A nonprofit educational, counseling, training and research center, Phillips Graduate University traces its origin to the 1950s.

A nonprofit educational, counseling, training and research center, Phillips Graduate University traces its origin to the 1950s when Clinton E. Phillips, Ph.D., pioneered the application of family systems theory and the initiation of family therapy at the American Institute of Family Relations.

Dr. Clint PhillipsIn 1971, Dr. Phillips and T. David Jansen, D. Min founded the California Family Study Center (CFSC) as the only freestanding graduate program in the country dedicated solely to the field of human relationships. Built upon the family systems model, the graduate program in Marriage and Family Therapy attracted a diverse population of students brought together by a shared passion for making a difference.

As the program gained momentum, it quickly became known as a leader in mental health higher education across the profession. In 1996, in recognition of his innovative leadership, the Board of Trustees honored Dr. Phillips by changing the name to Phillips Graduate University.

With over forty years of excellence in graduate education and training, Phillips has grown from a small, single-degree granting institution to a leader in the field, offering multiple degrees at both the master’s and doctoral levels.

Old photo of a Phillips classroom.Old picture of a Phillips teacher.

In 2016 we became Phillips Graduate University, and today we remain at the forefront of confronting complex interpersonal business and social issues, exploring new avenues for change, and ultimately creating academic programs that are shaped by the communities it serves.

The Phillips Mission

“Our mission is to provide outstanding education and training to students as well as counseling and consulting services to the community.

We inspire personal transformation and professional excellence in an experiential, collaborative, and innovative learning environment.”

PGU Values

This is applicable at the individual, family, and organizational levels. We apply it to ourselves and others.

This is the catalyst for innovative and effective solutions outside the organization.

We encourage the making and honoring of commitments, consistency and wholeness even under challenging circumstances.

Institutional support for creativity helps to find new solutions and to look “out of the box” for new opportunities in times of change.

We can capitalize on the advantage of differences; learn new ways of doing things from each other.

Every person involved with Phillips Graduate University contributes to the well-being of the community. This contribution, however seemingly small, is eventually reflected at global levels.


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