Frequently Asked Questions about The Graduate Institute

What is required for admission to the program?

Admission requirements include a master’s degree appropriate to clinical pastoral work, and membership in and certification by CPSP as either a clinical chaplain or pastoral psychotherapist.

An application fee ($250) must be submitted with the application. This fee is nonrefundable and nontransferable.

How do I apply for the program?

The application for The Graduate Institute is completed online. Required data include employment history; education, training, and certification; and a brief autobiography.

Additional documents – transcripts, letters of recommendation, or copies of degrees or certificates – may be requested after the application has been reviewed, and prior to the interview.

Does the Graduate Institute accept transfer credit?

The curriculum has been developed to highlight key themes and theories in the field of pastoral supervision, encouraging appropriation and integration of course contents through deliberate sequencing of instruction. The benefits of this approach to curriculum design would be lost if a student were to attempt to substitute even one course for one offered by the Graduate Institute. In a word, no.

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition for the Fall 2021 cohort is to be decided. 

An experiential group relations event developed in cooperation with Grex, the West Coast affiliate of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems, is optional, but highly recommended. Cost for that event is TBD.

Most readings required for the program are available in electronic form; total cost of books will be $500 or less.

Due to the public health emergency, there will be no instruction in residence for the Winter 2021 cohort, and thus no expense for travel, lodging, or meals. Students are responsible for the costs of internet/conferencing services at their locations.

Is financial aid available?

The availability of financial aid depends on the resources available to the program; the Board has determined that financial aid is not available for the Winter 2021 cohort.

As an alternative, the Graduate Institute will consider the development of an individual payment plan. Contact to discuss your options, once admitted.

How long does the program take?

Students typically enter the program following a four-unit/1,600-hour residency or internship in clinical pastoral training (thus fulfilling the clinical training requirement for certification by CPSP).

The Doctor of Ministry program builds on that clinical experience with about one year, more or less, of part-time study.

Ordinarily, the year begins with a week-long residential phase of instruction.

Schedule for future cohorts will reflect the Board’s best judgment about student and faculty safety as the start date for instruction nears.

What are the online classes like?

Participation in The Graduate Institute’s program requires significant commitment of time, on a scheduled basis, for synchronous learning, meaning that everyone is online at the same time. (Scheduling of class meetings takes into account, as much as possible, the time differences between students’ locations.) You will engage with key readings appropriate to the discipline, with faculty, and with your fellow students. Dialogue is the order of the day.

You will need hi-speed internet, access to a computer (with camera), tablet, or smartphone.  The program’s videoconferencing standard is Microsoft Teams.

What happens after I've been accepted?

You will learn of your acceptance by a welcome letter e-mail, followed by reading lists, calendar for the year’s instruction, forms to sign and return…. Take advantage of the interval between acceptance and the first class meeting to begin reading for your first course (or two), and to become familiar with the videoconferencing technology.

Does the Doctor of Ministry require a dissertation?

A dissertation is not required. The capstone project paper of approximately thirty pages is required for graduation.

What are the graduation requirements?

Graduation requirements include satisfactory completion of the curriculum prescribed for the cohort group, submission of the capstone project paper, and payment in full of the tuition balance.

Is the program accredited?

Since CPSP does not identify with either the Christian or Jewish faith traditions, the Graduate Institute is not eligible for accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS.)

CPSP has received a Letter of Exemption from Certification by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education “to offer church-related programs/courses and grant church-related degrees.”