Witness to Others with the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Community Chaplaincy
Liberty University’s online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is designed to train ministers and church leaders to become Christian counselors in ministry and agency-based, non-licensure settings. Students in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will study how psychology, human nature, theory, and practice inform biblical counseling. Additionally, students will study the mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of people.
The community chaplaincy area of study for the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling provides Christian counseling and pastoral care training designed for public or private chaplaincy roles. The community chaplaincy area of study will cover biblical counseling practices and psychological theory necessary to becoming a Christian counselor or chaplain in a non-licensure setting.
*Some exclusions apply. Please refer to our exclusions page for more information.
What is chaplaincy?
A chaplain is a minister, pastor, or member of the ecclesiastical church body who serves in an official spiritual, mental health, and personal growth advisement role in a company, organization, or branch of government.
Students who complete the area of study in community chaplaincy will receive specialized training in the elements of psychology and spiritual growth that are needed in an official chaplaincy role. The online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Community Chaplaincy degree provides an in-depth study of pastoral care and Christian counseling to allow students to minister directly to the personal and spiritual needs of individuals and families, both inside and outside the church.
Please note that some chaplaincy roles may require a more specialized and advanced study of a particular field through a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program. Additionally, the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is not designed to fulfill clinical counseling requirements. For licensure information, please review the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
What is pastoral counseling?
Pastoral counseling is a form of therapy that draws on a counselor’s psychological expertise and religious beliefs to provide sound emotional and mental guidance to individuals. At Liberty, we teach our pastoral counselors to focus on the spiritual formation of the people they serve. Whether you want to serve at an agency or at a local church, Liberty’s MA in Pastoral Counseling can equip you with training that can be used to impact the world for Christ.
Why Choose Liberty’s Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Community Chaplaincy?
If you are a ministry professional and find that you lack the training or counseling experience needed to help people struggling with spiritual and mental health crises, completing an online Christian counseling degree like the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling can help. If you want to branch out into a Christian counseling role, the field-specific training and biblical counseling techniques offered in the online master’s in pastoral counseling can help you guide congregations on a variety of issues.
What Are the Benefits of Liberty’s Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling?
- Unlike many online Bible colleges and seminaries, Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Study a balanced perspective on the theological principles that underlie psychology and develop effective Christian counseling techniques.
- If you choose to take advantage of the optional on-campus intensives, you will receive additional, hands-on training and meet directly with your peers and professors.
- Gain marketable, real-world experience helping people in your community with the pastoral counseling internship.
- The online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling falls within the School of Behavioral Sciences but receives
the graduate tuition rate of just $395 per credit hour for part-time students, as well as the online seminary’s block rate. Students attending full time (9-15 credit hours) are eligible for a block rate of $2,750 per semester!*
*Credits taken above 15 credit hours for the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling online are charged at the part-time rate.
What Will You Learn in the Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling Program?
The online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling pairs a broad set of foundational Christian counseling skills and knowledge with field-specialized topics and hands-on skill areas. Students who pursue biblical counseling training in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling can learn how the science of psychology reflects biblical principles and human nature. You will also learn how mental health treatment benefits from spiritual health.
Students in this degree program will have the opportunity to pursue hands-on training during 2 optional, on-campus intensives, and all pastoral counseling students will gain experience in their communities through the pastoral counseling internship.
Students who complete the online pastoral counseling – community chaplaincy degree will be trained to apply their pastoral care and Christian ministry skills to an official chaplain role outside of the church. Chaplain roles often differ from church leadership roles and may have restrictions based on state and federal regulations. As such, the community chaplaincy area of study provides an important overview of chaplaincy ministry and its particular requirements, as well as important, role-specific skills for professional development.
- CHPL 500 – Introduction to Chaplaincy Ministry
- CHPL 598 – Spiritual and Professional Development of the Chaplain
- CHPL 615 – Chaplain Ethics for Advisement and Pastoral Care
- CHPL 682 – Community Chaplaincy
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 Niche.com’s best online schools in America. Earning your online degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
- Tuition for all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs has not increased in 9 years. While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a nonprofit university.
- You can complete this online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Community Chaplaincy in under 2 years.
- Develop broad experience in Christian counseling and pastoral care and prepare to address mental and spiritual health issues in your ministry or biblical counseling practice.
M.A. in Pastoral Counseling Degree Information
- This program falls under the School of Behavioral Sciences.
- Download and review the Degree Completion Plan for this program.
- View the Graduate Behavioral Sciences Course Guides (login required).
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 part-time 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.
Potential Career Options with a Degree in Community Chaplaincy
- Associate pastor
- Church counselor
- Non-licensed counselor
- Women’s ministry director
Students who complete a degree in Christian counseling can become equipped for ministry-based, non-licensure counseling roles in several areas. This degree seeks to prepare you for counseling in marriage and family settings, crisis counseling, and counseling women. Students may be eligible to pursue chaplaincy positions in many settings with the community chaplaincy area of study’s specialized content. Many chaplaincy roles, however, may require additional content and specialized chaplaincy training.
Admission Requirements for Our Online M.A. in Pastoral Counseling
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.