For the faithful, true psychological healing requires the assistance of a higher power. In our increasingly complicated world, many have been helped with traditional therapy; however, most find that in order to achieve full recovery, spirituality must be incorporated into their treatment. When psychotherapy includes the teachings and readings of the patient’s faith, true healing is achieved.
Why a Master's Degree?
Students who enroll in pastoral community counseling degree programs develop professional and spiritual skills that interweave work and faith. At the master’s level, students can expect to spend between two and three years studying a variety of psychological theories and practice methods; of course, classes specifically on pastoral counseling are required. Many schools also mandate an internship or practicum at the end of the program. Graduates find rewarding work in mental health clinics, religious communities, hospitals, and private practice.
Inside a Pastoral Community Counseling Master's Degree Program
Students can expect to spend at least two years in a Master’s of pastoral counseling program. Typical coursework includes thorough study of counseling theories and methods. Therapy for different populations, including families, individuals, and diverse groups, is usually covered. At least one class in assessment and treatment planning should also be expected. In addition, most schools offer specific courses on child development, substance abuse, and marriage counseling.
In addition to the basic classes, students should expect to take several courses in pastoral community counseling; depending on the school, these classes may either be tailored to a particular religion or more general in nature (so that the graduate can apply what he’s learned to any faith). Most programs require an ethics course, as well. Prior to graduation, the best programs place their Master’s students in internships or practicums, to give them real-world experience in a supervised setting.
What’s Next for Pastoral Community Counseling Master's Degree Holders?
Graduates with a pastoral community counseling master’s degree can expect to find work right away. According to the BLS, the mental health counseling profession is anticipated to grow by 19% by 2024. Those who practice in the field can expect to earn a median annual salary of $42,250. Some choose to move into managerial positions, and for these graduates, they can expect to earn a median wage just over $62,000 annually.