Pacifica Graduate Institute

Pacifica Graduate Institute

Animae mundi colendae gratia

(For the sake of tending soul in and of the world")
Type Private, 97% Employee-Owned Company
Established 1976
Chancellor Stephen Aizenstat
Location Santa Barbara, California
Campus Urban

Pacifica Graduate Institute is an accredited American graduate school with two campuses near Santa Barbara, California. The institute offers masters and doctoral degrees in the fields of clinical psychology, counseling, mythological studies, community, liberation, ecopsychology and the humanities.

The institute is affiliated with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), specifically the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities. The institute first gained accreditation on June 30, 1997, and continues to be accredited through WASC.[1]


Entrance to Lambert Road Campus
Lambert Road Campus

Pacifica traces many of its central ideas to the heritage of ancient story tellers, dramatists, and philosophers from all lands who recorded the workings of the imagination. The legacies of these early men and women have evolved in multiple cultural contexts and perspectives including the systematic explorations of the unconscious by Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, and other scholars of the inner life.

The concepts of depth psychology resulting from this long development are at the core of Pacifica's orientation. These ideas, such as the importance of symbol and metaphor in personal and cultural imagery and the recognition of the dynamic interplay between the natural world and the world of the human psyche, are articulated in the institute's programs.

Mission statement and core values

The mission of Pacifica Graduate Institute is to foster creative learning and research in the fields of psychology and mythological studies, framed in the traditions of depth psychology.

Degree offerings

Six degree programs are offered through monthly and three or four-day learning sessions:

Jungian and Archetypal Studies[4] (online/hybrid format)
Somatic Studies[5]
Combined Emphasis in Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology[6]


Pacifica Graduate Institute dates its life as an educational institution from the 1976 inauguration of a nine-month para-professional Counseling Skills Certificate program offered by the Human Relations Center.[10] The institute's original name was the Human Relations Institute.

The M.A. in Counseling Psychology was initiated in 1982.[10] In 1984 the institute announced a new M.A. Counseling Psychology program with an emphasis in depth psychology. The program was launched in 1984 by Stan Passy, who drew on his doctoral work in archetypal psychology with James Hillman at the University of Dallas. Faculty and visiting lecturers have included Marion Woodman, Thomas Moore, Robert A. Johnson, and Marija Gimbutas.[10]

The name of the school was changed to the Pacifica Graduate Institute in 1989.[10]

One of the supporters of the institute's vision in the early years was the late mythologist Joseph Campbell. He offered guidance to the school's founders and appeared many times as a guest speaker in the institute's public conference series. After his death, his widow, Jean Erdman Campbell, felt that Pacifica would be able to carry Campbell's work into the future and, thus, would be the most appropriate home for his archives. She donated his 3,000-book library and archival collection to the Center for the Study of Depth Psychology, an independent non-profit organization housed at the Pacifica campus, which evolved into the Opus Archives and Research Center.[11] The Joseph Campbell Archives and Library were installed in the school's Seminar Building and the home of the collection was formally dedicated in 1992.[12]

The mythological studies program was created in 1994 by Jonathan Young, building on his work as founding curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives.[13] The program combines folklore, literature, creative studies, and archetypal psychology.[14]

Ladera Lane Campus

Reaching full capacity for Santa Barbara County permitted operations at the Lambert Road campus in 1999, Pacifica began offering additional sections of existing programs at La Casa de Maria's newly established Ladera Lane Retreat Center (site of a former Jesuit novitiate). Pacifica became a two-campus school by purchasing the Ladera Lane center from La Casa de Maria in September 2005.

The Engaged Humanities & Creative Life program, along with the Jungian & Archetypal Studies specialization of the M.A./Ph.D. program are the two online/hybrid programs Pacifica offers, with the majority of coursework accomplished online by students. The online studies are combined with quarterly four-day visits either on campus or at the New York Open Center. All other degrees are completed in monthly three-day or four-day retreats and one summer week annually.

Graduate Research Library

Pacifica Graduate Institute’s library resources and services support graduate-level study in the areas of counseling psychology, clinical psychology, depth psychology, depth psychotherapy, mythological studies, and humanities. Subject area strengths are in Jungian and archetypal psychology, depth psychology, psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, mythology, religious studies, psychological studies of literature, and research methodology. The Graduate Research Libraries on the Lambert and Ladera campuses contain over 23,000 books, provide access to over 100,000 ebooks, 2,900 theses and dissertations, and 1,000 audio and video materials. They also provide access to thousands of journals, both in print and electronic formats. Special reference collections include faculty publications, rare and hard-to-find books, and other unique multimedia materials.[15] The library also maintains an archive of open access digitized audio faculty lectures on various topics from prior years, stored in the Internet Archive. Lectures can be downloaded in different file formats or listened-to online.[16]


