Loyola University Maryland

Department of Pastoral Counseling

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What is pastoral counseling and spiritual care?

Loyola University Maryland’s master's and doctoral programs in pastoral counseling and spiritual care foster the formation of professional practitioners who are uniquely equipped to facilitate the healing of the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—through the integration of spirituality and psychology.

Whether students are called to the department's diverse tracks in pastoral care, or to its one-of-a-kind CACREP-accredited clinical mental health counseling programs that graduate licensed counselors, researchers, supervisors, and trauma specialists, they join a program that has earned a global reputation as being unique, innovative, and academically stimulating.

Which graduate degree is right for me?

Though the paths—pastoral counseling (M.S., M.S./Ph.D., Ph.D.) and spiritual care (M.A.)—share a fundamental foundation of spirituality, they take their travelers on separate routes. And though the method of travel is the same—human conversations on spiritual matters—the destination for the traveler and their companions will differ

The Pastoral Counseling Department offers five degree programs, each with a unique purpose and professional goal. These programs offer a complete range of graduate degree tracks which serve a variety of professional credentialing goals as well as ongoing formative learning.

  • Master of Arts in  Spiritual and Pastoral Care
    The Master of Arts in Spiritual and Pastoral Care consists of 45 credits and focuses on contemporary ministry and pastoral conversation. Students pursue tracks in ministry, chaplaincy, faith and social justice, and spiritual direction.
  • Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling
    The Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling is CACREP-accredited under the clinical mental health counseling standards. It offers a professional, clinically intensive counseling program that leads to state licensure. It is completed in 66 credits with an 800-credit-hour internship, of which 260 hours are direct client contact.
  • Master of Science / Doctor of Philosophy in Pastoral Counseling
    The combined Master of Science/Doctor of Philosophy Pastoral Counseling option includes the M.S. licensure degree with the CACREP-accredited doctoral program.
  • Doctor of Philosopy in Pastoral Counseling
    The Doctor of Philosophy in Pastoral Counseling is the only CACREP-approved counselor education and supervision program that is specifically designed to study, in theory and practice, the integration of spirituality and the social sciences.
  • Certificate of Advanced Study in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care
    The Certificate of Advanced Study in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care is comprised of 30 post-master’s credits in counseling and is specifically geared toward those seeking licensure or to enrich their educational repertoire.
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs