M.A. in Pastoral Counseling

School of Psychology & Counseling

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is an online degree that offers training in pastoral counseling for clergy and lay pastoral counselors, drawing from the Christian psychology, mental health counseling and clinical pastoral education fields. Pastoral counselors are often the first line of assistance and gatekeepers to professional services for people seeking help in faith-based and other settings. This program will arm you with counseling techniques, approaches to caring for others and knowledge in areas such as substance abuse, marriage & family, and crisis counseling. Pastoral counseling is a specialty in counseling ministry, not a licensed mental health field.

  • Learn how to address legal, ethical and liability issues and evaluate treatment issues, as well as gain guidance for referral and collaboration.
  • Practice counseling skills and techniques that you can immediately apply in the pastoral counseling setting.
  • Explore biblically-based strategies for effective emotional and spiritual healing in the unique context of the church, mentoring and discipleship.

Career Opportunities:

  • Pastoral Care
  • Family Service Centers
  • Christian Schools
  • Church Counseling Centers
  • Coaching

 

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Delivery Format: Online

Total Credit Hours Required: 33

Approved Degree Plan: Click to download PDF

Application Deadlines: 

  • Spring: Session C: December 1 | Session D: February 1 
  • Summer: Session E: April 1
  • Fall: Session A: July 15 | Session B: September 15

Prerequisites:

Master's applicants must:

  • Hold a B.A. or B.S. from a regionally accredited college or university. Desirable degrees include those in counseling, psychology or related human behavioral fields. Other degree fields will also be considered.
  • Have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA for all undergraduate coursework.

Application Process:

The Admissions Committee may require a brief Admissions Interview on a case-by-case basis. Interviews are conducted over the phone or Skype with one of our admissions staff and/or SPC faculty members and typically take 20 minutes.

Step 1: Application
Submit your application using our Regent University Online Application

Step 2: Application Fee
Option 1: Pay the nonrefundable $50 application fee online during the application process via our Miscellaneous Payments Form, or by check or money order mailed to Regent University, Enrollment Support Services, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464.

Option 2: Attend a graduate School of Psychology & Counseling on-campus or online information session to learn how to streamline your application process, discover financial aid resources and waive your $50 application fee. Please note that application fees paid prior to attending an online or on-campus information session cannot be refunded.

Step 3: Personal Goals Statement
Submit a personal goals statement demonstrating an interest in psychology. Please email to the Admissions Office at apply@regent.edu using the subject line: SPC Master's Application Pieces.

Step 4: Writing Sample
The admissions committee will evaluate a standardized writing sample for all applicants. Once your online application is complete, you can submit the required writing sample through the ETS Criterion Service. This will be an online, timed essay prompt with a pre-determined topic. Applicants will receive immediate feedback on the essay from the ETS Criterion Service and the scores will be sent directly to the SPC Admissions Office. Read detailed instructions.

Step 5: Résumé
Submit a professional résumé or curriculum vitae to include three references with contact information. References should be able to address questions related to character, as well as your interpersonal and relational skills. Please email to the Admissions Office at apply@regent.edu using the subject line: SPC Master's Application Pieces.

Step 6: Unofficial Transcripts
Regent University's Office of the Registrar is requesting your official transcripts from your degree-granting institution, which indicates successful completion of a bachelor's degree program. We are able to examine and view your unofficial transcript in order to gain you an admissions decision. Please submit your unofficial transcript to our Admissions Office by email to apply@regent.edu using the subject line: SPC Master's Application Pieces

Please be aware that there are certain institutions from which we cannot request transcripts, including international institutions. You will be notified if we are unable to request your transcript.

Please feel free to contact the Office of Admissions at 757.352.4498 or email psycounadmissions@regent.edu, should you have any further questions about the application process.

Note: All items submitted as part of the application process become the property of Regent University and cannot be returned.

 

 

M.A. in Pastoral Counseling                                                                                      $595 per semester hour

Student Fees

Cost Per Semester

Technology Fee               

$250

Parking Fee (on-campus students)

$100

Council of Graduate Students Fee                          
(on-campus students, spring & fall only)

$15

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

 

 

1. Am I required to attend full time or may I go at my own pace?

Students may select from one of three progressions that allows them to take classes at a pace that works best for their own personal and professional schedules.

2. How many hours do you recommend a master's student work per week?

Due to the number of hours you will be spending in and out of class studying, we suggest you work no more than 20 hours per week. There are a number of part-time graduate assistant positions available every semester at the university that allow for flexible schedules.

3. I didn't major in psychology at the undergraduate level, what do I need to do to make up for this?

We do not require applicants to have majored in psychology at the undergraduate level. We do feel, however, that it is beneficial for applicants to have at least nine credit hours of psychology-related coursework. If you did not major or at least minor in psychology at the undergraduate level, you may want to consider taking additional undergraduate courses. Again, this is not a prerequisite for admission. Recommended courses include: Intro to Psychology, Research Methods/ Statistics, Personality Theory, Human Development, Abnormal Psychology, Psychological Test & Measurements, Social Psychology and Physiological Psychology.

4. How many applicants do you have each year and how many applicants are admitted?

Each year we admit and enroll about 60 students into the online Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, 40 into the Community Counseling program and 20 in the Human Services Counseling program. Last year we received over 300 applications.

5. What is the average age of students entering master's programs in counseling?

Community Counseling program: 29

Clinical Mental Health Counseling program: 34

Human Services Counseling program: 40

6. What is the path for licensure for graduates from your program?

Licensure is different in each state. However, the general standard for licensure is completion of a M.A. in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; School Guidance Counseling; or Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling. Two years of supervision (post-degree) and a state licensure exam is what most states require to become licensed as a professional counselor or its equivalent. School guidance counseling licensure or certification is determined by the Board of Education in most states. (Usually an M.A. in Counseling in School Guidance is sufficient.) Students should examine the requirements for licensure in the state or states they would like to practice in the future.  

 

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