The institute's bookstore stocks over 5,000 book titles[17] focused on serving the needs of academic scholarship and enriching the psyche in the fields of Depth psychology, Archetypal psychology, the humanities, and mythology.[18] The topics covered range from neuroscience to works by both well-known and unique and hard-to-find depth psychology scholars. The bookstore also has a consciously chosen selection of gifts, distinctive clothing and rare jewelry. The bookstore is located on both Pacifica Graduate Institute campuses in Montecito and Carpinteria.[17] The bookstore also has a presence online with a full selection of merchandise available at both physical locations.[18]

Public programs

Public program at Pacifica led by Marion Woodman

Pacifica's public programs explore the fields of psychology and mythological studies through the lens of depth psychology. Programs cover a wide range of topics from humanities and culture to counseling and clinical psychology. Most of the public programs offer continuing education units for professionals in the field. These events are open to the general public with the intention of bringing Pacifica's educational resources to the wider community. Past presenters include Joseph Campbell, Jean Houston, Michael J. Meade, Huston Smith, Malidoma Patrice Somé, Sonu Shamdasani, Thomas Moore, Marion Woodman, James Hillman, and Robert Bly.[19]

Pacifica Post

The Pacifica Post is an online forum for Pacifica Graduate Institute faculty, scholars, and guest contributors to present observations on matters of broad interest and importance in the fields of Depth psychology, Archetypal psychology, the humanities, and mythology. The online platform is a place for psychology-related resources and engaging conversations about contemporary issues and connection with like-minded individuals.[20] The forum is intended to be an interactive media site with student and alumni stories, and announcements for audio and video lectures which are found in on the institute's YouTube channel].[21]

Accreditation and exam pass rates in California

Pacifica's academic programs are all subject to review and approval on multiple levels by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC),[22] the State of California Board of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE),[23] and U. S. Department of Education (DOE).[24] Pacifica’s M.A. in Counseling Psychology program provides its mission statements, program goals, student learning outcomes, and time to completion rates.[25] The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program provides its mission statements, program goals, student learning outcomes, and time to completion rates as well.[26] Pacifica's Clinical Psychology programs, along with all other Pacifica degree programs, are accredited by WASC.[22] In September 2013, and March 2014, groups of former and current Ph.D. students from the Clinical Psychology program filed a lawsuit stating that the school misrepresented its APA accreditation status. They alleged negligent and intentional misrepresentation, concealment and unfair business practices, according to the complaint.[27] Pacifica responded that the claims are without merit. Pacifica has never claimed that its degree programs in Clinical Psychology are accredited by the APA, an independent regulatory body whose future actions cannot be predicted.[28] While some states and jurisdictions require graduation from an APA accredited school for licensure to practice as a clinical psychologist, California, where Pacifica is located, does not require APA accreditation.[29] The California Board of Behavioral Sciences reports that 85% of the Pacifica graduates taking the MFT standard written exam from 1/1/2015-6/30/2015 passed the exam,[30] which ranks higher than the state average of 65% for that time period.[31] Clinical Psychology graduates had a 100% pass rate on the California Psychology Supplemental Examination (CPSE) exam from 1/1/14 to 12/31/14 and had a 85% pass rate on the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) from 1/1/14 to 12/31/14.[32] Overall WASC accreditation information for Pacifica is also publicly available.[22]


Pacifica’s two campus locations are located within three miles of each other in the foothills of the Santa Barbara suburbs. The 13 acre Lambert Road Campus is the former Max Fleishman estate. The Ladera Lane campus is 35 acres (14 ha) with views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. Each campus contains multiple gardens, while the Lambert Campus hosts the larger Organic Garden. The Organic Garden, consisting of 7 acres (2.8 ha), is farmed year round, producing vegetables and fruits available to the community.

Alumni association

Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association (PGIAA) was formed on 17 April 2013. PGIAA is a California 501(c) Nonprofit Corporation for the purposes of developing an operational and charitable membership association that supports both the alumni (“Alumni” or “alums”) of Pacifica Graduate Institute and the wider community in pursuit of developing their intellectual, spiritual, altruistic, and professional capabilities. The association fosters relationships at the institute and beyond. With more than 3,000 members and over 30 regional chapters across the United States and Canada, Pacifica’s alumni association works to cultivate and deepen connections between the institute and the alumni community, with particular attention to assisting and advancing the pursuit of vocational excellence. Pacifica’s alumni network has a world-wide reach, and its members are active in the fields of depth psychology, mythological studies, and the humanities. The PGIAA pursues and embodies eight vision statements emphasizing community, Gaia responsibility, ambassadorship, collective memory, sponsorship, sustainability, gratefulness, and groundedness. The alumni association also sponsors a number of events each year to help maintain relationships.[33]

