MA Pastoral Counseling Crisis Response And Trauma Online Degree Program
Credit Hours
Years (Avg.)
Class Type
100% online*, 8-week courses
Transfer Credits
Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total
Next Start Date
Jan 15, 2024
Liberty University is accredited by SACSCOC

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Crisis Response and Trauma Equips You to Help Rebuild Hurting Communities

Liberty University’s 100% online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is designed to train ministry professionals 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 psychology and the Christian understanding of human nature and God’s creation that informs biblical counseling. The online pastoral counseling master’s degree provides a balanced treatment of spiritual and mental health, which will equip ministry professionals already in the field or students who want to move into a Christian counseling role.

The crisis response and trauma area of study offers training for ministry professionals who want to help communities and individuals recover from life-altering tragedies and emergencies. The skills and knowledge gained through the crisis response and trauma track will equip Christian counselors with the tools needed to identify and address the effects of events such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, abuse, and personal tragedies that damage individuals, families, and whole communities’ ability to have healthy relationships and lead successful lives.

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

Why Choose Liberty’s Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Crisis Response and Trauma?

If you are already a ministry professional and find that you need additional training to help people struggling with spiritual and mental health crises, completing an online Christian counseling degree like the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will help fill in the gaps and build on your ministry experience to support your Christian counseling and pastoral care ministry. If you want to branch out into a Christian counseling role, the field-specific training and biblical counseling techniques in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will provide much-needed support for guiding others on a variety of issues.

The crisis response and trauma area of study will show you how to apply Christian counseling principles and pastoral care to help people in times of trouble and disaster. These skills can equip you and your ministry to go into your community and help in times of great need and suffering as you help on-site when disaster strikes at home or abroad.

What Are the Benefits of Liberty’s Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling?

  • Unlike many online bible colleges or online 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, giving you effective Christian counseling techniques with a firm biblical worldview.
  • 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.
  • Gain marketable real-world experience in crisis response and trauma therapy by 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.

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What Will You Learn in the Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling?

The online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling provides a broad set of foundational Christian counseling skills and knowledge along with field-specialized topic courses and hands-on skill areas. If you pursue biblical counseling training, you can learn how the science of psychology reflects biblical principles of personhood and human nature, and how mental health treatment benefits from spiritual health.

You will also have the opportunity to pursue hands-on training on campus during two optional intensives. In addition to this training, you will gain experience in your community through a pastoral counseling internship.

Our crisis response and trauma area of study builds on core Christian counseling and pastoral care skills training in disaster relief efforts and trauma therapy. You will have the opportunity to customize your crisis response and trauma electives in areas that will be most useful to your ministry. You can choose to receive general crisis and first responder training to ensure that you are prepared to help during a disaster or you can receive training in P.T.S.D. and combat-related trauma so that you can assist veterans and their families. Our crisis response and trauma area of study provides a flexible crisis counseling training of assessment and treatment options to help suffering people in their communities.

*Please note that the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is not designed to fulfill clinical counseling requirements. You can view Liberty University’s licensure-track Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree for more information about counseling licensure.

Degree Information
Military Benefits
Admission Requirements

Program Highlights

  • 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 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 – Crisis Response and Trauma in as little as 1 year.
  • Liberty University’s online seminary, the John W. Rawlings School of Divinity, has experienced pastoral counselors and ministry professionals who teach practical ministry skills while imparting deep theological teaching.
  • Learn from content developed by renowned biblical studies scholars in Liberty University’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity, such as Dr. Elmer L. Towns and Dr. Gary R. Habermas.
  • Develop broad experience in Christian counseling and pastoral care to address mental and spiritual health issues in your ministry or biblical counseling practice.

Pastoral Counseling Degree Information

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Crisis Response and Trauma Potential Career Options

Students who complete a degree in Christian counseling like the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will be equipped for ministry-based, non-licensure counseling roles in many areas including marriage and family counseling, addiction counseling, and counseling women.

With the crisis response and trauma area of study, students will be equipped for private and public disaster relief and support positions and ministries, as well as individual and group trauma therapy ministry. Students may also be able to pursue additional requirements for state licensure and pursue licensed clinical counseling practice.

  • Associate pastor
  • Church counselor
  • Life coach
  • Pastor
  • Trauma counselor

Admission Requirements for the 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.

Military Benefits for the Online MA in Pastoral Counseling

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.