Counseling 1
Credit Hours
Degree ATS
Class Type
Transfer Credits
Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total
Next Start Date
Aug 19, 2024
ATS Commission on Accrediting

Help Bring Healing to Your Congregation with Our Master of Arts in Religion – Pastoral Counseling Degree

Supporting your congregation through the joys and challenges of their lives often means serving as their counselor – a responsibility for which many pastors are unprepared. God hasn’t called you to walk this path alone, and our Master of Arts in Religion – Pastoral Counseling degree is designed to provide you with the skills you need to help your congregation identify and overcome a variety of challenges.

In your M.A.R. degree program, you will be taught by experienced ministry professionals who are dedicated to helping you practice biblical counseling that is grounded in clinical research. By earning a pastoral counseling master’s degree, you can learn how to respond to spiritual, psychological, and marital crises with grace and compassion and help bring healing and restoration. 


Your divinity degree is approved by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and has met rigorous accreditation standards. You can feel confident that your degree is both academically excellent and well-respected among churches, ministries, and nonprofit organizations.

ATS Accreditation

Award-Winning Campus

At Liberty, you’ll find an affordable, high-quality education that equips students like you for the real world. Our commitment to excellence helped us rank among’s Top 3 college campuses in America. Earning your degree from a nonprofit university with state-of-the-art resources like ours can help set you apart from your peers.

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Why Choose Liberty’s M.A.R. in Pastoral Counseling Degree?

Pursuing your master’s degree in pastoral counseling with us residentially provides the opportunity to learn from experienced pastors and theologians. Our professors have weekly office hours, and they invite you to speak with them about your classes or about where God is leading you in your ministry.

Our M.A.R. program offers you the opportunity to earn your degree from a school that is more than a Bible college. At Liberty, you can build a community that’s as unique as you are. As you earn your master’s degree in religion, you will have the opportunity to meet other graduate students studying a variety of subjects, allowing you to witness first-hand how God’s truth is being revealed through fields as different as biology and creative writing.

While here, you can network with organizations like the International Mission Board (IMB), Summit Church, and Samaritan’s Purse. We also partner with a multitude of local churches and ministries, so you can gain hands-on ministry experience while you complete your degree. Additionally, our new Monday-only program gives you the option to take the majority of the classes you need on Mondays, so you can remain involved in full-time ministry during the rest of the week.

What Will You Learn in Our Master’s of Religion – Pastoral Counseling Degree Program?

Throughout our M.A.R. in Pastoral Counseling degree program, you will conduct in-depth studies of the Old and New Testaments, giving you a foundational knowledge of the Bible. You will take classes designed to give you the skills in areas like apologetics, evangelism, hermeneutics, and systematic theology for successful ministry within the church.

If you choose to specialize in pastoral counseling, you will study the biblical principles behind pastoral counseling along with current clinical research methods. By learning short-term counseling methods designed to address the connection between theological and psychological conflicts, you will be prepared to help your congregation deal with marital disputes, loss, and grief – in addition to conducting premarital counseling. In your M.A.R. in Pastoral Counseling classes, you will gain a basic understanding of psychology and clinical counseling, so you will be prepared to minister to the whole person, as well as recommend professional counseling, if necessary.

View the Degree Completion Plan, and check out our featured courses below for more information!

Featured Courses

PACO 500 – Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

PACO 506 – Integration of Psychology and Theology

PACO 507 – Theology and Spirituality in Counseling

PACO 603 – Premarital and Marital Counseling


Degree Information


Admission Requirements

Highlights of Our M.A.R. in Pastoral Counseling Degree

  • In addition to their hands-on ministry experience, our faculty are theologians who are well-respected authors, speakers, and researchers.
  • We are committed to defending the authority of scripture and conservative evangelical theology.
  • Our master’s degree in pastoral counseling provides hands-on experience within the local church as well as opportunities to serve with churches and organizations like the International Missions Board, Hume Lake, Samaritan’s Purse, and Second Baptist Houston.
  • Our Scriptorium houses the Rawlings Foundation rare books collection valued at over $1 million, a 111 ft.-long Torah scroll that dates to the 16thcentury, and a functioning replica of the Gutenberg Printing Press.
  • Monday-only classes allow residential graduate students to complete large portions of their M.A. in Religion attending classes one day a week.
  • We offer multiple scholarship opportunities to our residential students, including the Keesee Scholarship.

Our Master’s of Religion in Pastoral Counseling Degree Information

Potential Career Opportunities for Graduates of Our Master’s in Religion – Pastoral Counseling Degree Program

  • Associate pastor
  • Counselor
  • Lay leader
  • Missionary
  • Youth pastor

Admission Requirements for Graduate Degrees

Every application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and all applicants must submit the following documents and meet the minimum requirements for admission: