutics of pastoral care / by Jesús Rodríguez. 2003.

3. Hembree, Daniel Troy. Title: Person, community and divinity in Yoruba religious thought and culture: Foundations for pastoral theology with African-American men. 2003.

4. Barasa, Robert Magina. Title: The ember of grandparenthood : the theological foundations for pastoral practice with grandparents who are primary care givers of their grandchildren in Kenya / by Robert Magina Barasa. 2005.

5. Yeary, Sheridan Todd. Title: Pilgrimage as transformative ritual in African American pastoral care: A socio-historical analysis. 2006.

6. Valin, Dorothy Ann. Title: "Do you hear their cries?" : A feminist, relational and Jungian ethnography of domestic violence survivors and their religious congregations. 2006.

7. Rosewall, Ann Linnea. Title: They accounted for their hope : a pastoral theology of hope constructed in response to personal narratives from the Colonia 21 de mayo, El Salvador. 2007.

8. Khoo, Ho Peng. Title: Making meaning, empowering life: pastoral guidance as the practice of pastoral counseling in Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference. 2007.

9. Fincher, Lorenzo Sevastian-LaZandro. Title: Nobody knows my troubles : a study in the care of African American male clergy and the issues of trust, self care, and accountability. 2007.

Select Recent Book Publications of Program Graduates

Sanchez, Jesus Rodrigues. En Cuentros Pastorales con La Muerte. Tamarind Press, 2006.

Sanchez, Jesus Rodrigues. Imagenes Del Cuidado Pastoral Y Su Influencia En La Calidad Del Culdo: Un Analysis Transdisciplinario. Publicaciones Puertorriquenas, Inc.

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