Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education

Teacher and students

SPU’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Counselor Education is the only program of its kind in Washington state and one of only five such programs on the West Coast. As a Christian university committed to engaging the culture by serving diverse communities, SPU is uniquely positioned to integrate faith and learning at the doctoral level in counselor education.

Who Should Pursue This Degree?

If you are interested in becoming a college- or university-level school counseling educator, then this program is for you. The program emphasizes how to teach graduate-level students and conduct publishable research and other scholarly work.

Designed for working professionals, the PhD in Counselor Education program offers most classes online. In summer, classes are offered during the day in person.


Offered through Seattle Pacific University’s School of Education, the PhD in Counselor Education features cutting-edge counselor education theory and research, as well as best practices and supervisory skills. Instruction in the program focuses on these areas:

  • Multicultural approaches to school counseling
  • Collaboration with families
  • Implementation and evaluation of comprehensive school counseling programs
  • The intersection of counseling and spirituality

Program Outline

The program outline includes a description of program components, program schedule, course requirements, and suggested course sequence. The official degree requirements for this graduate program are stated in the SPU Graduate Catalog in effect when you are accepted to this program.

Admission Information

What is required for admission to the PhD in School Counseling program? Find information about admission requirements and procedures. The official admission requirements for this graduate program are stated in the SPU Graduate Catalog in effect when you are accepted to this program.

50 Years of Counselor Education

In 2012, the School Counseling program's 50th anniversary year, the Washington School Counselor Association gave three of their eight annual awards to SPU Professor of Education Chris Sink, Instructor of Counselor Education Richard Cleveland, and graduate student Kaley Mitchell.

Scholarships for Counselor Educators

The William and Carol Rowley Scholarship is awarded on an annual basis to an excellent candidate currently enrolled in SPU’s PhD in Counselor Education program. Funds are limited, so apply early!

Cindy Strong

Searching for Research Resources?

Doctoral students, Cindy Strong, the School of Education’s library liaison, is glad to meet with you to discuss research interests, explain recent changes in the library search system, and point out library resources. Contact her at