School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


Jeanne Brooks


Religious and Spiritual Competency, Program Openness, Diversity, Institutional Affiliation


Counseling | Counselor Education | Education


Researchers suggested religious practice and spirituality are multicultural or diversity counseling competencies. Professionals who treat religious and spiritual concerns are sought by a majority of clients. Religious and spiritual training is critical for the ethical treatment of the client, a part of developmental wellness and integrated holistic health theories, and also vital to optimum physical and mental health development. Yet, spiritual and religious competencies are often neglected in graduate studies, leaving counselors fearful and inadequately trained to address spiritual and religious concerns with clients. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) requires training in graduate education that promotes counselor competence in the area of religion and spirituality, but little research exists exploring systematic religious and spiritual training at a graduate level. This correlational study provides information for researchers, counselor educators, supervisors, and CACREP-accredited programs on graduate students’ perceptions regarding having met established religious and spiritual competencies at the end of graduate training. The researcher also explores variables for increased competency including types of curricula, types of institution, and perceived openness of the program to discuss religious and spiritual concepts.