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Master of Pastoral Counselling (with specialisation)

Theology at CSU

Master of Pastoral Counselling (with specialisation)

Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling

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CSU's Master of Pastoral Counselling (with specialisation) provides advanced training in professional counselling theory and practice, integrated within a theological framework.

This course enables you to develop the skills necessary to offer counselling across a wide range of settings and gain a pathway to counsellor registration.

The Master of Pastoral Counselling (with specialisation) is related to:


  • Why study this course?

    The Master of Pastoral Counselling (with specialisation) equips you with the advanced knowledge and skills to provide counselling or enhance your pastoral care practice in a range of faith-based and other institutions, including congregational, educational, health, aged care, hospital, corrective services, welfare, university, military, emergency services and industry settings.

    Advanced studies

    This degree offers you the choice of a clinical specialisation or a research stream. You will study the latest theories and practices in counselling, integrated within a theological framework, and build your research skills by conducting a research project and completing a dissertation in an area of special interest.

    Significant practical component

    By attending residential schools and a counselling field placement (clinical specialisation stream), you will develop skills and competencies in counselling practice and the ability to be a self-aware and reflective practitioner through real-life counselling experience.

    Professionals teaching you

    Our teaching staff are experts in the field and have strong industry links and extensive experience, enhancing graduate employment outcomes. CSU's School of Theology has a well-established reputation for its emphasis on quality student learning, teaching and research.

    Study flexibility

    This course combines flexible online learning with practical experiential learning in residential schools, during which you will connect with leaders in the field and other members of our diverse, committed student community.

  • Career opportunities

    The Master of Pastoral Counselling (with specialisation) will prepare you to work in a variety of institutional, congregational or educational roles in which formal counselling or working with mental health is a central part. Your opportunities include private practice counsellor, clinical counsellor, organisational staff counsellor, pastoral counsellor, registered counsellor, chaplain, hospital chaplain, military chaplain, school chaplain, aged care chaplain and pastoral care coordinator.
    You could also further your expertise by pursuing a higher degree by research.

  • Professional recognition

    The clinical stream of the Master of Pastoral Counselling is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). It satisfies the academic and professional training requirements for Intern Registration with PACFA member organisations. Further client and supervision hours will be necessary beyond the Master of Pastoral Counselling (Clinical) program to meet the Provisional Registration and then Clinical Registration requirements.

  • Subjects
    Clinical

    The Clinical specialisation provides the advanced knowledge and skills needed for professional counselling practice and meets the requirements for Intern Registration with PACFA member organisations.

    The below information is for new students. Current students should select their subjects by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment

    Course structure

    Subjects have a value of 8 points unless otherwise stated.

    GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN PASTORAL COUNSELLING [Exit point only]
    To exit with the Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Counselling, students must complete 32 points as follows:

    Core subjects (32 points)
    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills +
    THL420 Pastoral Counselling: Theory and Professional Issues +
    THL428 Pastoral Counselling: Grief and Loss
    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology

    + THL400 and THL420 are prerequisites for THL428.

    GRADUATE DIPLOMA OF PASTORAL COUNSELLING
    To graduate with the Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling, students must complete 64 points as follows:

    Core subjects (64 points)
    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills +
    THL420 Pastoral Counselling: Theory and Professional Issues +
    THL428 Pastoral Counselling: Grief and Loss
    THL430 Pastoral Counselling: Crisis Intervention
    THL432 Pastoral Counselling: Relationship and Family
    THL433 Pastoral Counselling: Mental Health and Trauma
    THL434 Spiritual Direction in the Christian Tradition
    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology

    + THL400 and THL420 are prerequisites for THL428, THL430, THL432 and THL433.

    MASTER OF PASTORAL COUNSELLING (no specialisation)
    To graduate with the Master of Pastoral Counselling, students must complete128 points as follows:

    Core subjects (128 points)
    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills +
    THL420 Pastoral Counselling: Theory and Professional Issues +
    THL428 Pastoral Counselling: Grief and Loss
    THL430 Pastoral Counselling: Crisis Intervention
    THL432 Pastoral Counselling: Relationship and Family
    THL433 Pastoral Counselling: Mental Health and Trauma
    THL434 Spiritual Direction in the Christian Tradition
    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology
    THL520 Advanced Pastoral Counselling (16 points)
    THL530 Social Research Methods for Pastoral Studies
    THL531 Pastoral Counselling Research Proposal
    THL625 Pastoral Counselling Dissertation (32 points)

    + THL400 and THL420 are prerequisites for THL428, THL430, THL432 and THL433.

    MASTER OF PASTORAL COUNSELLING (CLINICAL) *
    To graduate with the Master of Pastoral Counselling (Clinical), students must complete128 points as follows:

    Core subjects (128 points)
    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills +
    THL420 Pastoral Counselling: Theory and Professional Issues +
    THL428 Pastoral Counselling: Grief and Loss
    THL430 Pastoral Counselling: Crisis Intervention
    THL432 Pastoral Counselling: Relationship and Family
    THL433 Pastoral Counselling: Mental Health and Trauma
    THL434 Spiritual Direction in the Christian Tradition
    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology
    THL520 Advanced Pastoral Counselling (16 points)
    THL521 Theological Ethics for the Helping Professions
    THL523 Pastoral Counselling Professional Practice (16 points)
    THL524 Reflective Practitioner Perspectives in Pastoral Counselling (16 points)
    THL530 Social Research Methods for Pastoral Studies

    + THL400 and THL420 are prerequisites for THL428, THL430, THL432 and THL433.

