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College of Health & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Creative Systemic Studies




Welcome to the University of Louisiana at Monroe online                 doctoral program that offers a doctor of philosophy degree with a concentration in creative systemic studies.

Our program was originally inspired by an experimental project in transformative education called, CIRCULUS: Innovations for Creative Transformation & Virtual Pedagogy, first based in San Francisco and founded by Hillary Keeney. This creative think tank, now a resource center for our online doctoral program, comprises an international consortium of scholars, practitioners, and artists who are devoted to advancing creative ways of helping people change. Our unique online doctoral program, along with CIRCULUS, provide an opportunity for more diverse forms of scholarship that emphasize post-disciplinary exploration (not restrained by any discipline or method) and creative performance.

Our systemically oriented Ph.D. program is the first of its kind. It is designed for practitioners and scholars who desire a deeper involvement with the transformative arts. Our goal is to advance the creative edge of both healing practice and innovative scholarship. We embrace the original ideas that inspired systemic family therapy, especially the contributions of Gregory Bateson, Heinz von Foerster, and other cybernetic thinkers, and the transformative genius of Milton H. Erickson, Olga Silverstein, and Carl Whitaker, among others. While espousing “circular therapeutics” (circularly organized interaction that promotes transformation), we foster the wisdom provided by global healing traditions and the creative performing arts. Our Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy with a concentration in creative systemic studies makes available the systemic ideas originally circulated in systemic family therapy, and opens them for exploration and use for all scholars concerned with the art of transformation.

As a theoretically oriented program, we advance scholarly methods that are rooted to the liberal arts, including the humanities and performing arts. We especially encourage students to apply who have backgrounds or interests in the humanities, as well as those seeking creative directions for the people-healing professions. We take pride in our mission to support the most creative dissertation projects found in academia. All of the faculty, distinguished scholars, and professional staff are thrilled to be part of a team that is creatively advancing the transformative arts and people-helping professions, and bringing more intellect, heart, and soul into academia. We hope you will consider the possibility of joining us. Thank you for taking the time to consider the University of Louisiana at Monroe. We look forward to hearing from you.


Most Sincerely,

 Bradfod Keeney

Bradford Keeney, Ph.D. 
Director, Online Doctoral Program in Creative Systemic Studies
Professor and Hanna Spyker Eminent Scholars Chair