Spiritually-Informed Psychotherapy (GCSIP)


The Graduate Certificate in Spiritually-Informed Psychotherapy (GCSIP) is an introductory program which may be taken either as a stand-alone certificate or as a bridge into a degree program at St. Stephen's College (such as the Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality program). The GCSIP provides a flexible, yet structured, course of study for the adult learner who wishes to explore spiritual knowledge, and to those who want to include spiritual awareness and perspectives in their therapeutic understanding and skill development. This program is open to people from all faith traditions.

The GCSIP may be used as a ladder into the Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality (core or art therapy streams), the Post-Master's Art Therapy Certificate, or the Master of Theological Studies at St. Stephen's College. For more information on this laddering process, please consult with the Department Chair(s) of the desired program. Students wishing to continue on to another graduate program after completing a graduate certificate must apply and meet admission requirements of that program; completion of a graduate certificate does not guarantee admission into a master's degree or other graduate program.

Incoming students can expect to take their first course in early June of their starting year.

Length of Program

Students taking a full course load can complete the GCSIP in one year. Students must complete all requirements within four years from the date on which they register in the program.

GCSIP Program Requirements (12 credits)
Required Courses (6 Credits) Credits
PPSYC581 Introduction to Psychotherapy and Spirituality 3
One of: PPSYC585 Basic Psychotherapy Skills (3cr), PPSYC584 Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy (3cr), or PPSYC5896 Spiritually-Informed Developmental Psychology, or PPSYC587 Life Span Development (3cr). 3
The required courses must be taken at St. Stephen's College, transfer Credits are not accepted.
Electives (6 Credits)
Two electives chosen from: PPSYC583 Professional Ethics for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Care, PPSYC587 Life Span Development, PPSYC5896 Spiritually-Informed Developmental Psychology, SSC511 Introduction to Theology, SSC5540 Spirituality: From Contemplation to Action, SSC589 Spiritual and Theological Reflection in Professional Practice, SPRIT/CATS [any] (graduate-level University of Alberta credit), or another St. Stephen’s course approved by Department Chair. 6
Admission Requirements
  1. Baccalaureate Degree from an institution of higher education approved by a Canadian provincial authority, or the demonstrated educational equivalent, in the area of theology, psychology, fine arts, counselling, social work, or the humanities and human sciences. Applicants who possess a Baccalaureate Degree in an unrelated area should consult with the Department Chair. Grade average minimum must be 72%/B/3.0 during last 60 credits of course weight.
  2. The academic ability to engage in graduate education; academic background in counselling and/or some experience in a helping role are desirable.
  3. Language Requirements: All applicants must be proficient in English prior to admission. Proficiency is demonstrated by either (a) possession of a prior degree where the primary language of instruction was English, (b) demonstration of sufficient coursework completed in English, or (c) a satisfactory score on an approved English language examination (either TOEFL iBT, IELTS, CAEL, or PTE Academic). For full details, see the “English Language Proficiency” section of the St. Stephen’s College Academic Calendar.
Application Deadline:

Applications can be submitted throughout the year. The recommended starting course(s) are scheduled in June/July each year; in order to begin with these courses, it is advised that applications be submitted prior to November 1 for international applicants and April 1 for Canadian and Permanent Residents. Applications are processed within two months of submission. Applications which require a baccalaureate equivalency review are processed within four months of submission. Upon acceptance to the program, students can begin coursework. Applicants applying for a Baccalaureate equivalency review: equivalency fee is $225; if equivalency is granted, applicants then pay the normal application fee.


Upon admission, students are invited to register for and attend the St. Stephen's College Orientation Day (normally in early June).

**Note: Graduate Certificates are conferred by St. Stephen's College, not by the University of Alberta. For more information, see our About Graduate Studies at SSC and Institutional Charter pages.

**Note: The GCSIP does not prepare students for professional certification.

**Note: Students in graduate certificate programs do not qualify for government student loans. For more information, see the SSC Academic Calendar.

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