Prepare to Foster Spiritual and Mental Health with an MA in Pastoral Counseling – General
Are you passionate about helping others in the context of a Christian environment? At Liberty, you can pursue a biblical counseling degree and better prepare for a career in Christian counseling. With specialized training, you can further develop your skills and study leading techniques in counseling that can benefit your congregation, community, or nonprofit organization.
With a Master of Arts (MA) in Pastoral Counseling – General from Liberty University, you can take courses that will sharpen and challenge you in both the education and counseling field from a biblical perspective. In addition, our general track allows you to hone your skills with a wide selection of courses available across our specializations for pastoral counseling.
Whether you are currently serving as a pastor and want to bolster your counseling skills or are seeking positions of added responsibility, a biblical counseling degree online can help.
*Some exclusions apply. Please refer to our exclusions page for more information.
Why Choose Liberty’s Master’s in Pastoral Counseling Degree?
If you are already a ministry professional and want to branch out into pastoral counseling, our online Christian counseling degree can help you aid people who are struggling with spiritual and mental health crises. This program will help build on your previous ministry experience so you can provide the best possible pastoral care to those in your church community.
The M.A. in Pastoral Counseling gives students the option to attend residential intensives. While not required, these intensives offer a valuable opportunity to visit our beautiful campus in Lynchburg, Virginia — and to connect in-person with other pastoral counseling students and faculty.
If you’re worried that school will get in the way of your other commitments and priorities, we have just what you need. This degree is offered 100% online, and the courses have no set login times — which means you can complete your classes from the comfort of your home and stay invested in your family and career while earning your degree.
Our pastoral counseling professors have years of experience working in professional ministry settings. They are ready and eager to share their expertise with you as you take this important next step in your academic journey. With their guidance, you can develop a deeper understanding of how to meet people’s spiritual and psychological needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be a licensed pastoral counselor to practice counseling?
Our pastoral counseling program is not designed to lead to licensure. Many pastors adopt non-licensure counseling roles as another way to serve members of their congregation. This degree is designed to help bolster your counseling skills and prepare you for a variety of situations as a pastoral counselor in either religious settings or non-licensure agencies. If you are interested in becoming a licensed professional counselor (LPC), you may be interested in our Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
What can I do with a master’s in pastoral counseling?
With a pastoral counseling degree from Liberty University, you can be better prepared to pursue non-licensure positions as a religious counselor or as a pastoral counselor for your congregation. The need for Christian counseling in nonprofit organizations, churches, and parachurch organizations has never been greater. With a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling, you can be better equipped to help others in your community.
What is the purpose of pastoral counseling?
The purpose of pastoral counseling is to foster and facilitate the “helping relationship” between the church and its members. In Scripture, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “Helper.” This is one of the central tenets of pastoral counseling.
One of the major goals of pastoral counseling is for a pastor to provide a safe environment for congregants or community members to discover Jesus as a Wonderful Counselor and to walk through issues with those who are struggling. In this way, you have the opportunity to help others find solutions to the difficulties that they encounter in life and point them toward the love of Christ.
What Will You Learn in Our Master’s in Pastoral Counseling Degree?
As you pursue your masters in biblical counseling, you will begin by studying topics that introduce biblical techniques for counseling. Additionally, you will take courses in marriage and family counseling, multicultural issues in counseling, and crisis intervention counseling. You will also have the opportunity to apply your knowledge in the pastoral counseling field with an internship experience.
Throughout your degree, you can also pick and choose courses that reflect your interests in counseling. Whether you want to take courses in human sexuality, gerontology, or marriage and family, there are a variety of courses you can choose from!
- PACO 501 – Foundational Doctrines for Pastoral Counselors
- PACO 504 – Multicultural Issues in Pastoral Counseling
- PACO 604 – Crisis Intervention in Pastoral Counseling
- PACO 615 – Marriage and Family Counseling
Highlights of Our Pastoral Counseling Master’s 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 Niche.com’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 have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years — and counting.
- Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Our online courses are only 8 weeks long with 8 different start dates offered each year and no set login times.
- You can complete Liberty University’s master’s in counseling for pastors in under 2 years!
- Liberty student have access to a wealth of resources through our top-notch research portal.
Pastoral Counseling Degree Information
- This program falls under the School of Behavioral Sciences.
- Download and review the Degree Completion Plan for our masters in pastoral counseling.
- View the Graduate Behavioral Sciences Course Guides (login required).
Military Benefits for Our Online MA in Pastoral Counseling Programs
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
- Discounted divinity block rate:$2,475 per semester (9-15 credit hours)*
- Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
- 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 are charged at the part-time rate.
Potential Career Opportunities for Pastoral Counseling Graduates
As a graduate of our masters in pastoral counseling, you may be better equipped to pursue a variety of positions, including:
- Associate pastor
- Church counselor
- Ministry director
- Non-licensed counselor
- Premarital counselor
Admission Requirements for Pastoral Counseling Graduate Online Degrees
A regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.0 or above 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.