Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

MA in Counseling for Ministry

The Master of Arts in Counseling for Ministry is a 36 hour degree that requires 8 core courses (24 credit hours), 3 selective courses (9 credit hours), IPS Contextual Education (IPS 580 - 3 credit hours), Clinical Pastoral Education (IPS 530 zero-credit), and the Final Integration Project (IPS 593 zero-credit ). The MA in Counseling for Ministry is suited to international students and others who do not require the 60 credit hour MA in Pastoral Counseling that is designed to meet the requirements for Illinois licensure as a clinical counselor.

Our contemporary social and cultural contexts reveal strong needs for ministry-based caregiving with competency from within religious traditions and their communities.  The long and rich history of counseling within ministry gives witness to that commitment called “ministry of care,” or in Jesuit terms, cura personalis.  At Loyola University Chicago and the Institute of Pastoral Studies this commitment to the informed praxis of ministry has been operative for over 50 years.  One facet of that commitment was the introduction of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling degree at the Institute of Pastoral Studies in 1986. In the last decade such degree programs have come under increasing regulatory and licensure requirements, with ever-greater specificity and specialization. At Loyola University Chicago we responded in 2012 to these evolving national standards by expanding our MA in Pastoral Counseling degree from 48 to 60 credit hours. 

The MA in Counseling for Ministry will retain the competency requirements of the PC program but without the additional licensure requirements, and thus serve the clinical and therapeutic needs of faith communities and the wider world.

MA in Counseling for Ministry - Curriculum

  • Eight IPS Core Courses (24 credit hours)
  • Three IPS Selective Courses (9 credit hours)
  • Contextual Education - IPS 580 (3 credit hours)
    Contextual Education is the experience during the student's ministerial education that directly engages pastoral practice in the context of ministerial studies. Simultaneously, the student refines pastoral skills, ministerial theology and vocational identity. Contextual Education consists of 10-15 hours per week of ministry at a site, reflection with a site supervisor and as well as a weekly peer reflection seminar on campus. In the weekly seminar students review learning contracts, prepare and reflect on pastoral events, and exercise peer evaluations.
  • Clinical Pastoral Education - IPS 530 (zero-credit)
  • Integration Project - IPS 593 (zero-credit)
    This non-credit course accompanies and facilitates the completion of the Integration Project (typically a written paper). The project requires and assesses the personal integration and application of coursework at IPS into one’s vocational/ministerial identity. Outcomes: Successful integration and assessment of students' studies and vocational development.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with IPS Enrollment Advisor Kristin Butnik, kbutnik@luc.edu or to apply here.

Curriculum Planning Worksheet for MACM