Be Instrumental in the Healing Process by Earning a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Discipleship and Church Ministry Degree
Liberty University’s 100% online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is designed to train ministry professionals and church leaders to become counselors in Christian ministries 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. Additionally, this pastoral counseling degree provides a balanced examination of spiritual and mental health, which equips ministry professionals already in the field or students who want to move into a Christian counseling role.
With the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling’s discipleship and church ministry specialization, you will expand on the Christian counseling and pastoral care training at the core of the program to create healthy, effective church and parachurch group ministries. If you want to bring people together to support each other as they grow and heal, the discipleship and church ministry track can equip you to use your biblical counseling training to guide these groups and raise up new leaders.
*Some exclusions apply. Please refer to our exclusions page for more information.
Why Choose Liberty’s Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling — Discipleship and Church Ministry?
If you are already a ministry professional and find that you lack the training to help people struggling with spiritual and mental health crises, you should consider a degree in pastoral counseling. Liberty’s Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling can help fill in the gaps and build on your ministry experience to support your Christian counseling and pastoral care. 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 biblical counseling in a variety of settings.
If your church or ministry wants to start small groups or provide Christian counseling services, the discipleship and church ministry area of study will provide you with additional specialized ministry training to ensure that your group members and leaders connect and grow as a part of the body of Christ. If you need help revitalizing a fading church or have the thrilling challenge of an exploding ministry to conquer, this track will give you the tools you need to succeed.
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).
- Gain a balanced perspective of the theological principles that underlie psychology, which will help you develop more effective Christian counseling techniques from 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 by helping people in your congregation and community through a 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 below 9 and above 15 for the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling are charged at the part-time rate.
What Will You Learn in the Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling?
The online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling provides foundational Christian counseling training along with field-specialized topic courses. Students who pursue biblical counseling training in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling degree can learn how the science of psychology reflects biblical principles of personhood and human nature, and how mental health treatment benefits from spiritual health.
Students in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will have the opportunity to pursue hands-on training on campus during 2 optional intensives. Additionally, all of Liberty’s pastoral counseling students will gain experience in their own communities through a pastoral counseling internship.
The discipleship and church ministry area of study will help you utilize the Christian counseling and pastoral care training you’ve received to develop small group ministry for families, age or interest groups, and small devotional groups. You can learn how small group ministries work and how best to start or support them, while also gaining important instruction in leading a healthy and growing church. With the Christian counseling skills and knowledge you gain in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling, you will be able to create opportunities for families and individuals to meet, connect, grow, and heal both spiritually and mentally.
- DSMN 610 – Family Discipleship
- DSMN 630 – Small Group Ministries
- DSMN 660 – Leading the Healthy, Growing, Multiplying Church
- LEAD 505 – Church Administration
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.
M.A. in Pastoral Counseling — Discipleship and Church Ministry 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 Niche.com’s best online schools in America. Earning your online pastoral counseling 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 the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling — Discipleship and Church Ministry in as little as 1 year.
- Liberty University’s online seminary, the John W. Rawlings School of Divinity, has experienced Christian counselors and ministry professionals who teach practical ministry skills while imparting deep theological teaching.
- Develop broad experience in Christian counseling and pastoral care to address mental and spiritual health issues in your ministry or biblical counseling practice.
- With the discipleship and church ministry track, your knowledge and experience in ministry are enhanced by an overall strategic perspective of effective Christian ministries that helps it grow and meet new challenges faced by large and diverse congregations.
Pastoral Counseling Program 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).
Military Benefits for the Online M.A. 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.
Potential Career Options with an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling
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. This includes settings in marriage and family counseling, addiction counseling, and counseling women. Graduates of the discipleship and church ministry area of study will be equipped to start and support group ministries in a church or parachurch organization.
Some of the specific roles you may qualify for with an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling include:
- Associate pastor
- Church counselor
- Lay ministry leader
- Life coach
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.