Many people feel more comfortable seeking advice from a counselor affiliated with their religion. Being able to give advice directly related to a specific religion can be learned through online study. Students who have considered studying religious studies or counseling can combine their interests into one degree. Doing this allows students to train in pastoral counseling. This degree field leaves students with an assortment of online schooling opportunities.
The career focuses not only on the therapy of an individual but assisting them in their spiritual needs and development. This field places importance on the pastoral relationship that takes place through counseling. Professionals have a responsibility to have a solid understanding of the central meanings of life, and its principles based on their religious beliefs because they are representing their faith through counseling. Schooling trains students to have an integrated approach by combining traditional religious training with psychological thought processes. This design is set up to enable students to function as traditional counselors in a religious setting. Traditionally, ministers, rabbis, and priests fulfilled the role of a pastoral counselor. These individuals still make up the majority of pastoral counselors but the circle is widening to include professionals that have strictly earned a degree in this form of counseling.
Online training can be earned in a couple of ways depending on the personal career a student is striving for. Students that want to become ministers and rabbis will find that seminary school is the best option. Inside a seminary program students can focus on both pastoral studies and counseling. Students can also follow programs from a bachelor’s degree to a doctoral degree in seminary. If seminary is not the path students want to take there are some colleges that offer online training. Students need to keep in mind that some schools do not meet counseling licensing requirement. To gain licensure students may have to precede or follow up a program with more schooling. It is recommended that students research school requirements fully to obtain the right amount of training.
To step onto the right educational path outside of seminary school, students can enter counseling degrees at the undergraduate level to prepare them for master’s level work. Undergraduate training can be gained in areas that include marriage, family, social work, and clinical psychology. These degree programs give students knowledge in fundamental counseling procedures that they can build upon at the graduate level.
A popular choice is to continue education to receive a doctor of education in pastoral counseling. Since students already have a solid counseling background at this point coursework varies to include both pastoral courses and counseling courses. Counseling the addicted, biblical theology, empowering people, leadership, and management are a few courses that students may work through. A large amount of colleges require students to complete an internship. Internships provide students with practical and real world experience that is useful in future jobs. To finish out training students are required to write and defend a dissertation paper based on their understanding of both psychology and pastoral work. With this degree many students work in educational settings or set up their own private practice.
Counseling in this capacity trains individuals to work alongside their clients to help them get through personal issues. Students that are interested in counseling and working with people who share their faith should consider enrolling in a degree program. An accredited online degree in pastoral counseling is a perfect opportunity for students that want to follow their religious faith into a career outside of the traditional minister or rabbi role.
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