Mental Health Careers--Pastoral Counseling

pastoral counselor with beard talking to woman 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.

Click here to link to the website of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

Salary Information

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.

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For more information about a career in Faith-Based Therapy click here.

Click here to read more about what a Master's Degree in Psychology offers.

Click here to read about important steps for Mental Health Careers with a Graduate Degree.

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Click on the links below to read about other Mental Health careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Mental Health Careers--Mental Health Technician

Mental Health Careers--Social Work Assistant

Mental Health Careers-Foster Care Case Manager

Click on the links below to read about other Mental Health careers that require a Master's Degree:

Mental Health Careers--Master's in Clinical/Counseling Psychology

Mental Health Careers--Genetic Counselor

Mental Health Careers--Licensed Professional Counselor

Mental Health Careers--Marriage and Family Therapist

Mental Health Careers--Art Therapy

Mental Health Careers--Master of Social Work

Mental Health Careers--School Counseling

Mental Health Careers--Substance Abuse Counselor

Mental Health Careers--Master's in Forensic Psychology

Mental Health Careers--Applied Behavior Analyst

Click on the links below to read about other Mental Health careers that require a Doctoral or Professional Degree:

Mental Health Careers--Doctoral Degree in Psychology 

Mental Health Careers--Psychiatrist