Pastoral counseling is the integration of your values, beliefs and faith into counseling. It is a process of helping you address your needs in light of what is most important and meaningful to you. Pastoral counseling helps you learn to better live out what you hold to be most important, and healthy relationships are at the center of this process.

Why is Pastoral Counseling Important?

  • Faith and Spirituality are known to be important to healing
  • Four out of five people say they want their beliefs and values to be part of the counseling process
  • Loving relationships are at the core of positive spirituality and healthy people

How Does Pastoral Counseling Work?

  • Faith, values, purpose, meaning, and God are open for discussion at any time
  • The counselor tunes into your spirituality, rather than trying to make you convert to theirs
  • Pastoral counseling is more than discussing scripture, or convincing you to have more faith - it is about holistic healing and growth that is integrated with your faith
  • Pastoral counseling can be integrated with individual, couple, marital, family, and group counseling

What Makes Pastoral Counselors Unique?

  • Training in pastoral counseling emphasizes the counselor’s skill and ability to focus on issues of deepest meaning to you
  • Personal and spiritual growth are believed to be essential in order for counselor to help others, and the counselor must demonstrate ongoing commitment to these
  • Pastoral counselors are able to facilitate other’s growth even when they are of a different faith tradition
  • Pastoral counseling is neither "secular" nor formal evangelization 

How are Pastoral Counselors Trained and Certified?

  • Being of the same faith does not automatically qualify anyone to help others with their spiritual growth
  • Pastoral counselors have advanced graduate degrees in both counseling and theology
  • Pastoral counselors are certified by passing rigorous written and oral exams by national experts 
  • Certification by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors is the only nationally recognized credential for integrating spirituality and counseling

Combine Pastoral Counseling with Skill Training

Most kinds of counseling include some informal relationship education and skill training, but you pay far more for private tutoring by a counselor than you would for a workshop. More than that, there are many advantages to small group education. The content is organized systematically and presented with teaching methods that are known to work. Many supplemental materials (workbooks, handouts, video clips, exercises, online resources) are made available to help you. You learn from others who are wrestling with the same issues, while still getting personalized help and feedback. Workshops are done in a safe, confidential environment when you are not in the midst of stressful issues. Workshops speed up the counseling process, move you through painful issues more quickly, and reduce the cost and number of counseling sessions needed. We provide integrated counseling and education services that are available in bundled packages to give you the lowest possible rates for both. You get the best of both worlds in the most efficient way possible.

Read Duane Nelson's Counseling Approach

Read our Statement of Values.