Master of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care

Asbury Seminary’s 48-hour Master of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care* provides desired training in pastoral and spiritual care and counseling for those who do not wish to pursue licensure or certification and/or for those who will be working in countries where US licensure or certification are not required to work as pastoral counselors. It may also serve as an alternate degree path for denominations that will accept shorter degrees for ordination.

The mission of the Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care is to equip students to serve diverse communities by facilitating healing and growth through reflectively integrating Christian values, principles and resources with pastoral or professional counseling competencies and practices.

*This program does not constitute a degree in spiritual direction or spiritual formation.

Study online. Stay on mission.

You can complete this 48-hour degree in as few as two years with online classes delivered both asynchronously and synchronously.

What to Expect from the Degree

As you complete your degree, you will be able to

  1. Articulate an understanding of theological foundations for pastoral and spiritual care.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of major theories of pastoral & spiritual care as well as common issues encountered in this ministry.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to integrate theological tenets with psychological knowledge and skills in offering pastoral and spiritual care.
  4. Demonstrate an awareness & sensitivity to gender, sexuality, family & multicultural issues in pastoral and spiritual care.

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

 Admissions Requirements

  • Application (online at
  • $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • Official transcripts from all schools where classes were taken for more than one semester
  • The M.A. in Pastoral and Congregation Care requires a cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.00 for admission in good standing. A GPA between 2.50 and 2.75 is permitted for conditional admission.
  • A personal interview may be request by the Admissions Committee.
  • Two personal history essay (300 words per each question)
    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?
  • Three references completed on the Admissions Office form at, including at least one pastoral reference and at least one reference from a professor or academic administrator. References from family members are excluded.
  • Background Check  (run by the Admissions Office)
  • For applicants whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 (79 internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.

Matriculation Requirements

  1. Completion of 48 credit hours, as outlined in the Academic Catalog, including all required courses;
  2. Attainment of a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00/4.00;
  3. Fulfillment of all degree requirements in not more than seven calendar years from the first term of enrollment.

M.A. in Pastoral & Spiritual Care Curriculum (48 hrs.)

PC510 Care of Persons (must be taken in initial 12 hrs) CO526/TH501 Counseling and Christian Beliefs -or- Basic Christian Doctrine
PC515 Pastoral Crisis Intervention CO520 Narrative Counseling
PC520 Pastoral Diagnosis in Care and Counseling [Mental Health in the Church] CO730 Advanced Issues in Cross-cultural Counseling [Prerequisite: PC510 or PC515]
MS501 Missional Formation (must be taken in initial 12 hrs) PC670 Pastoral Approaches to Marriage and Family Counseling
BT501 Biblical Narrative PC671 Family, Gender, & Sexuality
CH501 Church History—One PC655/MM520 Clinical Practical Education -or- Mentored Ministry [Prerequisite: PC510 or PC515]
NT(IBS)510/511 NT(IBS)510 Matthew -or- NT(IBS)511 Mark PCxxx Ethics Seminar
Elective Course TH601 Theology of John Wesley
Elective Course