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Lead with Faith and Expertise

Elevate Your Counseling Career with CCU's Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision

The need for high-quality mental health care is rapidly increasing, and with it, the need for qualified leaders and researchers in the counseling field. As the backbone of the counseling profession, counselor educators and supervisors play a critical role in educating and supervising counselors-in-training to support individuals in an ever-changing society.

Colorado Christian University's Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) is a non-licensure program that is offered to mental health professionals who seek to become leaders as educators, researchers, supervisors, and advocates in the counseling profession. The program is offered nearly 100% online, making it perfect for adult learners who want to balance family or work obligations.

This program integrates your dissertation into the curriculum – involving you in the research throughout the duration of the program - so you’re able to work on it as you go.

The CES program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and developed in line with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards. This ensures that you will receive a high-quality education and acquire the necessary skills to excel as a leader in the counseling profession while being anchored in biblical principles.

If you have a passion for making a meaningful impact in the ongoing battle against the growing mental health crisis, taking on a leadership role with a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision can help you achieve your goals. As a counselor educator, you will not only teach future generations of counselors, but you will also play an instrumental role in shaping the future of professional counseling.

Program Mission Statement

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program at Colorado Christian University equips and empowers students with a Christ-centered education that fosters their personal, spiritual, and professional growth as competent, ethical, and transformative counseling leaders to make a positive impact on counselor education, research, supervision, and advocacy, and to serve diverse communities with excellence and the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

  • Program Details and Time to Complete

    • Students are required to attend two in-person residencies in Colorado.
    • The program consists of 60 credit hours.
    • Classes are nearly 100% online.
    • Students complete a total of 600 hours of internship: Internship in Counseling, Internship in Teaching, and Internship in Supervision. 
    • Courses are typically taken two at a time and are completed in seven or 14-week blocks.
    • Students are required to complete a dissertation. View the Curriculum tab for details.
    • The Ph.D. can be completed in as little as three years (or nine semesters) of consecutive coursework, even with a full-time or part-time job.
    • Students can transfer up to 12 doctoral-level credit hours toward the Ph.D. program. View the Admission tab for details.
  • Curriculum in the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision

    In the CES program at CCU, students will be equipped to embody the highest standards and practices of servant leadership within their roles as counselor educators, scientists, supervisors, and mental health and social advocates. The program will provide Christ-centered, biblically informed, professionally competent, and transformative counselor education and research opportunities for doctoral students as they explore the intersection of Christian theology and counselor education and supervision.

    Ph.D. in CES Learning Objectives

    The CES curriculum is designed to help you attain the following skills:

    • Advanced Professional Counseling: Demonstrate proficiency in advancing evidence-based and research-informed clinical mental health counseling practice and delivering counseling services in multicultural communities.
    • Supervision: Demonstrate supervisory competencies relevant to the counseling profession.
    • Teaching: Implement instructional theories, facilitate learning across academic environments and modalities (e.g., online, in-person, hybrid, etc.), and engage in program evaluation and assessments in counselor education.
    • Research and Scholarship: Develop advanced clinical research skills, promote the counseling discipline through the generation of new knowledge and theory, and demonstrate excellence as a scientist in the mental health disciplines.
    • Leadership and Advocacy: Identify the role and ethical obligations related to advocacy in the counseling profession and diverse communities, critique the value and knowledge components of cultural, philosophical, and ethical dimensions of counseling and mental health care issues, and apply leadership skills in academia and clinical practice.
    • Biblical Foundations: Synthesize biblical principles, natural and behavioral sciences, and techniques for application to different areas of counseling, counselor education, counselor supervision, scholarly inquiry, and leadership and advocacy.

    CCU's CES program takes a different approach than traditional doctoral programs, which usually require students to complete a set of courses before starting their dissertation. In CCU's program, you will be introduced to the dissertation process, including the necessary dispositions and expectations for scholarly work, when you begin the program.

    You will take part in various research courses that are designed to help you develop the skills you need for doctoral research. Each course has specific milestones that guide you through crucial activities such as reviewing research literature, selecting a research topic, creating a dissertation proposal, carrying out the research, and defending your dissertation. This step-by-step approach will give you the confidence and skills to be a successful doctoral researcher.

  • Admission Requirements for the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision

    Admission to the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program at Colorado Christian University is a selective process. Each applicant is evaluated carefully based on their potential to become a leader in the counseling profession, ability to contribute to the program, and ability to contribute to the counseling profession. The application review process will assess academic aptitude for doctoral-level study, previous or current professional experience, professional dispositions consistent with professional practice, including self-awareness and emotional stability, oral and written communication skills, cultural sensitivity and awareness, and potential for scholarship, professional leadership, and advocacy.

    Admission to the CES program is not guaranteed and is determined by the CES admissions committee. Applicants must complete all admission requirements before being considered for admission.

    Application Deadlines

    To be admitted to the Fall 2024 Cohort:

    • January 15, 2024 – Submit the admission application and all required materials.
    • February 23 and 24 – Participate in an interview on one of these days with School of Counseling faculty. Interviews will be conducted virtually.
    Admission Requirements for the Ph.D. in CES Program

    To be considered for admission to Colorado Christian University's Ph. D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

    • Admission Application: Applicants must submit the application for admission online.
    • Identification: Applicants must submit a valid state-issued driver's license, state-issued ID card, or valid passport.
    • Educational Background: Applicants must have completed a master’s degree in counseling, preferably from a CACREP-accredited program. For those who do not hold a CACREP-accredited degree, it is required that they cover the following requirements according to CACREP requirements: 

      CACREP entry-level foundational curricular standard

      CACREP entry-level professional practice standards, and

      At least one CACREP entry-level specialized practice area requirements (such as Addiction Counseling, Career Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, College Counseling and Student Affairs, Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, or School Counseling).

    • Official Transcripts: Official transcripts of all postsecondary schools attended must be submitted, showing a master's degree earned from an accredited institution.
    • Curriculum Vitae/Resume: Applicants must submit a formal curriculum vitae or resumé along with their application.
    • Academic Performance: Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in their graduate coursework.
    • Professional Experience & Licensure/Certifications: Applicants must fulfill one of two requirements: Either possess a valid license to practice as a professional/clinical mental health counselor in one or more U.S. states, or they must be working towards obtaining such a license while practicing in the field of counseling. Furthermore, having at least one year of clinical experience after completing their graduate studies is highly desirable. Applicants must record their licensure status along with the license number (if available) on their curriculum vitae or Resume.
    • Statement of Purpose: Applicants must submit both (a) a written statement of purpose and (b) a video recording. In the statement of purpose, please provide an overview of your academic and professional background, outline your teaching, and research interests, and clearly demonstrate how these interests align with the program's mission and goals. Please ensure that your statement of purpose does not exceed 500 words. Additionally, in the video response, please address the following questions (each question takes 3-5 minutes):
      • Please introduce yourself, highlighting any experiences that are relevant to your teaching, research, and leadership interests.
      • How do your professional experiences, values, and interests qualify you to contribute to CCU's Ph.D. in CES program's mission and objectives? Please review the program's mission and learning objectives.
      • Self-reflection is an essential aspect of personal and professional growth. Please share an example of a time when you engaged in self-reflection, how it influenced your understanding of your own identity and values, and how you plan to continue this practice throughout your doctoral studies and future career in counselor education and supervision.
    • Letters of Recommendation/Professional References: Applicants are required to submit three professional references. These reference forms must be completed by professionals who have knowledge of the applicant's academic and professional background and can provide a comprehensive evaluation of their potential for success in the program. One of the forms must be from a professor who has taught the applicant, while another should be from a supervisor who has worked with them in a professional capacity. The third reference should come from a religious leader associated with the applicant's place of worship, such as a pastor or deacon, who can speak to their character. If the applicants do not identify with a religion or spirituality, they may provide a reference from a community service provider they have worked with or someone who knows the applicant well in a professional setting and can speak to their character. References from friends or family members are not acceptable.
    • Writing Sample: Applicants must provide a writing sample in response to the following prompt to demonstrate their academic writing skills and proficiency in APA formatting. The essay should not exceed 600 words in the main content (excluding references).
      • Explain the rationale for pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Counselor Education and Supervision and articulate how this choice aligns with your professional identity. Integrate two peer-reviewed journal articles and the ACA Code of Ethics into your paper.
    • Interview: Selected applicants will be invited to participate in a group interview and an individual interview with the program faculty and/or admissions committee. An invitation to interview is not a guarantee of acceptance to the program.
      • Note: Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program, as admission is highly competitive. The program may also consider other factors, such as leadership potential and fit with the program's values and culture.
    • Criminal Background Check: A criminal background check through CastleBranch from every country the student lived in during the past seven years. Applicants should consult with their enrollment counselor before placing their Castlebranch order.
    Transfer Courses

    In accordance with CCU's Graduate Residency Policy, students transferring from a regionally accredited institution may transfer up to twelve (12) approved semester hours of credit from a regionally accredited doctoral program toward the Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision degree. The remaining hours must be completed at CCU.

    International Students

    CCU cannot enroll students with any type of VISA, even a work VISA, into the Counselor Education and Supervision program, including the online counseling degree cohort, since it is against the law for international students to attend the required on-site program residencies on a VISA.