    * The Master of Pastoral Counselling (Clinical) is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia until 21 April 2023.

    Students may choose to exit from either Masters / Graduate Diploma with the award of Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Counselling following the satisfactory completion of four subjects as outlined in the structure of the Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Counselling (32 points).

    Students may choose to exit from the Masters with the award of Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Counselling following the satisfactory completion of eight subjects as outlined in the structure for the Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Counselling (64 points).

  • Residential schools

    The following subjects may have a residential school component:

    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills
    THL420 Pastoral Counselling: Theory and Professional Issues
    THL428 Pastoral Counselling: Grief and Loss
    THL430 Pastoral Counselling: Crisis Intervention
    THL432 Pastoral Counselling: Relationship and Family
    THL433 Pastoral Counselling: Mental Health and Trauma
    THL434 Spiritual Direction in the Christian Tradition
    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology
    THL520 Advanced Pastoral Counselling
    THL521 Theological Ethics for the Helping Professions
    THL523 Pastoral Counselling Professional Practice
    THL531 Pastoral Counselling: Research Proposal

  • Admission information

    Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Counselling
    Exit point only, no special arrangements apply.

    Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling
    Applicants for the Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling must meet the following Admission Requirements:

    Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree (or AQF) equivalent in theology, psychology or Australian Qualifications Framework. Applicants with degrees in any other disciplines are encouraged to apply.
    OR

    Applicants without an undergraduate degree may be considered, with evidence that they are able to undertake tertiary studies in this area (such as a letter of motivation and two professional or academic references).

    English Language Proficiency

    Standard English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements. Refer to http://futurestudents.csu.edu.au/apply/english-language for the specific requirements.

    Master of Pastoral Counselling
    Applicants for the Master of Pastoral Counselling must meet the following Admission Requirements:

    * be able to demonstrate through a pre-admission interview personal suitability to undertake professional practice as a pastoral counsellor, including self-awareness, relational capacity, personal ethical practice, being able to reflect on and learn from experience, and being open to positive and challenging feedback;
    and
    * hold an undergraduate degree (or AQF equivalent) in theology or psychology, however applicants with degrees in other disciplines are encouraged to apply;
    or
    * have successfully completed the Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling
    or
    * hold a Graduate Diploma of Counselling from another institution; These applicants may be required to complete the core subject theological component of a Graduate Diploma of Theology before being granted admission to the Master of Pastoral Counselling.

    AND

    STANDARD English Language Proficiency requirements. Refer to http://futurestudents.csu.edu.au/apply/english-language for the specific requirements.

    See standard CSU admission criteria

  • Cost of study

    Fees - please visit the fees and costs page or contact us for current fee information.

    Tax deduction - in some instances a tax deduction may be claimed for self education expenses. Please seek independent qualified taxation advice.

    Alumni discount

    Already studied with CSU? Our 10% Alumni discount applies to this course!
    Find out more

  • Course details
    Enrol TypeModeCampusFee typeSession 1Session 2Session 3Admission Code
    DirectOnlineCanberraFPPGYYNOAPB

    LEGEND
    CGS: Commonwealth Government supported places
    FPPG: Fee-paying postgraduate places
    FPOS: Fee-paying overseas student places
    Admission Code: For your reference if required during your application process
    NO TAC: An admission code is not required for applications to CSU Study Centres
    TEMP: An admission code has not yet been assigned for this course

    Graduation requirements

    Successful completion of 128cps as outlined in the structure of the degree.

  • How to apply
    Apply direct to CSU

    An online application to CSU takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find out more

    Apply online

    This course is not available to international students.

    Thinking of deferring?

    Find out more about deferral

  • About the School

    School of Theology

    CSU’s School of Theology has an established reputation for its emphasis on student learning, quality teaching and research. The ethos of the School is ecumenical, with staff drawn from a variety of Christian traditions, all committed to developing and delivering a comprehensive, rigorous and vibrant theological education. Combined with a flexible learning environment and four teaching sites, the School provides a wide range of learning opportunities to students who wish to explore their faith and beliefs as well as those of other cultures. Students can study on campus at CSU’s Canberra and Parramatta campuses or via distance education. The School is also affiliated with St Barnabas Theological College in Adelaide and St Francis College in Brisbane and there may be opportunities for students to study some parts of their course at these locations.

  • Academic expectations

    For each 8 point subject at CSU, students should normally expect to spend between 140-160 hours engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures or residential schools, assigned readings, tutorial assistance, individual or group research/study, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations). The student workload for some subjects may vary from these norms as a result of approved course design.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of completed assignments, examinations, workplace learning, or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Where applicable, students are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in workplace learning experiences, or attending residential schools (distance education students).

    Expectations relating to academic, workplace learning, time and cost requirements for specific subjects are provided in the subject abstracts and in course materials.

    Throughout their studies, CSU students have a responsibility to continue to develop skills in English Language, literacy and numeracy as appropriate to their discipline. This ongoing development will enable students to effectively participate in their course and graduate as competent professionals.

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