Degrees

Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (M.A. in Pastoral Counseling)

Asbury Seminary’s 60-hour Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling develops counseling skills designed to enhance your ministry in a variety of settings, including as a pastor, lay-counselor or chaplain. Our Christian counseling degree is designed for those who plan to pursue vocations in congregation-based ministries or non-profits. Although most of this degree can be completed online, there are several required classes that must be taken on campus.

What to expect from the degree

As you complete your degree, you’ll be able to

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of major theories of pastoral care and counseling and life cycle development.
  2. Integrate theological tenets with psychological knowledge and skills to offer pastoral care and counseling in a variety of pastoral counseling settings.

*Refer to the Academic Catalog for the exact wording of Program Learning Outcomes.


Advanced Standing

Save time and money with our advanced standing program. Here’s how it works.

If you received a religion major or minor from an accredited college or university, you can receive a maximum of 18 credits toward a master of divinity degree or 12 credits toward a master of arts degree.

*Transcripts evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Admissions Requirements

All prospective counseling students are admitted for the summer or spring terms.

Application Deadlines

Spring

Summer

 Wilmore

October 1

March 1

Orlando

October 1

April 1

  • Application (online at asbury.to/apply)
  • $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • M.A. and M.Div. programs require a cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.0, except for the M.A. (BS), M.A.(TS), and Counseling programs, which require a 3.0/4.0 cumulative GPA
  • Official transcripts from all schools where classes were taken for more than one semester
  • Personal history essay (300 words for each)
  1. Share your life story, including at what point you began your relationship with Jesus Christ. Talk about your growth since that time and what brings you to apply to Seminary at this season in your life. Include your thoughts on how you would like to see your faith grow during your time in Seminary.
  2. What draws you to your desired major/area of study? What is your intended outcome upon degree completion? Why is that career or ministry choice meaningful to you?
  3. Discuss a local, national, and/or international issue and why you are passionate about it.
  4. Counselors of faith have at least two sources of information that they can draw upon to counsel others. Imagine a continuum where #1 represents the position of “using Bible only” and #5 represents the position of “psychological studies only.” Where would you currently place yourself on this continuum?
  5. Describe how relating to persons who are different from you (race, gender, age, economic, sexual orientation) has impacted you.
  6. Discuss your career goals and how this degree helps you to move toward them.
  • Four references
    • 1 Pastoral
    • 1 Academic
    • 2 Professional/Peer References
  • For applicants whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 (79 internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.
  • Background Check 
  • A personal interview may be required upon request by the Admissions Committee

Application Process

When all your transcripts have been received, and you have a satisfactory GPA, you will be invited to contact the counseling office to set up the Counseling Tests and Inventories. These tests provide information about your social, emotional, and psychological functioning. The information is reviewed by professors in the area of Counseling and Pastoral Care for admissions purposes only. Your test results will be maintained in a secure file and will not be used for any other purposes.

The admission requirements and Counseling Tests and Inventories must be complete by March 1st (Wilmore, KY) and April 1st (Orlando, FL) for summer applicants. For spring applicants, the admission requirements and Counseling Tests and Inventories must be complete by October 1st (Wilmore, KY) and November 1st (Orlando, FL).

Following the completion of the admissions requirements and the Counseling Tests and Inventories, you will be invited to attend a group interview, in which all counseling applicants will be in attendance. The interview is usually held two to three weeks following the deadline for admissions requirements and Counseling Tests and Inventories.

Following the completion of the Counseling Tests and Inventories, you will be invited to attend a group interview, in which all counseling applicants will be in attendance.  The interview is usually held two to three weeks following the deadline for admissions requirements and Counseling Tests and Inventories.

Once the group interview has been completed, the counseling faculty will communicate their recommendation to the Admissions Office for further processing. The Admissions Office will then notify you of the Admissions Committee’s decision regarding your application.

Complete your degree on campus or online.

Study online. Complete your degree without leaving home by taking a portion of your classes online and completing the remaining through on-campus intensives.

Study on campus. Complete your degree in one of our three locations—Kentucky, Florida or Memphis. Choose to work through your degree in either a residential or urban ministry format or cohort model.

Stay on mission. However you choose to pursue your degree, you’ll develop the biblical and theological understanding essential for a vibrant, contemporary ministry rooted in the Wesleyan tradition.

