Program in Pastoral Counseling Loyola College of Arts and Sciences Loyola University Maryland

Program in Pastoral Counseling Loyola College of Arts and Sciences Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, MD
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
April 1
fall application deadline
Not Reported
acceptance rate
5 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Loyola University Maryland Graduate Programs in Pastoral Counseling

Loyola University Maryland is a private, Catholic Jesuit university located in Baltimore, Maryland. Established in 1852, it is the 9th oldest Jesuit college in the United States and the first to bear the name of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.

The Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care program at Loyola University Maryland is the only graduate program of its kind in the world, developed to prepare individuals to put their faith to work in the care of others through a singular combination of counseling, care, and spirituality.

Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care Program Overview

The integration of spirituality and the social sciences is the focus of the graduate Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care Program at Loyola University Maryland. The holistic program emphasizes a growth-oriented, interactional approach that interprets human behavior and experience as an integration of the physiological, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual.

Students gain the experience and insight to effectively and compassionately guide individuals through the healing process. Depending on their selected study tracks -- chosen from master's, doctoral, or certificate -- students are prepared for a wide range of career options and ministry settings, including licensed clinical practice, chaplaincy, hospice, spiritual direction, higher education teaching/administration, and social advocacy.

Master of Arts in Spiritual and Pastoral Care

The Master of Arts (MA) in Spiritual and Pastoral Care provides students with a grounding in spirituality, pastoral care, and social sciences, preparing them for ministries in local churches and other organizations, or laying the groundwork for work as chaplains or spiritual directors. The program is self-paced and flexible and may be completed in two years.

The 45-credit curriculum consists of a core concentration of 30 credits; a 9-credit specialized, professional track of study and internship; and a 6-credit focus on integrating theory and practice with research. The core courses focus on bereavement skills (assistance, guidance, or support), crisis intervention, the pastoral helping relationship, pastoral diagnosis, spiritual formation and guidance, theological reflection, and praxis. Students may select specific concentration of personal or vocational interest from three racks -- chaplaincy, spiritual direction, and pastoral ministry.

Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling

The Master of Science (MS) in Pastoral Counseling is a 66-credit clinical mental health counseling program developed for practitioners who wish to integrate the spiritual dimension of their clients' experience into a professional counseling context. Students may seek national accreditation through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and will have met most state licensure requirements in the states of their choice upon graduation.

The essential component of the program is an 800-clinical-hour internship (280 client contact hours) at mental health agencies throughout the greater Baltimore-Washington metro area. Students must also complete papers that integrate learning, counseling experience, theological reflection, and personal growth.

The MS in Pastoral Counseling degree program is accredited through the American Counseling Association's (ACA) Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). It is also certified as an approved training program by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC).

Combined MS/PhD in Pastoral Counseling

The combined MS/PhD in Pastoral Counseling allows highly competent candidates to pursue both degrees and all state licensure requirements in a seamless manner. The accelerated curriculum may be completed in five to six years by highly motivated candidates willing to commit to at least two or three days of study per week, including summers.

PhD in Pastoral Counseling

The PhD in Pastoral Counseling degree program at Loyola University Maryland is the only CACREP-approved counselor education and supervision program specifically designed to study the integration of spiritual, ethical, and religious values into counseling. Doctoral graduates serve as advanced level clinicians, counselor educators, clinical supervisors, and researchers integrating the fields of psychology and pastoral counseling.

Candidates are prepared for teaching and supervisory positions in the counselor education field through the development of clinical expertise; theological, spiritual, and religious understanding; and research acumen. They make quantitative and qualitative research contributions to the helping professions through the integration of psycho-theological issues with counselor education's interdisciplinary models, examining subjects such as ethics, prevention, diversity, education, efficacy, and treatment of psychopathology.

The program comprises a minimum of four academic years of graduate level preparation (plus dissertation), including a core curriculum of at least 45 credit hours that combines academic courses and supervised clinical training. In addition to the core curriculum, students select advanced concentrations in the research/academic field or the counselor, education, supervision (CES) field.

Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS)

The Certificate of Advanced Study allows post-master's students to create individualized programs of study in clinical and academic training that emphasize spiritual integration. Students choose this option to strengthen their understanding of religion and spirituality within their counseling practice. The 30-credit program may be completed in six semesters over the course of two years.

Accomplished Faculty

The Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care faculty at Loyola University Maryland comprises some of the most experienced and recognized leaders in the field. Among these are Dr. Robert J. Wicks, a leading writer on the intersection of spirituality and psychology. The author of more than 40 books, Wicks was responsible for the psychological debriefing of relief workers evacuated from Rwanda during their bloody civil war in 1994.

Also on the faculty is Dr. Gina Magyar-Russell, a licensed psychologist who specializes in psychological and spiritual adjustment following adverse health events, with emphasis on treatment of anxiety, mood, and spiritual problems among patients with cardiovascular disease. She is the principal investigator of an ongoing study funded by the American Heart Association examining the prevalence and functional impact of anxiety disorders among cardiac patients who have received a defibrillator.

Location & Contact

Program in Pastoral Counseling

Loyola College of Arts and Sciences
Loyola University Maryland

4501 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210-2699
United States

Steven King

Director of Program Operations

Phone: 410-617-7616

Maureen Faux

Executive Director, Graduate Admissions

Phone: 410-617-5020
Fax: 410-617-2002

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Pastoral Ministry And Counseling Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Arts (MA)
      Master of Science (MS)
      Master of Science/Doctor of Philosophy (MS/PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 38
    • Doctoral Degrees 10
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? No
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $50
    • Application Fee - International $50
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline April 1st January 1st Not Reported
    • Winter deadline December 1st September 1st Not Reported
    • Spring deadline November 1st February 1st Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsApril 15
    • Types of financial support availableGraduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students250
    • Female Percentage70%
    • Male Percentage30%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students250
    • Part-time Percentage68%
    • Full-time Percentage32%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino4%
    • Black / African American32%
    • White / Caucasian59%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian3%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown0%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty13
    • Full-time Percentage92%
    • Part-time Percentage8%
    • Female Percentage46%
    • Male Percentage54%