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Top 10 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Pastoral Care and Counseling 2016

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By BCD Staff
February 2016

An online bachelor's in pastoral care and counseling degree will prepare students to integrate a biblical worldview with counseling theories in helping professions. These programs enable graduates to pursue employment in vocational ministry or the non-profit sector. Additionally, graduates of these programs will be prepared to pursue graduate school and seminary studies. All of the programs listed here are available online, making them accessible to individuals that want to maintain their work and family commitments while also advancing their education and career. We believe this list will help you find the program to match your personal interests and professional career goals.

For information on how these programs were selected for the ranking, see the methodology statement at the end of the article.

#10 Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Waxahachie, TX

Online Bachelor's Degree in Counseling Ministries

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) offers an online Bachelors Degree in Counseling Ministries. Students will learn counseling theories including a biblically based model of counseling. This 127 credit hour program is designed to prepare graduates for Christian ministry in a variety of settings as well as for graduate pastoral counseling programs. Students in this program have the opportunity to participate in field ministry experiences to enhance their education.

  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Religious Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduate Tuition: $18,580.00

Courses Include:

Pastoral counseling; leadership in ministry; counseling families through the life cycle; theories of marriage and family counseling; methods and techniques in marriage and family counseling; introduction to counseling and social work practice; developmental psychology; cultural issues in the helping professions; abnormal psychology; crisis intervention and management; and psychology of religion.

#9 Dallas Christian College

Dallas, TX

Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Bible

Dallas Christian College offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bible through a flexible learning format. Their programing allows students to attend class in person, online with live web conference at the time of the class, or through on demand video by simply watching a recording of the class. Students choose what works best for them and classes start every six weeks.

  • Religious Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduate Tuition: $15,492.00

Courses Include:

General psychology; themes in biblical theology; psychology as a profession; abnormal psychology; readings in psychology; psychology and Christian thought; marriage and family; pastoral counseling; counseling methods; developmental psychology; and sports psychology.

#8 Trinity College of Florida

Trinity, FL

Bachelor of Science in Counseling

Trinity College of Florida offers an online Bachelor of Science in Counseling major. This degree is available for 123 semester hours. A variety of courses will teach students how to consider and approach common counseling issues related to group dynamics, marriage and
family issues, and grief and loss to name a few. Graduates of this program will be able to integrate counseling theory with Biblical knowledge.

  • Religious Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduate Tuition: $14,660.00

Courses Include:

Christian perspective and learning skills; introduction to counseling; marriage and family communication; developmental psychology; counseling adolescents; pre-marital and marital counseling; Christian theology; biblical ethics; crisis counseling; and psychopathology.

#7 Lee University

Cleveland, TN

BA/BS Ministry Leadership, Counseling Emphasis (Distance)

Lee University's Division of Adult Learning offers an online degree in Ministry Leadership with an emphasis in counseling. An emphasis in counseling is one of several concentrations within this degree available to students. Other areas of emphasis are church administration, children's ministry, discipleship, music and worship, pastoral ministry, and youth ministry. The counseling emphasis will teach students the role of ministry counseling in the church as well as counseling theories and methods.

  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Graduate Tuition: $14,280.00

Courses Include:

Spiritual formation and discipleship; conflict management and problem solving; understanding human behavior; Christian theology; personality theory; psychology of human sexuality; abnormal psychology; crisis intervention counseling; theories of counseling; methods of counseling; the Christian family; and pastoral counseling.

#6 Johnson University

Knoxville, TN

BA/BS Pastoral Care and Counseling

Johnson University offers an online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Students in this program will learn to provide biblical counsel and guidance to individuals and families and will have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in practice through internships. This program prepares graduates to provide pastoral care and counseling in ministry settings.

  • Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Religious Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduate Tuition: $12,050.00

Courses Include:

Pastoral counseling; encountering cultures; biblical teaching and preaching; introduction to counseling ministry; family services; and conflict and community in ministry.

#5 Nazarene Bible College

Colorado Springs, CO

Bachelor of Arts in Ministry

Nazarene Bible College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry. The Bachelor of Arts in Ministry is designed to offer students a wide range of ministry skills to prepare graduates to serve in a variety of areas such as ministry, counseling, and education. As a general studies program with an emphasis on the Bible, theology, and ministry principles, students will choose from one of several available majors to reach their career goals. A pastoral ministries major is one of the majors available online and offers coursework in pastoral care and counseling.

  • Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Religious Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduate Tuition: $11,400.00

Courses Include:

Introduction to Christian service; spiritual formation; philosophy and Christian ethics; introduction to psychology; introduction to sociology; introduction to Christian thought; biblical interpretation; the practice of Christian ministry; and pastoral care and counseling.

#4 Laurel University

High Point, NC

Bachelor of Arts in Ministry

The John Wesley College of Divinity at Laurel University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry. The Bachelor of Arts in Ministry offers a concentration in counseling. Concentrations are also available in pastoral ministry, family ministry, intercultural studies, and worship acts. The counseling concentration provides core courses in Christian counseling and psychology. Graduates of this program will be prepared to serve the local church, work in the field of human services, and to go on to graduate school if desired. The program hopes that graduates take what they have learned in the program to go on to offer counsel to individuals, groups, couples, and families in Jesus' name.

  • Religious Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduate Tuition: $9,850.00

Courses Include:

Christian/community service; foundations for ministry; introduction to psychology; cultural dynamics; ethical and legal implications; counseling theology; principles of christian counseling; counseling methods; cross cultural counseling; and abnormal psychology.

#3 Bethesda University

Anaheim, CA

Bachelor of Arts in Religion

Bethesda University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Religion with different concentration options including Biblical Studies and Pastoral Ministry. The Bachelor of Arts in Religion provides students with the ability to integrate biblical and theological knowledge in ministry and to live and share with others a Christian lifestyle and worldview. This degree will prepare graduates to pursue vocational ministry and to pursue graduate studies.

  • Religious Accreditation: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
  • Religious Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Graduate Tuition: $9,120.00

Courses Include:

Research and writing; introduction to psychology; introduction to sociology; music and ministry; Christian ethics; Christian service; church history; pastoral theology; and pastoral counseling.

#2 Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary

Charlotte, NC

Bachelor of Arts in Urban Christian Ministries Concentration in Counseling

Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary offers a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Christian Ministries with a Concentration in Counseling. All classes taught on campus are also available online. Students need to complete 128 credit hours for this degree. Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary aims to provide students with high academic training, interpersonal skills, and moral constitution. The program hopes that graduates will be Christ centered leaders ready and willing to serve urban communities.

  • Religious Accreditation: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
  • Graduate Tuition: $8,764.00

Courses Include:

Church history of history of civilization; introduction to biblical languages; introduction to urban Christian ministry; theology of urban ministry; theology of urban ministry; personal spiritual development; basic Christian ethics; basic pastoral counseling; introduction to Christian counseling; abnormal psychology; counseling theories; counseling social problems; crisis, loss, and grief; addiction issues; marriage and family counseling; and the Christian and sexuality.

#1 Messenger College

Euless, Tx

Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries

Messenger College offers a 128 credit hour Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries. This degree offers students the opportunity to choose from several different ministerial concentrations. The pastoral ministry and the discipleship ministry concentration offer courses in pastoral care and counseling and other related courses. Graduates of this program will be prepared to pursue graduate school and seminary studies, as well as vocational ministry and careers in the non profit ministerial field. Online students will select a program of study and can begin their program on the first of the month in any month August through May.

  • Religious Accreditation: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
  • Graduate Tuition: $8,756.00

Courses Include:

General psychology; marriage and family humanities; Christian worldview; biblical interpretation; spiritual formation; pastoral ministry; communicating the message; pastoral care and counseling; models of discipleship; and child/adolescent development.

Related resources:

Methodology for the Top 10 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Pastoral Care and Counseling

To develop the ranking of Top 10 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Pastoral Care and Counseling, we used information gathered from the Institute of Education Sciences' College Navigator to evaluate colleges and universities offering programing in Clinical Pastoral Counseling, Pastoral Counseling, and Pastoral Studies. Next, we selected schools offering this course of study through distance education. For this list we chose to look at schools offering bachelor degrees. Finally, we sorted the schools by bachelor student tuition (2014-2015), and we present the top 10 schools in our ranking.