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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Program and Mission

PsyD Program and the Christian Mission of the University and GSEP

We value and affirm the Christian heritage of the University as expressed in its mission – "to strengthen lives of purpose, service, and leadership." The program intends to instill respect for the dignity of every individual, an appreciation of diversity, a love of learning, and a life-long commitment to the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct for the welfare of all persons. Citing its Mission Statement, GSEP fully supports the Christian mission of the University and "the holistic vision of faith/learning integration that Pepperdine has embraced for so many years – GSEP affirms all space as God's space and all times as God's time. For that reason, GSEP encourages its students, faculty, and staff to view their work as sacred work, regardless of where or when that work might be carried out. From a Christian perspective, a life of purpose inspires us to serve, and by serving, it shapes the way we lead."

The PsyD program is unique among Christian universities offering doctoral programs in clinical psychology. We do not explicitly integrate religion and spirituality in our approach to training nor do we require faith commitments or advanced degrees in theology or Scripture; rather, we promote an intellectual and clinical environment in which issues of religious/spiritual faith can be explored with integrity and humility. We value dynamic worldview inclusiveness and therefore we aspire to invite persons with faith commitments similar to our own heritage as well as those with dissimilar spiritual commitments or absent religious preference. We take this stance out of deep respect for the integrity of the individual, acknowledging that every person has a unique journey of personal faith and meaning while affirming the Christian heritage of the University. While we usually do not explicitly integrate Christianity into our courses and training, we support research of faculty and students addressing the religious/spiritual dimensions of human experience and faith. Faculty members receive support for such research efforts and some among our faculty have well-established records contributing to the psychology of religion and spirituality.

We value the uniqueness of each student and aim to provide a total educational experience that enables every student to reach his or her full potential as a doctoral student, training to become a psychologist. We seek to develop an academic community of students, professors, administrators, and staff who work together cooperatively, with mutual respect, in the open-minded pursuit of knowledge that promotes human welfare.