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Counselling and Spirituality

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  • Program requirements
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The Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University offers graduate programs leading to a graduate diploma in Couple Counselling and Spirituality and to a master’s (MA) and doctoral (PhD) degrees in Counselling and Spirituality, all of which are conferred jointly by the Senates of Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa under the terms of the federation agreement between them.

Program Description

The PhD program prepares counselors specialized in spirituality, who are also scholar/researchers, for careers as clinicians as well as university professors and researchers.

Students will specialize in one of three fields: issues relating to special populations within society, existential and spiritual issues in counselling, and counselling in multi-faith and cross-cultural settings. These fields are described below.

Special Populations. The unique spiritual, social, and mental health needs of special populations are studied from a multidisciplinary perspective. Systemic issues related to special populations include but are not limited to the following: the challenges facing people who are homeless, people living in poverty, victims of abuse and trauma, women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Existential and Spiritual Issues in Counselling. This field addresses clients’ search for meaning and purpose in their lives. Spiritual and existential issues in counselling surface when people try to make sense of their lives, especially during moments of existential crises, trauma, major loss, death, sickness and life transitions.

Counselling in Multi-faith and Cross-cultural Settings. To respond to the personal and social needs, values and goals of diverse cultural and religious groups in Canada, counsellors must understand these cultures and their spirituality.

Objectives of the program

The goal of this program is to educate counsellors specialized in spirituality who are also researchers capable of independent and collaborative research. As researchers, they will be able to contribute to the knowledge base that informs counselling and spirituality.

Graduates from the PhD program will be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of one of the three fields mentioned above;
  • Design and conduct research that contributes to the advancement of the discipline of Counselling and Spirituality;
  • Practice as counselor with a specialization in spirituality.

The program is offered in English and in French.

In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, assignments, examinations, research papers and theses can be produced in either English or French.