Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Thirty Years of Explicitly Integrative Scholarship: Comparing PhD and PsyD Contributions

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Thirty Years of Explicitly Integrative Scholarship: Comparing PhD and PsyD Contributions

Article excerpt

Johnson and McMinn (2003; see also McMinn, Johnson & Haskell, 2003) challenged integrative clinical psychology doctoral programs to show that PhDs produce scholarship and teach in the academy at rates that are demonstrably different from PsyDs. The entire publication history through 2002 of the two most influential integrative journals--the Journal of Psychology and Theology (JPT) and the Journal of Psychology and Christianity (JPC)--was analyzed to determine scholarship according to the author's degree. Across the past 30 years, integrative PhDs produced four times as much scholarship as PsyDs. By 2002, PhDs held 85% of the faculty positions in integrative programs, and faculty at these programs who graduated from integrative programs themselves were three times more likely to have a PhD than a PsyD. Implications of these results are offered in conclusion, along with a possible explanation for why integrative clinical psychology doctoral programs tend to receive low subjective ratings of quality from secular peers.

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Clinical psychology doctoral programs with evangelical Protestant affiliations have granted one of two degrees: a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology (PhD), or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). The two evangelical Protestant programs with the longest-standing accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA), Fuller Seminary's Graduate School of Psychology (founded in 1965) and Biola University's Rosemead School of Psychology (originally founded as a freestanding school in 1970), offer both degrees. Subsequently, APA-accredited clinical psychology doctoral programs with religious affiliations at George Fox University, Wheaton College (Illinois), Azusa Pacific University, and Regent University offer only PsyD degrees. In a recent study, Johnson and McMinn (2003) found that faculty at religiously affiliated APA-accredited programs published as much as their secular counterparts. In a subsequent study, McMinn, Johnson and Haskell (2003) found that the frequency of publication in secular psychology journals over a five-year period was no different between faculty in PsyD programs versus faculty in PhD programs, and this finding applied to secular and religiously affiliated programs alike. Given that faculty in PsyD programs produced scholarship like faculty in PhD programs, Johnson and McMinn (2003) suggested that schools offering integrative PhDs in clinical psychology should either train graduates for research-oriented academic placements or else phase out the PhD and move to PsyD-only training programs, particularly since religiously affiliated professional-applied PhD programs get low ratings of subjectively perceived quality according to secular faculty peers (p. 93).

Since the early 1970s, a body of professional literature integrating Christian faith and psychology has emerged through the publication of two journals in particular, the Journal of Psychology and Theology (JPT), and the Journal of Psychology and Christianity (JPC). The present study shifted and extended the questions raised by Johnson and McMinn in four ways. First, because religiously affiliated programs seek to exhibit leadership in the scholarly integration of psychology and Christian faith, the focus was shifted to examine publication in the two most influential and explicitly integrative journals (JPT and JPC) rather than in secular psychology journals. Second, consistent with outcomes-based program evaluation, the focus was shifted to examine publication rates of the integrative graduates themselves, in addition to those who taught them. Third, publication rates were analyzed according to the author's actual degree (for example, an author with a PhD counts as PhD scholarship, an author with a PsyD counts as PsyD scholarship), rather than the degree program at which their teachers were employed (in which a PsyD author teaching at a PhD program is counted as PhD scholarship, and a PhD author teaching at a PsyD program is counted as PsyD scholarship). …

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