Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling

  • Qualification:

    Graduate Diploma

  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    Payment planUpfront payment

  • Duration:

    2 years part-time

  • Start date:

    Enquire Now Enquire Now for upcoming start dates

  • Awarded by:

    Charles Sturt University

  • Course fee:

    Price may vary

  • Career Outcomes:

    Grief Counsellor | Drug and Alcohol Counsellor | Family and Marriage Counsellor | Student Counsellor | Counsellor | View All

Course Rundown

Enhance your career prospects and help others find spiritual and psychological support with this practical online Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling course from St Mark’s National Theological Centre,  awarded by Charles Sturt University.

Designed for people with a background in theology or psychology, this practical online course enables you to build specialised skills to offer counselling and advanced pastoral care in a broad range of settings, including lay and ordained ministry pastoral care and with people in your wider community. 

In this course you’ll develop practical skills in a range of counselling techniques, including communication, listening and interviewing, and cover key knowledge areas including relationship counselling, grief counselling and applied pastoral care.  

If you want to serve others and enjoy working with people, a career in counselling may be for you. Grounded in a theological and spiritual setting, this qualification will enhance your career prospects in pastoral care, spiritual leadership and helping clients on their journey to gain meaning and self-awareness.

While this qualification is not a psychology qualification, and separate study is required in order to work as a registered psychologist, this course will equip you with the skills, insights and knowledge required to build a rewarding career helping others find meaning and tackle personal, family, marital and faith issues. 





To be eligible to study this course, applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree in theology, psychology or Australian Qualifications Framework equivalent. Applicants with degrees in any other disciplines are encouraged to apply; OR
  • Provide evidence that you are able to undertake tertiary study in this area (such as a letter of motivation and two professional or academic references).

If English is not your first language, you may need to complete a language, literacy and numeracy indicator test prior to enrolment.

What You’ll Learn

In this counselling course, the subjects you may study include:

  • Pastoral counselling skills
  • Pastoral counselling: theory and professional issues
  • Pastoral Counselling: grief and loss
  • Pastoral Counselling: crisis intervention
  • Pastoral Counselling: relationship and family
  • Pastoral Counselling: mental health and trauma
  • Spiritual direction in the Christian tradition
  • Applied pastoral theology

Why study with St Mark's National Theological Centre?

Discover what theological learning is all about when you sign up to a course at St Mark’s National Theological Centre. Since 1957 St Mark’s has been a leader in theological learning, offering students from all different backgrounds a rich, vibrant and supportive educational environment. St Mark’s is a proud partner of Charles Sturt University (CSU) and offers nationally recognised and academically rigorous undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in counselling, ministry and theology, pastoral studies plus more.

Student Support

St Mark’s National Theological Centre pride themselves on offering a supportive and high-quality theological education experience, while keeping the students’ interest at the forefront at all times.

As a partner with CSU, students of St Mark’s will be able to access the same great range of support services, including counselling services for any support you may need along your study journey or in your personal life.

Where Will It Lead Me?

Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling from St Mark’s National Theological Centre, awarded by Charles Sturt University.

This qualification will equip you with the skills and experience required to help others in a range of counselling and pastoral care roles, both within a church setting and more broadly. After completing this qualification, you may choose to work as a counsellor or pastoral care leader in the lay ministry, or serve others in your community as a youth leader, volunteer manager, counsellor or coach. 

This qualification also acts as a pathway to further study. You may choose to continue studying with the Master of Pastoral Counselling in order to deepen your communication skills and counselling experience. 

Curious about where a career in arts and humanities could take you? Potential job outcomes may include:

How Much Will It Cost?

Finance options

The fee for this course is $15,200 ($1,900 per eight credit point subject).

St Mark’s offers payment plans to assist students to manage the cost of study. The payment plan involves payment of a $500 deposit on or before the census date, and an agreement to make regular payments to complete the balance of fee payment by the last day of the semester.