The M.A. in Pastoral Counseling program is offered at the following locations:

Kentucky (Wilmore)
Orlando
Memphis
Online

Download Printable Copy

Hrs Course ID Course Name
Early
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
Final
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, CD/MF620, CO611, MF/CD615, MD/CD616
  • Chaplaincy: CO515, CO520, CO600, PC621, 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, AS663, CO515, CO520, CO600, PC621, PC512
  • Aging and Spirituality Pastoral Counselor: AS625, CO515, CO520, CO600, PC621, AS663, SF501

Asbury Seminary awards more than 400 scholarships annually because we want you to graduate with minimal debt. We offer too many scholarships to list conclusively. For more information, email financial.aid@asburyseminary.edu.

To apply for financial aid:

  1. Complete your online application.
  2. Fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  3. Once you’re admitted to the Seminary, you will receive an Asbury Seminary Financial Aid form.
  4. After completing this, the Financial Aid office will contact you with any scholarship offers.

Cost of Attendance: 2016-2017

Degree Total Credits Cost
Master of Arts  60 credits $599/credit hour
Total   $35,940
Academic Year 2016-2017 All Campuses Fall/Spring All Campuses Summer
Technology Fee $100 per semester $50 per semester
Graduation Fee $100 one-time fee $100 one-time fee
Student Services Fee $100 per semester $50 per semester

Scholarships

Institutional scholarships are available through Asbury Theological Seminary. Scholarships are highly competitive and priority consideration is given to those who have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and who have been admitted by the Admissions Office by March 1.

Specific scholarships will be offered in the form of an invitation to those who meet the eligibility requirements.  

Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas Pastoral Scholarships

The Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas Pastoral Scholarship is a $12,000 annual award given to those pursuing a theological degree. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need.

Criteria includes:

  • Commitment to begin active ministry through local church ministry, church planting or mission work following graduation
  • Demonstration of financial need
  • Maintain full-time student status (21 hours annually)

Here’s how to apply:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete the Presidential Scholarship Application, which includes a 500-word essay on the way your intended vocational goal and this scholarship will better enable you to accomplish God’s call on your life.

Presidential Scholarship

Recipients of this scholarship exhibit both outstanding academic and leadership skills. This scholarship covers up to 100% of tuition.

Criteria includes:

  • Undergraduate cumulative 3.75 GPA
  • Maintain full-time student status (21 hours annually) & a 3.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate leadership skills through involvement in a local worship community
  • Participate in a minimum of four Christian service activities annually
  • Commit to begin active ministry following graduation

Here’s how to apply:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete the Presidential Scholarship Application, which includes a 500-word essay on how you anticipate a Seminary education will equip you for future leadership.

Johnson International Scholarship

The Johnson International Scholarship is a need-based scholarship, covering up to 100% of tuition. The scholarship is available to non-U.S. residents who plan to assume leadership roles within their home country after graduation.

Criteria includes:

  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 and regular service in a local congregation, campus ministry, mission outreach or social service OR a 2.5 undergraduate cumulative GPA and notable leadership in a local congregation, campus ministry, mission outreach or social service
  • Maintain a 2.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate faithful involvement in a local worship community, as well as the Seminary community
  • Complete an Asbury Seminary-approved financial planning seminar or workshop during the first term of study to re-qualify for subsequent terms
  • Commit to enter into active ministry in his/her homeland following completion of academic work

To be eligible for additional scholarship, complete the International Student Questionnaire Form. This form will be made available to you once the admissions process has started.

Special Scholarships

These scholarships do not require an invitation and are generated from either Endowed or Restricted funds. Recipients of Special Scholarships must represent strong promise for Christian ministry and demonstrate a financial need. You must complete The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible to receive these scholarships.

Some of the special scholarships include:

  • Mary Whetstone and Walter J. Knabe Scholarship – average award $10,700
  • Windgate Scholarship – average award $10,000
  • J.C. McPheeters Scholarship – average award $7,000
  • Timothy C. Tennent Church Planting and Cross-Cultural Missionary Service Scholarship – average award $4,500
  • Leo H. Naughton Scholarship – average award $3,200
  • Asbury Deans Scholarship – average award $1,500
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