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A pastor in his office: Explore the master's in pastoral counseling degree program offered online by Regent University.

M.A. in Pastoral Counseling

Counseling Tools to Reinforce Your Call to Ministry

Whether you’re a pastor, nonprofit leader, or looking to add counseling tools to your role in another field, the non-licensure M.A. in Pastoral Counseling can equip you with biblically centered counseling tools to help others through decisions and crises. This online master’s in counseling degree program draws from the Christian psychology, mental health counseling, and clinical pastoral education fields.

Online
30
June 17, 2024
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Develop a Customized Network of Community Resources

Become a gatekeeper to professional services as you build relationships with professors, fellow students, and community agencies/nonprofits.

Reinforce Your Pastoral/Clergy Role

Learn counseling techniques and gain knowledge in areas such as marriage and family, substance abuse, and crisis counseling.

Prepare to Make a Lasting Difference

Join a respected network of dedicated Regent mental health practitioners leading in their field through the integration of science and faith.

Courses are taught from a Christian worldview by renowned faculty in Virginia Beach and beyond.

Please complete the Request Information form on this page to learn more about this program.

Through this master’s in pastoral counseling degree, you can:

  • Learn how to address legal, ethical, and liability issues.
  • Evaluate treatment issues and gain guidance for referral and collaboration.
  • Integrate biblically-based strategies for effective emotional and spiritual healing.

Career Opportunities

  • Pastoral Care
  • Family Service Centers
  • Christian Schools
  • Church Counseling Centers
  • Coaching
14%
Projected growth in social and human services employment from 2020-2030 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020
Provides an overview of professional ethics for human services fields. A brief survey of the professional codes in the mental health fields and other relevant guidance in applied ethics pertinent to human services work and roles. Cross-listed with HSC 505.
A survey and experiential application of interviewing, reflective listening and helping skills. Techniques and practices derived from professional counseling and other human service fields will be covered with an emphasis on demonstrations, modeling, practice and evaluation. Cross-listed with HSC 524.
Explores issues related to addictive disorders in individuals and families from assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning and interventions throughout the stages of misuse, abuse and dependency. Students gain a basic understanding of the skills and concepts needed for working in the area of substance abuse. Cross-listed with HSC 535.
Overview of marriage and adult relationships. Analysis of one’s own marriage and/or family of origin will facilitate deeper understanding. Examine systems theory, life span, and issues associated with marriage counseling such as premarital counseling, marriage enrichment, sexuality, and divorce/remarriage. Presents a multicultural focus pertaining to marriage, adult relationships and ministry. Cross-listed with MHPS 624 and HSC 544.
Continuation of Models & Strategies with advanced lay counseling intervention strategies, techniques, and care-giving activities. Examines grief and loss, forgiveness, responding to critical incidents and crisis counseling, community trauma and disaster, chaplaincy issues, stress/burnout, and compassion fatigue issues. Presents a multicultural focus relating to intervention strategies and ministry. Cross-listed with HSC 561 and MHPS 761.
Provides an introduction to the importance of cultural awareness and the presence/influence of cultural and individual diversity. Also, students gain an overview of social theories and social justice. Attention is given to support the development of multicultural skills with a broad range of focus and application across varied settings. Cross-listed with HSC 570.
A scholarly survey of the Bible, Christian theology, and Christian history designed to provide graduate level exposure to these three areas of Christian scholarship for students who do not have prior equivalent study. Cross-listed with HSC 577 and PSY 777.
Combines applied experience with the integration of Christianity in human service work. Students must obtain experience in line with counseling ministries and the Field Experience Guidelines. This course extends over the full semester to ensure adequate time for students to gain training and experience. Cross-listed with HSC 596 and MHPS 696. Pass/No Pass.
Strategies for effective emotional and spiritual healing in the unique context of the Church. Presents models for biblically based, spiritually-gifted strategies to address key issues as an integrated part of the mentoring and disciple-making process.