    Time Limitation

    All work applied toward the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program must be completed within a six-year period from the date of enrollment. After the six-year period, any student who has not completed the requirements to graduate will be required to complete a Petition for Exception to Academic Policy. Continuing study is not guaranteed and must be approved by the Dean of the School of Counseling. Students are required to adhere to the most current Academic Catalog, CAGS Student Handbook, applicable program manuals, fees, and tuition rates.

    Students who need to step out of the cohort and who have not attended a class for a period of 365 days will need to reapply to the program, have an updated interview, and, if accepted, will then be held to the current catalog standards. Stepping out of the cohort will result in delayed completion of the student's program.

    To submit application-related materials that were not already submitted through the online application, email them to or mail them to:

    Colorado Christian University
    Attn: Registrar's Office/Transcripts
    8787 W. Alameda Ave.
    Lakewood, CO 80226

Benefits of the Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision

Earning a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision degree results in several benefits, including:

  • Advanced knowledge and skills: You will gain advanced knowledge and skills in counseling theory, research, and practice, as well as in counselor education and supervision.
  • Career advancement: A Ph.D. degree can lead to career advancement opportunities, including higher-paying jobs, leadership roles, and tenure-track or non-tenure-track positions in academic institutions.
  • Professional development: Earning a Ph.D. degree demonstrates a commitment to professional development and lifelong learning, which can enhance credibility and reputation in the field.
  • Contribution to the field: As a counselor educator, a Ph.D. graduate can contribute to the advancement of the counseling profession by training future generations of counselors and conducting research that improves counseling practice.
  • Personal growth and fulfillment: Pursuing a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision with a biblical worldview is not only professionally rewarding, but it can also provide personal growth and fulfillment, deepening your understanding of your faith and its role in mental health care both in teaching and practice.

CES Career Opportunities

With a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from CCU, you will have a wide range of career opportunities, including teaching and research positions at universities, leadership roles in mental health organizations, and consulting or private practice work. CCU's program provides you with a unique perspective on counseling, synthesizing biblical principles with natural and behavioral science theories to equip them with a broad range of counseling expertise. You will be prepared to make a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and communities through your knowledge, skills, and passion for the counseling profession.

Graduates may pursue careers paths such as:

  • Counselor Educators
  • Supervisors
  • Professional Consultants
  • Program Evaluators
  • Researchers
  • Clinical Directors

FAQs about the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES)

Do you feel called to be a counseling educator, supervisor, or leader? Whether you have questions about financing a graduate degree, CCU's accreditation, CACREP accreditation, or what kind of jobs you can get with a Ph.D. in CES degree, we're here to help. For additional questions, please contact an enrollment counselor.

How many credit hours is the Ph.D. in CES, and how long does it take to complete?

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) program is 60 credit hours (9 semesters) and can be completed in as little as three years with full-time study.

Is the program accredited?

All of Colorado Christian University's academic programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and our masters level counseling programs are CACREP accredited. The Ph.D. program is developed to meet CACREP standards and to pursue its accreditation.

Are there any prerequisites?

There are some requirements for this program, including the following:

  • CACREP-accredited master's degree in counseling or CACREP equivalent master's degree in counseling.
  • Licensure/certification status: State licensed or on licensure track with at least one year of direct clinical experience in professiona; counseling. Post-graduation (at least one year) of clinical experience is highly preferred.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Government-issued ID
  • Transcripts from conferred bachelor's and master's degrees

How much does the program cost?

View current tuition and fees for the Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision program.

Is financial aid available?

See our Financial Aid site for detailed information about financial aid and payment options for graduate students. The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You are also encouraged to check with your employer about additional tuition benefits that may be available through your company.

What is the program format?

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program is offered online. Courses are in seven or 14-week formats. The program requires two in-person residencies at Colorado Christian University and a total of 600 hours of internship in Counseling, Teaching, and Supervision.  In addition, students must successfully complete a minimum of nine credits of dissertation to fulfill the program requirements.

How is the online format different from a traditional classroom-based format?

CES students utilize the Brightspace learning management system to participate in the courses. Each class blends the latest in eLearning technology with the latest educational theory and practice. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students are able to work at their own pace within weekly timeframes. Except for courses related to practicum, internship, and dissertation, students are not typically required to log in at specific times.

Where is the program offered?

Courses in the Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision program are offered online only. Students are required to attend two in-person residencies at CCU's main campus in Colorado.

State Exclusions for Online Students

Colorado Christian University is required by the U.S. Department of Education to be in compliance with state laws regarding where we can offer distance and/or online education. The College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Colorado Christian University offers courses to online students in all states with some exceptions for specific academic programs.

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