Pastoral Counseling Certificate

About the Pastoral Counseling Certificate at Loyola

Many individuals who seek out counseling and therapeutic services feel more comfortable doing so within a faith-based context or in a spiritual setting. The Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola's Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) is designed to meet the needs of mental health professionals and religious leaders who want to deliver this counseling ministry to those in need.

The program instills in you the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively provide this unique form of psychotherapy, using spiritual resources, in-depth theological training, and psychological understanding to foster healing and growth with your clients.

Program Structure

The Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Counseling is a 15-credit-hour program comprising one required course and four electives. Your options for electives cover a broad range of course offerings to tailor the certificate to your specific goals; you will choose your electives in consultation with an academic advisor.

A master's degree in counseling or divinity/ministry is a prerequisite to enroll in this certificate program.

The Pastoral Counseling Certificate can be pursued full-time or part-time. Classes are held weekday evenings at Loyola's Water Tower Campus, conveniently located off the Red Line in the heart of Chicago, and the majority of the courses are also offered online.

Why Choose Loyola for Your Pastoral Counseling Certificate?

An integrative approach to counseling

The Pastoral Counseling certificate positions you to provide vital counseling and therapeutic services within a faith-based context and, in many cases, in a religious or spiritual setting.

Four of the program’s five courses comprise electives that you will choose in consultation with your academic advisor, allowing you to shape the curriculum around your specific interests and career goals.

As a graduate of the program, you will be prepared to offer therapeutic services at hospitals, hospice care centers, parishes, private practice, substance abuse programs, and other church and community-based settings.

Loyola’s renowned Institute of Pastoral Studies was founded in 1964 as one of the nation’s first institutes of its kind and is recognized across the country for its academic programming and contributions to the study of Christian spirituality and body of knowledge.

Your fellow students bring a rich diversity of ethnic backgrounds, ages, religious denominations, and spiritual beliefs, providing an experience and setting that mirrors the real world.

As a student in the program, you can complete your courses on campus, online, or through a hybrid model blending both options, depending on what works best for you.

Meet the Faculty

Loyola is proud to have talented and nationally-recognized scholar-teachers as part of our diverse community of exceptional faculty, students and staff. Loyola faculty are known for their commitment to teaching, the dissemination of knowledge through innovative and interdisciplinary scholarly research, and a commitment to social justice and cura personalis, or care for the whole person. Visit the Institute of Pastoral Studies faculty and staff directory to learn more about the teachers and mentors involved with the Pastoral Counseling Certificate program.

Faculty and Staff

Curriculum and Program Outcomes

While courses for the Pastoral Counseling Certificate program may vary from semester to semester, Loyola’s extensive Academic Catalog will always house the official listing of courses, programs of study, academic policies, degree requirements, and specialization or concentration options.

Additionally, this resource will provide Pastoral Counseling Certificate learning outcomes, showcasing the commitment to specific skills and growth graduates can expect to achieve following completion of the program.

2023-2024 Catalog
Browse Academic Catalog

Costs, Scholarships, and Aid

Loyola University Chicago is committed to making your graduate and professional studies a reality. Our Cost & Financial Aid page can help better inform you about the costs and potential funding opportunities through scholarships, loans, and aid for graduate and professional education.

If you are a current Loyola undergraduate or recent alum, you may be eligible for a Returning Rambler discount. Learn more and see if you qualify on our Returning Rambler Scholarship page.

Tuition and Costs

The estimated tuition and fees for the Pastoral Counseling Certificate totals $12300.00, or 15 credit hours at a cost of $820.00 per credit hour. Please note that tuition and fees for all of Loyola's academic programs are subject to change.

For more detailed information about tuition and fees, and a breakdown of how these costs are calculated on a yearly basis, please visit Tuition and Fees from the Office of the Bursar.

Institute of Pastoral Studies Financial Aid & Scholarships

More information about financial aid opportunities can be found on the Institute of Pastoral Studies Financial Aid page.

Visit and Connect With Us

Take advantage of a variety of different visit opportunities to find your place in our Loyola community. Loyola offers graduate open houses, information sessions, individual appointments, open Zoom and text sessions, and a multitude of other ways to get to know us better.

Schedule an Appointment

Early in your search?

Connect with an Enrollment Advisor to help find your fit.

Already submitted an application?

Connect with an admissions team member to help you through the process.

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Application Process

Application Deadlines

The available start terms and corresponding application deadlines for the Pastoral Counseling Certificate are listed below. We encourage you to apply early as decisions may take longer during busy periods.

Fall, Spring, & Summer
Rolling admission

Recommended Deadlines
Fall: July 15
Spring: December 10
Summer: April 15

Final admission is 10 days before the start of classes

Application Requirements

Application requirements for the Pastoral Counseling Certificate include:

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

  • 3.0 Minimum GPA

  • Personal Statement

International Student Requirements

Additional information regarding the application process for international students can be found on the International Student Requirements page.

Additional Details

For general information and a step-by-step guide to applying for graduate and professional study, please visit our Admission Process page.

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