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 biblical 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. The online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling 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.
With the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling’s discipleship and church ministry area of study, you will expand on the Christian counseling and pastoral care training in the core of the program to creating a healthy and effective church and parachurch group ministries. If you want to help bring struggling people together to help support each other as they grow and heal, the discipleship and church ministry track will help equip you to use your biblical counseling training to guide these groups and raise up new leaders.
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, 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. 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 group 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).
- 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 discipleship and church ministry by helping people in your congregation and community with the pastoral counseling internship.
- The online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling falls within the School of Behavioral Sciences but still receives the School of Divinity’s discounted graduate tuition of $395 per credit for part-time, as well as the online seminary’s clock rate. Students attending full time or higher (9-15 credit hours) are eligible for a block rate of $2,750 per semester!*
*Credits taken above 15 credit hours for the Masters 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?
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. Students who pursue biblical counseling training in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling degree will 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 two optional intensives, and all pastoral counseling students will gain experience in their own communities through the pastoral counseling internship.
The discipleship and church ministry area of study will help you utilize the core content’s Christian counseling and pastoral care training to help develop small group ministry for families, age or interest groups, and small devotional groups. You will learn how small group ministries work and how best to start or support them, while also gaining important instruction in leading a healthy, growing, and multiplying church from ministry professionals and pastors in Liberty University’s online seminary. With the Christian counseling skills and knowledge in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling, you will be able to create opportunities for families and individuals to meet and connect and help them grow and heal both spiritually and mentally.
*Please note that the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is not designed to fulfill all clinical counseling requirements. You can view Liberty University’s licensure-track Master of Arts in Professional Counseling degree below for more information about counseling licensure.
MA in Pastoral Counseling – Discipleship and Church Ministry Highlights
- By earning your online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling degree from a nonprofit 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 4 straight years. While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a nonprofit university.
- Students are able to complete the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Discipleship and Church Ministry in as little as one year.
- 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 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.
Similar Online Degree Programs
- Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (M.C.M.) – A practical ministry-focused alternative that can be completed in as little as a year
- Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling – A non-licensure track master’s degree in counseling that emphasizes secular applications of psychology and counseling with a biblical worldview
- Master of Arts in Professional Counseling – A licensure-track clinical counseling program which includes required on-campus intensives and an extensive practicum and internship
Pastoral Counseling Program Format
- 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 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 for graduate (per credit hour part-time)
- Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
- Discounted divinity block rate: $2475 per semester – only $165/credit at 15 credit hours*
- 8-week courses, eight different start dates each year, and no set login times
*Credits taken 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 including 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. Students may also be able to pursue additional requirements for state licensure and pursue licensed clinical counseling practice.
- Associate pastor
- Lay ministry leader
- Church counselor
- Life coach
Admission Requirements for the MA in Pastoral Counseling
A regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.0 or above cumulative combined GPA is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admission-related information.
All applicants must submit the following:
- Admission application
- Application fee*
- Unofficial college transcripts and submit a transcript request form**
- Proof of English proficiency
*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.