Concordia University Irvine

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Counselor Education & Supervision

Townsend Institute

Pending WSCUC Approval

Ph.D. Counselor Education & Supervision

Are you looking for a pathway to serve, train, and educate the next generation of counselors? The Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision from the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine brings together expert faculty and fellows to empower you to counsel, teach, serve, and advocate for others at the highest level – all in a personal and flexible online format.

Through this three-year program, you will demonstrate advanced skills, knowledge, and professional dispositions in the five core doctoral domains set forth by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP):

  • Counseling
  • Supervision
  • Teaching
  • Research & Scholarship
  • Leadership & Advocacy

With a Biblically-informed and research-oriented perspective, you will be equipped as a leader in the field of counseling and an impactful change agent in society at large.

3-4 Years Completion Time
60 Total Units
Online + Residencies
$970 Cost per Unit

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Ph.D. Program Highlights

  • Online Learning without Boundaries: The Townsend Institute delivers the best of relational learning through virtual classrooms with the flexibility and convenience of online education.
  • Three Years to Your Ph.D.: With 6 terms per year and only 2 face-to-face residency requirements, the program has been designed to be completed in as little as 3 years.
  • A Promising Career Trajectory: Positions related to Counselor Education & Supervision are projected to grow at rates higher than average for all occupations over the next several years, while also enjoying higher-than-average salaries and lower-than-average unemployment rates.
  • Scholarly Research & Integrative Learning: A total of 60 required units comprises your core courses, research seminars, practicum, internship, and dissertation.
  • Faith-Based Faculty & Fellows: Learn directly from our core faculty of experienced Christian professionals, while also enjoying access to the renowned Townsend Institute Fellows.

Relational, Online Learning

At the Townsend Institute, learners who are otherwise limited by time or geography are afforded the opportunity for “learning without boundaries.” Studies have shown that online teaching and learning is as effective as – sometimes more effective than – face-to-face and more traditional modalities. In fact, when it comes to counselor education and supervision, other studies have demonstrated that the training and supervisory preparation of master’s-level counseling students produced more enhanced learning experiences for the online learners as compared to their face-to-face counterparts.

Our Ph.D. program utilizes both virtual classrooms and self-paced learning modules to provide you with an accommodative learning environment that encourages interaction among students and faculty throughout the 6 terms per year. In our bimonthly virtual sessions, you will also enjoy access to the Townsend Institute Fellows – a renowned group that includes many of the most prominent names in counseling, including Dr. Sue Johnson, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, and many more.

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Residencies & Field Experience

A unique advantage of the Ph.D. program at the Townsend Institute is our ability to combine high-touch relational opportunities with the flexibility of an online program. Only 2 face-to-face residencies are required throughout the program – one of which will be fulfilled during our popular 4-day Kickoff Conference with Dr. Townsend at our Concordia University Irvine campus in Orange County, CA. Your 700 hours of fieldwork will consist of both practicum and internship experiences and can be completed wherever you live and work.

Three Years to Your Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision is designed to be completed in as little as 3 years with 6 terms per year and only 2 face-to-face residency requirements.

Start Term Start Date
Spring 2021 March 2021 (exact date TBD)

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Careers in Counselor Education & Supervision

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision serves learners whose goals are to become educators, supervisors, clinician-administrators, researchers, scholars, and/or leader-advocates in the field of mental health counseling.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions related to Counselor Education & Supervision are expected to grow at rates higher than the projected growth rates for all occupations in California and nationally through 2026. Furthermore, individuals in professions related to Counselor Education & Supervision experience both higher-than-average salaries and lower-than-average unemployment rates on both California and national standards. The bottom line? Earning your terminal degree in Counselor Education & Supervision affords you favorable job and salary outcomes throughout the course of your career.

Additionally, if your career desires include teaching, changes in the industry now require all hires in faculty positions to be from a program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) – the “Gold Standard” in the field of counseling. Building on the strengths of the Townsend Institute's CACREP-accredited M.A. Counseling: Clinical Mental Health, our Ph.D. program has been developed to align with CACREP standards in order to pursue accreditation and allow you full access to hiring opportunities open to such a doctorate degree.

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Faculty Spotlight

Your experience in the Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision will be guided by core faculty in the Townsend Institute who are experienced professionals and faithful to the university’s mission of learning, service, and leadership.


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About the Townsend Institute for Leadership & Counseling

Established by psychologist, relationship expert, and best-selling author Dr. John Townsend, the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine offers fully accredited online master's degrees, professional certificates, and bachelor's degrees in three content areas: Organizational Leadership, Executive Coaching and Consultation, and Counseling. Our M.A. Counseling: Clinical Mental Health is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). All of our curriculum is grounded in two principles: your Competence - increasing your skills, strengths, and expertise; and your Character - those internal abilities that you'll need to excel at work and in relationships. The Competence & Character model equips you with the ability to optimize your competencies and character along with those you lead and help.

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Apply Today

Applications for the Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision can be submitted online. Each application will be individually reviewed. For any questions regarding the application requirements or admissions process, please complete our inquiry form or contact your admissions counselor, Patty Hunt, at (949) 214-3362 or patricia.hunt@cui.edu.

Application Requirements

  1. Master's degree in Counseling or closely related field
    1. Preferred: Master’s degree in Counseling from CACREP accredited program
    2. If Master’s degree is not CACREP accredited, additional coursework may be required
    3. If Master’s degree is in a related field, additional coursework will be required
  2. GRE (within past 5 years)
  3. Transcripts from all graduate-level coursework
  4. Resume/CV
  5. Copy of clinical license (or indication of licensure status or eligibility)
  6. Letter of intent and statement of goals
  7. Writing sample (APA format, no more than 10 pages, may be from previous master's-level work)
  8. Interview with program faculty
  9. Application fee: $50 (nonrefundable)
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