The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. today announced several programs designed to advance the financial planning profession, encourage research and teaching, improve overall financial advice.

Among the initiatives, the CFP Board is exploring the creation of a Center for Financial Planning to provide research to help financial planners better serve the public, to support diversity within the profession and to help build the next generation of planners.

In addition, it was announced that Louisiana State University's E. J. Ourso College of Business, Department of Finance is now offering a Ph.D. in business administration (finance) with a specialization in financial planning, making it the first CFP Board-registered doctoral program in an AACSB-accredited college of business.

It was also announced that the CFP Board and publisher John Wiley & Sons are collaborating on a peer-reviewed academic journal focused exclusively on financial planning for use by faculty who teach and conduct research in financial planning. The journal will be available free of charge to all CFP professionals.

There are 225 colleges and universities offering CFP Board-registered programs with more than 120 of those offering financial planning baccalaureate programs, according to the CFP Board, which says it’s also conducting what it calls the world’s largest study of financial planning’s body of knowledge through its job task analysis.

“These new efforts reflect the adoption of financial planning as a recognized discipline within academia as well as a growing profession within the financial services industry,” said Board of Directors Chair V. Raymond Ferrara.

The CFP Board currently authorizes more than 69,000 individuals to use the CFP marks in the U.S.