Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Counseling
Pastoral counseling is a form of therapy in which a pastoral counselor, as a representative of a religious tradition or community, uses the insights and principles of religion, theology and modern behavioral sciences in working with individuals, couples, families, groups and institutions toward the achievement of wholeness and health.
An important ingredient that makes pastoral counseling different from other forms of counseling and psychotherapy is the conviction that life's crises and transitions, as well as emotional dysfunctions, are best met by the wisdom of religious teachings and the knowledge and skills of the human behavioral sciences such as psychiatry and psychology.
The Athenaeum's Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling assists students in becoming knowledgeable and competent practitioners in the counseling ministry, by helping them synthesize theological understanding of ministry and contemporary counseling theory and practice.
Students in the program take the following 56 credits of required courses:
- PA 375 Career Counseling (3)
- PA 380 Research and Evaluation (3)
- PA 385 Social and Cultural Foundations (3)
- PA 401 Pastoral Counseling I (3)
- PA 402 Pastoral Counseling II (3)
- PA 404 Human Development and Spiritual Experience (3)
- PA 406 Group Process (3)
- PA 407 Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues in Pastoral Counseling (3)
- PA 408 Pastoral Counseling Practicum I (3)
- PA 409 Pastoral Counseling Practicum II (3)
- PA 410 Appraisal of the Individual I (3)
- PA 503 Integrating Spirituality into Assessment and Treatment Planning (3)
- PA 500 Internship (20)
Students also take 12 credits of elective courses. Six of these credits must be in theology, chosen from the areas of biblical studies, moral or spiritual theology, Church history or systematic theology.
Since 1990 64% of those admitted to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling degree program have earned the degree.
Clinical Content Courses
The clinical curriculum is a supplemental program for those students seeking licensure in the State of Ohio. In addition to the master's degree in pastoral counseling, a student must complete a minimum of 30 quarter hours of instruction in the following areas:
Required Courses (18 credits)
- PA 550 Diagnosis of Mental and Emotional Disorders (4)
- PA 551 Professional Interaction and Treatment Planning (4)
- PA 553 Clinical Psychopathology (3)
- PA 554 Methods of Intervention and Prevention (3)
- PA 555 Appraisal of the Individual II (4)
Electives (12 credits)
- PA 352 Chemical Dependency (3)
- PA 403 Theories of Personality (3)
- PA 412 Couple and Family Counseling (3)
- PA 415 Introduction to Clinical Hypnosis (3)
- PA 416 The Psychology of Human Sexuality (3)
- PA 552 Counselor Supervision (3)
- PA 417 Counseling Children and Adolescents (3)
Those who have earned a master's degree in counseling at another institution are welcome to take some or all of their clinical content courses at the Athenaeum.