Online Pastoral Counseling Degrees are in great demand. The effectiveness of spiritual counseling has brought about considerable interest regarding the subject of Christian or Pastoral Counseling. By integrating information from the secular discipline of Psychology with resources from the realm of the Spirit, Pastoral Counselors have become very much in demand because they have proven to be effective when dealing with difficult issues such as drug addiction, alcoholism, marriage, sexual abuse. There appears to be little distinction between Christian and Pastoral Counselors, most people appear to use the terms interchangeably
In the past this, what little Christian Counseling education that was taught happened in seminars. However, most seminars do not have programs dedicated to the study of Pastoral Counseling. Consequently, to meet the demand to for qualified Pastoral Counselors a number of institutions have risen to meet the needs of those called to this ministry.
Unlike Psychological Counselors, who are held accountable by state Governments, Pastoral Counselors are ministers. Pastoral Counselors will typically either become members of an existing church ministry or they may choose to create a ministry of their own. As long as they are suitably educated and licensed, they become accountably primarily to the church rather than the state.
Of course, it is important to check out the laws in your state to be sure of the format your ministry is consistent. There are Christian Law Associations that can assist you in this. Christian Counseling is a legal, legitimate profession in every state, but the exact verbiage used to represent what the counselor does must adhere to each state's statutes.
There are several national bodies that provide education, certification, licensing and oversight for Pastoral Counselors. The oldest and largest of these appear to be the National Christian Counselor's Association (NCCA). There are others such as the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), and the American Association of Christian Counselors. (AACC) The AACC historically has been a supporting organization for those already involved in the ministry, while the NCCA is more oriented towards training and education.
Pastoral Counseling can be learned entirely on a self-paced schedule. Most course are available in a home study or online format, allowing for them to schedule for the convenience of the student and do not require classroom attendance.
Christian Counselors have been successful at adopting the therapeutic models based on temperament. While some of these models hark back to Greek roots thousands of years ago, the testing methods and results are a modern as an cellular phone. Whether they refer to the temperaments as DISC or Melancholy, Choleric, Sanguine, and Phlegmatic makes little difference. One of the things that has created much success for Christian Counselors is the availability of powerful assessment tools that enable them to get the heart of difficult problems and formulate effective treatment plans. Christian Counselors realize that people need answers to their problems, not just hand holding.