This degree prepares students for work as pastoral counselors in multiple settings (agency, clinic, parish, or private practice) by providing solid theological, psychological, and clinical training. Pastoral counseling represents a holistic psychotherapeutic approach to human healing that integrates theological/spiritual and psychological/behavioral insights and principles. A diverse group of clients seeks pastoral counseling, with needs that range from chaotic or trying personal issues to clinically defined mental illness (marital or occupational difficulties, financial distress, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and other situations requiring everything from help with basic coping skills to hospitalization for treatment of severe trauma). Reflecting the university’s mission of a faith that does justice, the program calls upon students to work in a diverse multicultural context and with underserved and vulnerable populations, including persons with chronic mental illness.
The curriculum for the degree assists students in fulfilling the academic course work required for Washington State mental health licensure and/or certification by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
The pastoral counseling degree integrates the School of Theology and Ministry’s commitment to academic excellence, spiritual formation, and ministerial skill with clinical, psychotherapeutic practice.