2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Dec 08, 2022  
2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Psychology

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  • To develop mature personalities in students, so they will be able to meet problems of adjustment with realism and intelligence;
  • To integrate the religious faith of students with the study of psychology;
  • To prepare students who plan to undertake graduate study in psychology for careers related to mental health, such as marriage and family counseling, clinical psychology, community psychology, and health psychology;
  • To educate students preparing for careers in non-mental health/related fields, such as ministry, business, medicine, and law.

Tradition of Excellence

The Department of Psychology at Point Loma Nazarene University emphasizes several features in striving for excellence in undergraduate education. The department’s practicum program allows juniors and seniors to obtain training in specific psychological skills through a community mental health or social service agency. Supervised by an agency representative and a psychology professor, this program is an effective way for Psychology majors to complement course work with real world experience. Point Loma also offers classes designed to deal with the integration of psychology and the Christian faith. Additionally, select students join with faculty to conduct research that may be presented at a national or regional psychology conference. The department also maintains an active PsiChi organization (National Honor Society in Psychology) that sponsors presentations in the field, preparatory workshops for those interested in graduate school, and special social events.

Career Opportunities

It is the goal of the faculty that all students desiring to pursue graduate studies be prepared to do so and to present a strong graduate application. Such an application results from a Department that emphasizes areas foundational to entrance and success in graduate school. In addition to strong academic achievement, these include practicum experience, research experience, and sufficient contact with faculty that allows a student to earn a credible letter of recommendation. Recent alumni surveys indicate that over one-half of PLNU Psychology majors eventually receive a graduate degree of some kind, one-third of those within one to three years of graduating from PLNU. When these graduates were asked about their level of satisfaction with the preparation received at Point Loma, over ninety-five percent reported that they were very satisfied or satisfied. There is a strong tradition of excellence in the Department of Psychology at PLNU that attempts to prepare students for their next step into the future.


Holly Irwin, Ph.D.
University of Louisville

Daniel L. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Brigham Young University

G. Michael Leffel, Ph.D.
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Ross A. Oakes Mueller, Ph.D.
Fuller Theological Seminary, Graduate School of Psychology

Kendra L. Oakes Mueller, Ph.D.
Fuller Theological Seminary, Graduate School of Psychology

Kim W. Schaeffer, Ph.D.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

John T. Wu, Ed.D., Chair
Harvard University, School of Education



     Point Loma Nazarene University offers four baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Many of the 50+ major programs also offer in-depth concentrations.

    If a second major area of study is desired, all requirements for both majors must be met with a minimum of 24 units distinguishing the two areas of study. While working on a single baccalaureate degree, the maximum number of pursuits is two majors and two minors.

    Students should review the majors and minors list in the catalog.


     Optional minors are offered in several schools and departments. The requirements governing minors are as follows:

    • Only minors that appear in the student’s catalog of record may be earned at the point of graduation;
    • A minor is at least 16 units and is under the direct auspices of the respective school/department;
    • Students must earn a 2.000 cumulative GPA in the minor for it to be granted;
    • The minor must show a minimum of nine (9) units in residence;
    • Of the 16+ units in the minor, nine (9) must be distinct from and not counted in the major;
    • Of the 16+ units in the minor, 12 must be at the upper-division level;
    • The pass/no credit option is not available for courses within the minor; and
    • A second minor, when feasible, requires a minimum of nine (9) units distinct from and not counted either in the major or in the first minor.



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