2023-2024 CATALOG

The Academic Catalog is the official listing of courses, programs of study, academic policies and degree requirements for Loyola University Chicago. It is published every year in advance of the next academic year.

Pastoral Counseling (MA)

Pastoral counseling at IPS is understood as professional therapeutic ministry.  This ministry is pursued with a vision of the human person that includes insights from the human sciences as well as religious and spiritual dimensions of life.  Often, but not always, pastoral counseling takes place in a setting that reflects a spiritually-oriented environment.  The purpose of the M.A. in pastoral counseling is to prepare caregivers and counselors for this work.

This degree program prepares pastoral clinicians to provide therapeutic services in faith-based contexts. A multidisciplinary curriculum and peer learning groups are among the distinguishing characteristics of this degree.

Students in this program will find an understanding of pastoral counseling incorporating both the best of psychological theory and the riches of contemporary theology. They will find educational and spiritual approaches that combine both theory and practice. They will discover a vision of the counselor that reflects both individual and relational work, supportive and intensive therapies, psychological competence and theological congruence. And they will find a methodology that is consistently committed to the achievement of personal and professional integration.

In order to meet the current licensure requirements of the state of Illinois (LPC as a base for moving toward LCPC), and to respond to developing nationwide trends toward interstate licensure portability, while continuing to provide the integrative pastoral focus of Loyola’s MA Pastoral Counseling degree, the degree has moved to a three year, 60-hour design.

  • LPC = Licensed Professional Counselor
  • LCPC = Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

The Master's in Pastoral Counseling program can also be completed half time over four or five years. The half time student's curriculum is determined with their advisor.

The Master's in Pastoral Counseling can be completed entirely online. Students seeking to complete the degree fully online and in three years (as a full-time student) must enroll and begin in a Fall semester.

A diverse number of internship sites are available from non-profits, governmental organizations, schools, counseling, mental health and faith-based sites. Students apply for these internships and are selected by the sites. Students may submit a site of their own choosing, but it must be approved by IPS.

International Students

International students who will study in person in Chicago must enroll and beginning in a Fall semester.

Additional Information

To learn more about the master's degree in pastoral counseling, please visit our request for information form or attend an online information session.

To learn more about state and international authorization of programs, please refer to our State and International Authorization page. To learn more about the accreditation of Loyola University Chicago and its schools, as well as information about professional licensure, visit our Accreditation page.

The Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago (IPS), is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. The Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) granted full accreditation to IPS on June 10, 2019.

The Association of Theological Schools
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh PA 15275-1110
Telephone: 412-788-6505
The following IPS degree programs are approved by the Commission on Accrediting: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality (Professional MA), Master of Arts in Counseling for Ministry (Professional MA), Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (Professional MA), and the Master of Arts in Social Justice (Professional MA) were also approved, as were our comprehensive online (distance education) programs.