Christian Ministry and Leadership, M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling)

Degree Program

The Pastoral Care and Counseling specialization is designed to equip students to wisely and ethically care for people dealing with common pastoral needs, including spiritual wounds, emotional pain, family challenges and mental illnesses, and develop a sense of when to refer individuals to professional help.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership, Pastoral Care and Counseling specialization, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate abilities relevant to personal spiritual formation, including an understanding of spiritual theology, knowledge of God and self, relational skills, and an understanding of their vocation (ULO 3).
  2. Explain the major doctrines of Christianity, including their biblical basis, and contemporary relevance (ULO 1).
  3. Synthesize knowledge, skills, and perspectives from specialization-specific content of the Christian Ministry and Leadership program to determine implications for professional practice (ULO 2). 

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess a Bachelor of Arts degree or its academic equivalent from an accredited college with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

All applicants must submit a written statement outlining their vocational objectives and how the degree might relate to those objectives.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete 49 semester credits as outlined in the curriculum chart below.
  2. Students without previous courses in Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520, which are not for credit unless taken in place of general elective credits.

  3. Complete the online introduction to theological research and writing by the end of the second semester.

  4. At least 25 of the total credits required for the degree program must be completed in residency at Biola. Advanced Standing and transfer credit are not considered residency credits.
  5. Obtain a 3.0 average with no grade below a "C-" in all courses to be credited toward graduation.
  6. Complete the entire program in no more than five years.
  7. Meet with a graduate academic records and degree specialist in the Office of the Registrar one year prior to graduation to declare intent to graduate. (See Graduate Graduation Check description in the Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section).

Program Structure

The academic program leading to the degree Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership with a specialization in Pastoral Care and Counseling is comprised of 49 credits, including:

  1. Biblical and theological foundations.
  2. Spiritual Formation Focus (SFF).
  3. Ministry skills.
  4. Additional elective courses determined by the student in consultation with the advisor.

Combined B.A. - M.A. Program

Students in Biola University's Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Theology, and Ministry with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling may take graduate courses in their senior year, allowing the completion of a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in an accelerated format. See the Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Theology, and Ministry for the undergraduate portion of the accelerated B.A. - M.A. program.

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisite Courses 1
Old Testament Survey
New Testament Survey
Program Courses
TTBE 517Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods3
TTSF 501Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation3
TTSF 503Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation3
TTSF 504Spiritual Formation, Vocation, and the Disciplines1
TTSF 505Talbot Spiritual Direction I0
TTSF 506Talbot Spiritual Direction II0
TTTH 521Theology I: God, Scripture, Creation3
TTTH 522Theology II: Christ, Humanity, Sin, Salvation3
TTTH 623Theology III: Spirit, Church, Last Things3
Pastoral Care and Counseling Specialization Courses
TTPT 604Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy3
TTPT 628Marital Counseling3
TTPT 693Pastoral Care and Counseling Internship I1
TTPT 694Pastoral Care and Counseling Internship II1
TTPT 695Pastoral Care and Counseling Internship III 21
TTPT 702Intermediate Pastoral Counseling3
TTPT 707Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling2
TTPT 708Advanced Pastoral Counseling3
TTPT 716Addressing Common Pastoral Counseling Concerns3
TTPT 725Counseling Troubled Families3
TTPT 765Seminar in Pastoral Counseling1
Elective Courses
General elective courses 36
Total Credits49

TTBE 519 Old Testament Survey and TTBE 520 New Testament Survey are prerequisites for this degree. To meet the prerequisite, students must have received a "C" or higher in approved undergraduate or graduate survey courses from a regionally accredited institution. Students who enroll without the prerequisite courses must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520 before graduating. Credits from these courses may count as general elective courses, or may add to the length of the program if general elective courses are not available. 


TTPT 695 may be taken for 1 or 2 credits. If taken for 2 credits, the second credit may count toward required elective credits.


Up to 6 graduate general elective credits may be taken in other schools in Biola University with advisor's approval.