Expanding Healthcare Horizons: New Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

Over the next decade, physical therapy jobs are expected to grow more than four times faster than the average growth for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To keep pace with the growth and to build on a longstanding commitment to preparing students for service and leadership roles, Gordon plans to expand its offerings in the healthcare professions, beginning with a new Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, scheduled to launch in the fall of 2023.

More than 130 years ago, when Dr. Adoniram Judson Gordon was first training men and women for missions work at the Boston Missionary Training Institute (now Gordon College), he ensured they were equipped to minister not only to the souls of the unreached around the world but also to their physical needs. The addition of a DPT program continues Dr. Gordon’s focus on the intertwined care of body and soul, and serves as the next chapter in the College’s rich history of preparing graduates for success in medical careers. 

“At Gordon we have a unique opportunity to ground students in the study of Scripture and the application of a practical theology to help prepare them for the ethical dilemmas that await in their professions,” says Professor of Kinesiology and Director of Health Professions Dr. Sean Clark. “Our long tradition of preparing students for work in medicine and the health professions with these biblical principles in mind has never been more vital.”

Building on Gordon’s strengths at the undergraduate level, the DPT will connect doctoral students with well-established assets including state-of-the-art labs and two on-campus outpatient physical therapy practices. Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center as part of the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore, the human anatomy and physiology lab was completed in 2015 with capacity for five cadavers; the human performance lab features a gait analysis lab with infrared cameras, force plates and an overhead suspension technology. Gordon also maintains a longstanding partnership with a privately owned outpatient orthopedic physical therapy practice, Harmeling Physical Therapy, which is located on campus and serves both students and the local community. And Gordon is home to the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness, which has been serving the public for over 20 years and is the only facility in the area specializing in the treatment of balance and gait disorders. 

In addition to Gordon’s on-campus facilities, its location on the North Shore of Boston—a global hub for healthcare, with some of the highest-ranking hospitals in the country—offers exceptional access to local and regional employers for clinical rotation sites as well as employment opportunities for future graduates of the program.

The DPT will be designed to be completed in a hybrid format (on campus and remote) and will offer joint degree options with Gordon’s existing and forthcoming health professions offerings as the College continues to expand in this area. Through the Faith Rising comprehensive campaign, Gordon is actively seeking a founding director to catalyze the DPT program, including spearheading its development, launch and administration.

Learn more about the program director position >