Can a Psychology degree recipient move to a career as a Pastoral Counselor?
You can move from a Psychology degree to a career as a Pastoral Counselor. This type of counselor is a trained religious leader (e.g., minister, priest, rabbi, iman, etc.) who is also trained to provide therapy services. In this way, pastoral counselors integrate psychological thought and treatment with religious training (i.e. faith-based therapy). Pastoral Counselors integrate spiritual beliefs and practices with the therapeutic process. They work with individuals, couples, and families to help foster healing, renewal, reconciliation, and transformation.
Earning a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology typically takes only 2 years. Keep in mind, however, that you will likely have to pay tuition. Also, there are few opportunities to earn money as a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant. It is important to know that your Master's degree should offer you more job opportunities and a higher salary than a Bachelor’s degree. You wil likely also be afforded the opportunity to be licensed by a state to do certain activities (e.g., testing, therapy). Finally, you can always decide to use your Master's degree as a springboard to a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) or PsyD (Doctor of Psychology). Just for clarity, if you have a Master's in Counseling Psychology, certain states will give you the opportunity to be licensed as a "Professional Licensed Counselor". With all of this in mind, make sure you check specific state laws to determine the regulations (e.g., license or certification) needed to work as a Pastoral Counselor.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not list the median yearly salary of a pastoral counselor per se, but does list that of a marriage and family therapist (which is a very similar type of counselor) at $48,040.
Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org
Click on the links below to read about other Mental Health careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:
Click on the links below to read about other Mental Health careers that require a Master's Degree:
Click on the links below to read about other Mental Health careers that require a Doctoral or Professional Degree: