Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) – Pastoral Counseling Online Degree Program

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) – Pastoral Counseling Online Degree Program

Admission Requirements  |  Program Format  |  Degree Requirements  |  Potential Careers

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) – Pastoral Counseling Prepares You to Lead in Christian Counseling Ministry

Liberty University’s 100% online Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) is designed to equip ministry professionals and pastors to advance their ministry through gospel-centered, accessible, and practical ministry skills. As one of the leading Christian colleges in the world, Liberty University’s online seminary, the Rawlings School of Divinity, was founded by leading Christian scholars and prolific theologians who deliver the advanced doctoral studies of the D.Min. Degree. For additional, hands-on ministry experience, you can take advantage of optional intensives that will connect you with peers and teachers. This flexibility allows you to remain engaged full-time in the ministry God has placed you in, while still pursuing advanced doctoral studies online.

The Pastoral Counseling area of study for the online Doctor of Ministry degree provides additional training in Christian counseling and pastoral care that will allow you to bring biblical counseling practice to your church or ministry. If you want to be better equipped to handle interpersonal conflicts and to better minister to the spiritual and mental health of your congregation, the Pastoral Counseling area of study will give you the skills and knowledge you need.

Why Choose Liberty’s Online Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) – Pastoral Counseling?

Liberty University’s online Doctor of Ministry programs is focused on practical ministry training so that you can study the skills and knowledge you need to better serve in your specific ministry context. The online D.Min. Degree uniquely combines three distinct and necessary components for today's engaged Christian leader: our program is gospel-centered, accessible, and practical. During your online Doctor of Ministry program studies, you will focus on practical solutions rather than theoretical research, ensuring that you will be able to use the skills and knowledge you gain from this program to solve real-world problems.

If you are already a ministry professional and find you lack the training to help people struggling with spiritual and mental health crises, or inspire them to reach and push to achieve more, completing the online D.Min. Degree with a Pastoral Counseling specialization will help fill in the gaps. This program is designed to build on your ministry experience in support of Christian counseling and pastoral care, as well as receive important ministry-specific counseling training. If you want to branch out into a Christian counseling role, the field-specific training and biblical counseling techniques in the Pastoral Counseling area of study will provide much-needed tools for a variety of settings.

What are the Benefits of Liberty’s Online Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)?

  • Unlike many online bible colleges or online seminary programs, students who complete the online Doctor of Ministry will receive a degree fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
  • Completing the online Doctor of Ministry will offer a practice-focused degree that emphasizes solving real-world ministry problems with advanced practice and research.
  • The customizable content of the online D.Min. degree allows you to choose courses that directly relate to your ministry, and the thesis provides an opportunity to dig into research and scholarship under the mentorship of Liberty’s Christian scholars to better equip you for your ministry.
  • If you choose to take advantage of the optional on-campus intensives, you will have additional hands-on training and meet directly with your peers and professors.
  • Complete an integrated dissertation project that will demonstrate your expertise and ability to apply advanced counseling theories to practical problems

What Will You Learn in the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Degree?

The core content in the online Doctor of Ministry degree provides the basis for advanced doctoral-level academic research and writing that will carry into the rest of the ministry-specific course content and thesis project. This will ensure that you are well equipped for the research and writing aspects of the degree, while also assisting you in your publishing and sermon writing. You will study fundamental spiritual factors of growing churches and the growth and development of the contemporary minister to give you a guided perspective on the important elements of ministry practice. You will be able to choose two doctoral-level electives in many areas of study, including Discipleship Ministry and Worship Studies, to equip you for ministry.

Students who pursue the Pastoral Counseling area of study will train in advanced biblical counseling techniques in Individual and Family Issues, Pre-Marital and Marital issues, and explore timely Crises and Current issues. These courses will provide a diverse set of practical skills to apply in counseling ministry, allowing students in Liberty’s pastoral counseling degree to address many different modern-day problems.

All of the courses in the D.Min. Program is designed and delivered in a way to help you develop your research for the final Thesis project, which will be focused on a ministry topic of your choice.

Featured Courses

Program Highlights

  • By earning your online D.Min. Degree from a non-profit university whose online programs ranked in the top five of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility, you will be set apart from others in your field.
  • Tuition for all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs has not increased in three straight years. While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a non-profit university. 
  • Students can complete this online D.Min. Degree in as little as two years.
  • Liberty University’s Online Seminary, the Rawlings School of Divinity, has experienced Christian counselors and ministry professionals who teach practical ministry skills while imparting deep theological teaching.
  • Learn from renowned Christian scholars and ministry professionals in the Liberty University School of Divinity, such as Dr. Elmer L. Towns, Dr. Harold Willmington, and Dr. Gary R. Habermas.
  • Develop broad experience in Christian counseling and pastoral care to address mental and spiritual health issues in your biblical counseling practice.

Similar Online Degree Programs

Program Format

  • 100% Online with optional Intensives
  • 33 total hours
  • Up to six credit hours of eligible doctoral credit can be transferred into Liberty's online D.Min. Degree.
  • A nine-credit-hour thesis is required to graduate with the online D.Min. Degree.
  • Eight-week courses, eight different start dates each year, and no set login times.

Degree Information and Requirements

Apply Now Request Info

Potential Career Options

  • Senior Church Administrator
  • Senior Pastor
  • Lead/Associate Pastor
  • Youth Pastor
  • Evangelist
  • Church Planter
  • Worship Leader
  • Church Counselor
  • Community Chaplain

Graduates of the online Doctor of Ministry Degree will have a terminal doctorate credential that may provide opportunities to publish academic research and pursue college-level teaching, as well as serve in a senior ministry leadership role. The practical skills and knowledge in the Pastoral Counseling area of study will equip students to address many areas of counseling ministry and provide flexibility for many roles in counseling and human services, such as in a Christian Counseling center, non-profit counseling center, or other ministry-focused counseling organizations. Please note that many clinical counseling roles will require individual state licensure.