Provide Biblical Counseling by Earning a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – with an Area of Study in Pastoral Counseling
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 church 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. The Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling gives students the option to receive on-campus training for two intensives and will culminate in an internship which will provide hands-on field experience in the student’s community.
The pastoral counseling concentration within the greater online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling provides a broad selection of additional biblical counseling topics which further expand a students’ ability to address different ministry needs in their practice. Students in the Pastoral Counseling track will have a deeper study of the theological principles underlying Christian counseling methods and will have the opportunity to customize the course content for specific pastoral care and counseling topics.
Why Choose the M.A. Pastoral Counseling with the Specific Pastoral Counseling Area of Study?
If you are already a ministry professional and desire 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. 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 providing guidance on a variety of issues.
The pastoral counseling area of study for the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling expands on the variety of Christian counseling and pastoral care topics to provide even greater flexibility and utility in a non-licensure counseling role. If you are unsure of the specific area or field that you want to work in as a Christian counselor, or if you find that you encounter a wide variety of issues, as many pastors often do, the pastoral counseling area of study will allow you to choose individual elective courses that will be relevant to your needs.
What Are the Benefits of Liberty’s Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling?
- Unlike many online bible colleges or online seminaries, Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Liberty University online students can complete Institutional Challenge Exams (ICE) to get college credit for personal studies and expertise in ministry.
- 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 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 will learn how biblical principles of personhood and human nature are underlying in the science of psychology, 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 pastoral counseling area of study in the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is a general track that adds to the core content with a broad selection of Christian counseling and pastoral care skills and knowledge. Students in the Pastoral Counseling area of study will choose the specific selection of Christian counseling electives that will meet their needs, including more in-depth studies in the Integration of Psychology and Theology for a better grasp of how biblical principles inform the science of psychology, and treatment-area specific topics such as counseling women.
- PACO 507 – Theology and Spirituality in Counseling
- PACO 625 – Healthy Sexuality
- PACO 630 – Gerontology and Counseling
- PACO 687 – Counseling Women
*Please note that the online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling contains some but not all of the necessary requirements for clinical counseling licensure. Please see the Master of Arts in Professional Counseling below for a fully licensure-track clinical counseling program.
M.A. in 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 nonprofit university.
- Students are able to complete this online Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling – Pastoral Counseling in as little as two years.
- Develop broad experience in Christian counseling and pastoral care to address mental and spiritual health issues in your ministry or biblical counseling practice.
Similar Online Degree Programs
- Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (M.C.M.) – A practical ministry-focused alternative that students can complete in under two years
- 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
MA 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 a Degree in Pastoral Counseling
Students who complete a degree in Christian counseling like the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling will be equipped for ministry-based, non-licensure counseling roles in many areas including marriage and family counseling, crisis counseling, and counseling women. Students already in a pastor or church leadership role will be better able to help their church or ministry handle critical ministry challenges and conflicts and will be better equipped for ministry leadership. Students may also be able to pursue additional requirements for state licensure and pursue licensed clinical counseling practice.
- Associate pastor
- Church counselor
- Non-licensed counselor
- Women’s ministry director
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.