2023-24 Semester Check-In Deadlines

All students are expected to check-in for the semester two weeks before the session start date. Students should apply, be accepted, enroll in their first courses, and confirm a plan to pay for their courses prior to this date.

SessionSemester Check-InSession Start Date
Session AFriday, August 11Monday, August 21
Session BFriday, October 13Monday, October 23
Session CThursday, January 4Monday, January 8
Session DFriday, March 1Monday, March 11
Session EFriday, April 26Monday, May 6
Session FFriday, June 7Monday, June 17

Admissions Requirements

Step 1: Apply to Regent University

Submit your application using the Regent University Online Application.

Note: If you are unable to complete our application due to a disability, please contact our Admissions Office at 757.352.4990 or admissions@regent.edu and an admissions representative will provide reasonable accommodations to assist you in completing the application.

Step 2: Submit Your Unofficial Transcripts

Submit your unofficial transcripts to regent.edu/items.

Upon submitting your application, you will receive an email requesting authorization for Regent University to obtain your official transcripts from your U.S. degree-granting institution. International transcripts must be evaluated by a NACES, AACRAO or NAFSA approved agency.

Step 3: Submit Your Government-Issued ID

To ensure academic integrity, Regent University requires a copy of a government-issued ID. Please submit a scanned copy or photograph of it to regent.edu/items.


Please feel free to contact the Office of Admissions at 757.352.4990 or admissions@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.

PART-TIME STUDENTS

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts in Human Services (MA)$6156$3,690
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MA)$6156$3,690
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)$6956$4,170
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)$7306$4,380
Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA)$7306$4,380
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling (MA)$7306$4,380
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies (PhD)$6953$2,085
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (PhD)Full time enrollment is required.
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)Full time enrollment is required.

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts in Human Services (MA)$6159$5,535
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MA)$6159$5,535
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)$6959$6,255
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)$7309$6,570
Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA)$7309$6,570
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling (MA)$7309$6,570
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies (PhD)$6956$4,170
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (PhD)$9456$5,670
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)$94512$11,340

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$850 (Fall & Spring)
$700 (Summer)
University Services Fee (Online Students)$700

Military Admissions & Aid » | Cost of Attendance »

Part-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts in Human Services (MA)$6156$3,690
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MA)$6156$3,690
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)$6956$4,170
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)$7306$4,380
Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA)$7306$4,380
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling (MA)$7306$4,380
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies (PhD)$6953$2,085
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (PhD)Full time enrollment is required.
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)Full time enrollment is required.

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts in Human Services (MA)$6159$5,535
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MA)$6159$5,535
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)$6959$6,255
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)$7309$6,570
Master of Arts in School Counseling (MA)$7309$6,570
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling (MA)$7309$6,570
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling & Psychological Studies (PhD)$6956$4,170
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision (PhD)$9006$5,400
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)$90012$10,800

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$850 (Fall & Spring)
$700 (Summer)
University Services Fee (Online Students)$700

Military Admissions & Aid » | Cost of Attendance »

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

“If you are focused, determined, willing to put in the work and make sacrifices, anyone can do this. I give all praise to God. Keep going no matter what.”

Antonio Tuck, M.A. in Counseling, 2020 Human Services Professional

“People, especially kids, need more than clichés. My training at Regent gave me a meaningful way to express my empathy - which is passion and compassion combined - and they could feel the authenticity of it.”

Cedric Rucker, M.A. in Counseling, 2008 Community Counseling

“Learn all that you can while you're a student at Regent. Take everything the professors say and learn from their wisdom and expertise, because soon you will be the leader in your field.”

Kelly James, Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision, 2011 Licensed Professional Counselor, Professor, Author & Radio Host

“Regent opened up so many opportunities for further training and further education.”

Melanie Mosbarger, M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 2016

“Regent University is a place where you'll be involved. There are so many opportunities through Regent that, if you're willing to go there, you're going to be afforded the opportunities.”

Toni Gines-Rivera, Ph.D., 2010 Counselor Education and Supervision