M.A. in Pastoral Counseling

Delivery Format: Online

Total Credit Hours Required: 30

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling provides training for clergy and lay pastoral counselors. This online master's in counseling degree program draws from the Christian psychology, mental health counseling and clinical pastoral education fields. Pastoral counselors are often the first line of assistance and gatekeepers to faith-based professional services. You'll learn counseling techniques and gain knowledge in areas such as marriage and family, substance abuse and crisis counseling. Pastoral counseling is a specialty in counseling ministry, not a licensed mental health field. Our award-winning faculty is available online or on campus in Virginia Beach to help you while you earn your pastoral counseling degree.

  • 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

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: Submit your Unofficial College Transcripts*
We are able to examine and view your unofficial transcript from a U.S.-based school, which indicates successful completion of a bachelor's degree program, in order to review you for 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.

Non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by an NACES-approved company. For further details, please review the International Admissions Checklist on the International Students Admissions page.

International Applicants: Please visit the International Students Admissions page for a more detailed explanation of the Regent University application information and to determine whether or not you qualify as an international student.

*Upon conditional acceptance to the program by review of unofficial transcripts, Regent University's Admissions Office will attempt to obtain your official transcripts from your U.S. degree-granting institution, which indicate successful completion of a bachelor's degree program. We will notify you if your previous institution will not release transcripts directly to us.

Step 4: Complete an Academic Background Questionnaire

Step 5: Resume
Submit a professional resume 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.

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.

Tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year is:

Degree Level / Program Cost Per Credit Hour
M.A. in Pastoral Counseling $595 per credit (In-state & Out-of-state)

 

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (Online Students) $550

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.

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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