Master of Pastoral Counselling

  • Qualification:

    Master's Degree

  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    Payment planUpfront payment

  • Duration:

    2 years full-time; 4 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 | Rehabilitation Counsellor | Student Counsellor | View All

Course Rundown

Develop advanced skills in counselling and pastoral care and build a rewarding career helping others with this online Master of Pastoral Counselling course from St Mark’s National Theological Centre,  awarded by Charles Sturt University.

Designed to qualify people with a broad range of experience in pastoral counselling, this practical online course enables you to build specialised skills to offer counselling and advanced pastoral care in a range of settings, including in churches, universities, schools, military service, corrective services, police, aged care facilities and in the general community.  

If you’re empathetic, self-aware and want to build your career making a difference in the lives of others, a career in pastoral care and counselling may be for you. 

In this course you’ll develop advanced practical skills in a range of modern counselling techniques, including communication, listening and interviewing, and cover key knowledge areas including relationship counselling, grief counselling and applied pastoral care. You’ll cover contemporary research principles and apply them to your practice, enabling you to develop mastery in your chosen field of pastoral care. In this Master’s course, you’ll have the opportunity to choose to learn through research or coursework, offering flexibility and a relevant, tailored learning experience. 

While this qualification is not a psychology qualification, and separate study is required in order to work as a registered psychologist, this course is grounded in a theological and spiritual setting and will enhance your spiritual leadership and enable you to help clients on their journey to gain meaning and self-awareness.




To be eligible to study this course, applicants must meet the following entry 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 Australian Qualifications Framework 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 (you may be required to complete core subject theological components of a Graduate Diploma of Theology before being granted admission to the Master of Pastoral Counselling)


Applicants must also demonstrate English language proficiency.

What You’ll Learn

In this arts and humanities 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
  •  Advanced pastoral counselling
  • Social research methods for pastoral studies
  • Pastoral counselling research proposal
  • Pastoral counselling dissertation 

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 Master of Pastoral Counselling from St Mark’s National Theological Centre,  awarded by Charles Sturt University. 

This qualification will equip you with the advanced skills and critical thinking abilities to practise pastoral care and counselling at an advanced level in a range of settings, including within the church, in your community, and in schools, corrective facilities and within the police. 

You'll develop the skills and research abilities required to gain proficiency in pastoral care and can apply these skills in a range of counselling, care and coaching roles, including working as a youth worker, school counsellor or relationship counsellor, or taking on responsibilities relating to pastoral care within your church community. 

This qualification will also deepen your natural ability to communicate and listen, equipping you with the insights and abilities required to work in this challenging and rewarding field. 


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 $1,900 per eight credit points; the full-time load is 64 credit points per year.

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.