2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 28, 2022  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Short Term Pastoral Counseling Postgraduate Certificate

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Purpose and Objectives:

The Postgraduate Certificate in Short Term Pastoral Counseling provides students with specialized knowledge and skills to address the mental, emotional, and spiritual concerns of Christians and non-Christians in a variety of settings. Special attention will be given to help students acquire competencies in using short-term evidence-based models of counseling fully integrating a Christian world view and traditional Christian practices.

The objectives of the Postgraduate Certificate in Short Term Pastoral Counseling will enable students to:

  • Develop the skills necessary to perform a spiritual assessment of an individual with an awareness of the diagnostic categories of the latest version of the DSM
  • Develop knowledge of evidence-based short-term counseling models
  • Develop necessary skills to deliver interventions within the framework of evidence-based short-term counseling models
  • Develop an awareness and an ability to articulate the interrelations among psychopathology, sin, and environment, all informed by a Christian worldview
  • Develop the skills to use pastoral counseling interventions in both individual and group settings
  • Develop the appropriate vocabularies necessary for communicating mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges within the Church community, among licensed mental health professionals, and with varied caregiving specialists in case conferences
  • Develop cultural awareness and sensitivity in care and counseling settings

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Affirm to be a Christian and agree with CIU’s Doctrinal Standard
  • Official transcript for highest earned degree and any master’s level credits earned
    • A minimum 3.0 GPA for the most recent degree obtained.
      • A minimum graduate-level GPA of 3.0. Students whose GPA falls between 2.8 and 3.0 may be considered for admission on a probationary basis, if they submit a request in writing accompanied by appropriate rationale.
    • Completion of a graduate-level theological degree (M.A. or M.Div.) from an accredited institution.
  • Essay (800 words total)

Note: Current CBS students who have completed at least one-half of their master’s degree may apply by filling out the “Add a Program” section on the “Graduate-Level Record Change” form prior to graduation in order to be considered for admission.

Time Limit

Students must complete all requirements within three years, beginning from the date of their first enrollment in a course following acceptance into the certificate.

Completion Requirements

  • Completion of the 12 hours specified in the course of study (see below) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and no grade lower than a “C.”
  • Significant achievement of program objectives.
  • Affirmation of the Doctrinal Statement.

Note for students pursuing a degree and certificate concurrently: Courses within this certificate may not be applied to meet degree requirements, nor may courses used to meet degree requirements be applied to meet certificate requirements. The total required hours for both the degree and the certificate must be met independently.

Additional Requirements

If any of the course requirements or their equivalents were completed before admission to the program, the necessary credit hours to complete the program can be met by completing one or more of the following courses:


This Certificate Program is not eligible for federal Title IV financial aid funds – i.e. Federal Direct Loans. Students who are interested in exploring other financial aid options should contact the Financial Aid Office.

Currently, there are currently six states requiring certification or licensure to practice pastoral counseling, namely, Arkansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Tennessee.* At this time, South Carolina has not passed a certification/licensure law.

The six states that certify/license pastoral counseling are not identical in their requirements, but there are some commonalities. Most of the states require the successful completion of the following:

  • MDiv degree, or equivalent
  • MA in pastoral counseling
  • 1,375 hours of supervised pastoral counseling (typically, 250 hours of supervision are required)
  • One unit of clinical pastoral education (CPE)
  • Clergy status
  • Relevant written national standardized examination

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