Liberty University Pastoral Counseling
Credit Hours
Years (Avg.)
Class Type 100% online*, 8-week courses
Next Start Date Jan 15, 2024
Transfer Credits Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total
Accreditation Liberty University is accredited by SACSCOC
Learning and Career Outcomes
Degree Highlights
Military Benefits
Admission Requirements
Transfer Policies

Provide Biblical Guidance and Counsel with a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling

A Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is a degree that can travel far in an imperfect world. If you want to help people work through life’s challenges, Liberty University’s non-licensure pastoral counseling degree is a great option. Our program can provide you with the counseling skills and biblical knowledge needed to help people in all walks of life – from spouses and families to service members and new believers.

Pastoral counselors combine theology with psychotherapy to address relational, emotional, and spiritual needs. By integrating modern psychology with ministry training, they can help people overcome many challenges, including addiction, marital issues, family conflict, and trauma. As leaders in ministry and mental health, they provide valuable guidance and comfort to people of all ages and stages.

Partner with us and learn how to provide quality care to those in your community.

*Some exclusions apply. Please refer to our exclusions page for more information.

Why Choose Liberty University’s Pastoral Counseling Degree?

Choosing Liberty means choosing a curriculum that’s designed with your success in mind.

If you’re struggling to balance school with your other commitments and priorities, we have just what you need. Our M.A. in Pastoral Counseling is offered 100% online, so you won’t need to relocate to take on-campus courses. You can complete your degree when and where it’s most convenient for you — even from the comfort of your own home!

In this program, you can learn from professors who have years of experience in pastoral counseling and ministry. Like you, they are passionate about serving others. Many of our faculty members currently hold professional positions in ministry and agency-based settings. Drawing on their knowledge and experience, they can help you learn clinically and biblically sound methods for counseling people.

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M.A. in Pastoral Counseling Specializations

Within our pastoral counseling degree online, you’ll get to choose a specialization that provides specialized training and knowledge. These cognates will allow you to personalize your degree to meet your unique goals.

Addictions and Recovery

Community Chaplaincy

Crisis Response and Trauma

Discipleship and Church Ministry

Dobson Center Family Advocacy, Public Policy, and the Future

Dobson Center Marriage and Family Studies

Dobson Center Parenting and Child/Adolescent Development



Life Coaching

Marriage and Family

Military Resilience

Pastoral Counseling



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What Will You Learn in Our Pastoral Counseling Master’s Degree Program?

Train to make a positive impact on other people, meet the needs of a hurting world, and assist individuals seeking biblical guidance.

What sets pastoral counselors apart from regular counselors? The ability to offer counseling from a biblical perspective. 

In this program, you’ll learn how to address emotional, relational, and psychological needs within a spiritual context. Our courses can help enrich your understanding of what the Bible says about suffering and human nature, giving you the tools needed to employ scientifically and biblically sound counseling methods.

This pastoral counseling program integrates foundational courses with various specializations, allowing you to earn a degree that aligns with your interests and career goals. No matter which specialization you choose, this degree can help you become more biblically responsible, relationally wise, and ministry-ready.

The core pastoral counseling courses will address a variety of topics, including crisis intervention, marriage and family counseling, counseling theory, theological doctrine, and multicultural issues. You’ll also gain real-world experience by completing a supervised internship, which includes 225 hours – a minimum of 50 which are required to be face-to-face counseling experience. With a master’s in pastoral counseling, you can be better prepared to pursue work in a variety of settings like churches, hospitals, correctional facilities, military bases, and counseling centers.

Careers: What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling?

By earning an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling, you can improve your effectiveness as a leader in the church. You may practice pastoral counseling in some of the following roles:

  • Associate pastor
  • Church counselor
  • Non-licensed counselor

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Highlights of Liberty’s Online M.A. in Pastoral Counseling Degree

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of’s best online schools in America. Earning your online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • Your success is our success, which is why we’re committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we’ve frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years — and counting.
  • You can complete this degree in as little as 2 years.
  • Our online courses are only 8 weeks long with 8 different start dates offered each year and no set login times.
  • As an online Liberty student, you can access a variety of resources through our top-notch research portal.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to network with alumni, students, and professionals from across the country.

Online Master’s in Pastoral Counseling Degree Information

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Military Benefits for Our Online Pastoral Counseling Program

Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.

As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support you in your pursuit of online education by offering the following benefits:

  • Tuition discounts – $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
  • Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
  • Discounted divinity block rate: $2,475 per semester – only $165/credit at 15 credit hours*
  • 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)

*Credits taken below 9 and above 15 credit hours for the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling are charged at the part-time rate.

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Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Pastoral Counseling Degree Program

A regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.0 or above cumulative GPA is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)

*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses documentation verifying military status is required.

**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first.


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Transfer Policies

At Liberty, we want to help you make the most of your prior education by allowing you to transfer in previously earned college credit. That’s why you can transfer in up to 50% of your total credits for a master’s or doctoral program!

Some restrictions apply. Please visit our Transfer Policy page for more information.