OPUS Archives

A not-for-profit organization with facilities on both Pacifica campuses, Opus Archives and Research Center works to preserve, develop, and extend the archival collections and libraries of eminent scholars in the fields of depth psychology, mythology, and the humanities.[34] Opus makes these collections available to researchers, scholars, students, and the general public for research. To fulfill its mission of functioning as a living archive, Opus also offers scholarships, research grants, educational programs, and community events.[35]

Joseph Campbell Collection at OPUS

Archival stacks of the OPUS Archives and Research Center
Joseph Campbell Library on Lambert Campus

Joseph Campbell's papers and collections have been entrusted to the OPUS Archives and Research Center on the campuses of Pacifica Graduate Institute. The renowned author, scholar, and mythologist was a long-time friend of Pacifica and a frequent guest lecturer. After Campbell's death, Jean Erdman Campbell and the Joseph Campbell Foundation donated his papers, books and other effects to the Center for the Study of Depth Psychology at Pacifica. The center became OPUS Archives and Research Center and is the home of the collection.[36] The founding curator, Jonathan Young, worked closely with Jean Erdman Campbell to gather the materials from Campbell's homes in Honolulu and Greenwich Village, New York City.[37] The Campbell Collection features approximately 3,000 volumes and covers a broad range of subjects including anthropology, folklore, religion, literature, and psychology. The collection also includes audio and video tapes of lectures, original manuscripts, and research papers. The mission of Opus Archives and the Research Center is to preserve, develop, and extend to the world the archival collections and libraries of eminent scholars in the fields of depth psychology, mythology and the humanities. The center is a living archive, supporting interdisciplinary dialogue, education, grants, research opportunities and public programs.[36] The director of the OPUS Archives and Research Center is Safron Rossi.

Marija Gimbutas Collection at OPUS

OPUS holds over 15,000 slides utilized by Marija Gimbutas in her lectures and books on Neolithic civilizations and the goddess, thousands of research catalogue cards in numerous languages handwritten by Gimbutas, and extensive texts on the subjects of history, archaeology, and the humanities.

James Hillman Collection at OPUS

James Hillman's collection includes first draft manuscripts of his books, including Re-Visioning Psychology, which earned him a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. Hillman's prolific career is documented through correspondence, personal notes, and unfinished projects that are available for pursuit by scholars of the next generation.[38]


Pacifica’s PlumX installation provides a story of Pacifica’s faculty scholarship and publication impact, by means of altmetrics. Profiles for core, distinguished, and visiting faculty provide cumulative insights into how faculty research is interacted with, shared, commented on, purchased, and disseminated in both print and electronic format. PlumX gathers and brings together metrics for all types of scholarly research output, including published books, journal articles, conference papers, videos, data sets, interviews, and other online web resources. Pacifica’s PlumX installation categorizes Pacifica metrics into 5 separate types: usage (e.g. downloads and library holdings), captures (e.g. bookmarks, favorites, readers, watchers), mentions (e.g. blog posts, comments, reviews), social media (e.g. likes, shares, tweets), and citations (how many times research has been cited).[39]

Salient profiles include, but are not limited to:


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  11. "Joseph Campbell - Pacifica Graduate Institute". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  15. "Library Services - Pacifica Graduate Institute". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  16. "User Account". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  17. 1 2 "The Pacifica Bookstore - Pacifica Graduate Institute". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  18. 1 2 "Pacifica Graduate Institute Bookstore". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  20. Institute, Pacifica Graduate. "Pacifica Graduate Institute's Official Blog | Pacifica Post". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  21. "Pacifica Graduate Institute". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  22. 1 2 3 "Pacifica Graduate Institute | WASC Senior College and University Commission". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  23. "Search Results - Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  24. "Participating Enrollment Reporting Institutions | National Student Clearinghouse". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  25. "M.A. Counseling Psychology with Emphasis in Depth Psychology" (PDF).
  26. "Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes" (PDF).
  27. "Former Students File Suit Accusing Pacifica Graduate Institute of Misrepresenting Its Accreditation". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  28. "Courthouse News Service". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  29. "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - California Board of Psychology". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  31. "Examination Statistics - California Board of Behavioral Sciences". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  33. "About | Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  34. "Opus Archives and Research Center". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  35. "Opus Archives and Research Center". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
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  39. "Pacifica Graduate Institute". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  40. "Stephen Aizenstat". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  41. "Joseph Cambray". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  42. "Edward Casey". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  43. "Lionel Corbett". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  44. "Christine Downing". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  45. "Gary Groth-Marnat". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  46. "Aaron Kipnis". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  47. "Ginette Paris". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  48. "Robert Romanyshyn". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  49. "Susan Rowland". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  50. "Dennis Slattery". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  51. "Mary Watkins". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  52. "Oksana Yakushko". Pacifica Graduate Institute. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
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