The Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling is designed for graduates who plan to pursue careers in congregation-related vocations and who desire to develop counseling skills that will enhance their ministry as pastors or lay-counselors in churches. This degree is also appropriate for those who want to work as chaplains in hospitals, the military, and other settings.

Program Goals

1. Commit to cultivate holy love of God and neighbor demonstrated by a knowledge of and practice in the Christian disciplines including works of service, with particular attention to a Wesleyan understanding of the means of grace.

2. Articulate an understanding of theological foundation for pastoral care and counseling.

3. Demonstrate knowledge of major theories of pastoral care and counseling and life cycle development concepts.

4. Demonstrate the ability to integrate theological tenets with psychological knowledge and skills in offering pastoral care and counseling.

5. Demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to multicultural dynamics and issues of difference (race, gender, age, economics etc.).

6. Demonstrate pastoral counseling knowledge and skills in a variety of settings, including parish, para-church ministries, and workplace chaplaincy.

For more information, please visit Asbury Seminary’s Department of Counseling website. Or visit the Admissions section of our website for further information regarding the application process for counseling programs.

Degree Map

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Hrs Course ID Course Name
3 MS501 Missional Formation (must be taken in initial 21 hrs at ATS)
3 BT501 Biblical Narrative
3 CH501 Church History—One
3 CO601 Counseling Theories and Techniques (AUGUST Intensive)
3 CO610 Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601] – JAN
3 CO655 The Counseling Relationship: Process and Skills [PRQ or Concurrently: CO600 or CO601]
3 PC510 Care of Persons
3 PC515 Pastoral Crisis Intervention
3 PC520 Pastoral Diagnosis in Care and Counseling
3 CO526/TH501 Counseling and Christian Beliefs -or- Basic Christian Doctrine
3 CO622 Theories of Personality Development [PRQ: CO600 or CO601 & CO720] – SUMMER
3 CO730 Advanced Issues in Cross-cultural Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601]
3 PC670 Pastoral Approaches to Marriage and Family Counseling
3 PC655/660 Clinical Practical Education -or- Practicum in Pastoral Counseling [PRQ: CO600 or CO601, CO655 & PC520] -or- [PRQ: CO600 or CO601, CO655 & PC520]
3 NT(IBS)510/511 NT(IBS)510 Matthew -or- NT(IBS)511 Mark
3 TH601 Theology of John Wesley
As Needed
3 Elective Course*
3 Elective Course*
3 Elective Course*
3 Elective Course*

* Notes: General Electives may be used for ordination requirements or for an area of focus as follows:

  • Marriage and Family Pastoral Counselor: CO515, CO520, CO600, CD620, CO611, CO/CD615, CO/CD616
  • Chaplaincy: CO515, CO520, CO600, CO621, CO680, CO755, PC512
    Note: if a student is looking for Chaplaincy Certification, 72 total hours from an accredited school are required. Students may take the additional 9 credit hours from any of the MAPC/MAC courses.
  • Grief Pastoral Counselor: AS625, CD663, CO515, CO520, CO600, CO621, PC512
  • Aging and Spirituality Pastoral Counselor: AS625, CO515, CO520, CO600, CO621, CD663, SF501.