Help Families Grow Together with the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Marriage and Family Studies
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.
Why Choose Liberty’s Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Marriage and Family Studies?
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 online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will help fill the gaps. This non-licensure program is designed to build on your ministry experience to support your Christian counseling and pastoral care role, as well as to receive important life coach training. 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.
The marriage and family studies area of focus for the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will give you marital counseling and family therapy training that will help you start a new ministry or expand your current ministry scope. Liberty’s James C. Dobson Center for Child Development, Marriage, and Family Studies will ensure that your ministry training is recognized and field-tested.
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 and successful marriage and family therapy to receive 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 Christian counseling and marriage and family therapy by helping people in your community with the pastoral counseling internship.
- The online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is overseen by 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 Block 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 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?
The core content of 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 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.
Liberty University’s James C. Dobson Center for Child Development, Marriage, and Family Studies gives students in the marriage and family studies area of study advanced, field-tested, and evidence-based marital and family counseling training. The marriage and family studies track features lectures and material from a world-renowned psychologist, author, radio host, and family expert Dr. James C. Dobson. Courses in the marriage and family Studies track will guide students through exploring issues and strategies for counseling children and adolescents, teach them about healthy and biblical models for families and marriages, and will equip students to advise parents on discipline strategies to raise healthy kids.
- PACO 603 – Premarital and Marital Counseling
- PACO 620 – Counseling the Adolescent and Their Families
- PACO 625 – Healthy Sexuality
- PACO 687 – Counseling Women
*Please note that while the marriage and family studies area of focus may allow you to apply for some Christian counseling certifications, the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is not designed to fulfill all clinical requirements for state-licensed professional counseling. You can view Liberty University’s licensure-track Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree below for more information about counseling licensure.
M.A. Pastoral Counseling Program 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 non-profit university.
- Students are able to complete this online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Marriage and Family Studies 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 biblical counseling practice.
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 – Marriage and Family – A non-licensure track master’s degree in counseling that emphasizes secular applications of psychology and counseling to marital counseling and family therapy with a biblical worldview
- Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.F.T.) – A licensure-track clinical counseling program which includes required on-campus intensives and an extensive practicum and internship
M.A. 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 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 a Pastoral Counseling Degree in Marriage & Family Studies
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 marriage and family studies track will be equipped for specialized marital counseling and family therapy ministry.
- Associate pastor
- Church counselor
- Marriage and family therapist
- Outpatient care counselor
Admission Requirements for Our Online 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.