• Brian Ross and two students in Seminary House conference room

Our certificate in congregational care is designed for pastors and lay ministers who desire to provide pastoral counseling and other care ministries for their constituents. You'll gain the essentials for a wide range of ministry roles.


  • Purposeful community of learners and leaders
  • Experienced and published faculty
  • Theologically diverse student body
  • MFT and ministry students integrated in foundational courses
  • Option to study in Israel each summer
  • Option to attend the Hispanic Summer Program
  • Diverse practicum opportunities
  • Online courses available
  • Fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Career opportunities

This certificate equips students for lay counseling in a church or other community setting.

Program director

David Bruce Rose
David Bruce Rose, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy


Adam Ghali, Ph.D.
Adam Ghali, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy

Cynthia McGrady
Cynthia McGrady, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy

autumn lindberg
Autumn Lindberg, LMFT

Visalia Center Program Director and Adjunct Faculty of Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Mary Shamshoian
Mary Shamshoian, LMFT

Director of the On-Site Counseling Program, Adjunct Faculty of Marriage and Family Therapy

Admission requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university 
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Completion of FPBS application materials

Course listing

Required Courses (30 Units)

Biblical And Theological Studies
BIB 720The Church and God's Mission in the World3
BIB 725Biblical Interpretation I *2
THEO 730Discipleship and Ethics *3
BIB 709Bible Knowledge Requirement Seminar0
 Bible elective2
Practical Studies
COUN 710Introduction to Counseling1
COUN 721Professional Ethics in Counseling *3
COUN 728Family Violence *1.5
COUN 760Substance Abuse1
MIN 744Pastoral Care and Counseling3
MIN 770Ministry Discernment0
Personal and Social Formation
COUN 724Interpersonal Communication *3
MIN 705Mentoring/Connecting1
MIN 710Spiritual Formation2
MIN 750A
or MIN 750D
Cross-Cultural Encounter: Los Angeles
or Cross-Cultural Encounter: San Francisco

Choose 3 units from the following courses

COUN 726Human Development3
COUN 732Aging and Long-Term Care1
COUN 736Counseling Children2
COUN 736LCounseling Children Lab1
COUN 752Human Sexuality3
COUN 747Counseling Individuals and Couples: Modern Theories2
COUN 747LCounseling Individuals and Couples: Modern Theories Lab1
COUN 748Counseling Individuals and Couples: Postmodern Theories1
COUN 756Grief Counseling1
PACS 700Basic Institute in Conflict Management And Mediation *2

* Course must be taken as number of units listed here