• Brian Ross and two students in Seminary House conference room
  • couple sitting and talking to another couple around a coffee table

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.


Photo of Adam Ghali, Ph.D.

Adam Ghali, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy

Photo of Cynthia McGrady, Ph.D.

Cynthia McGrady, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Program Director, Marriage and Family Therapy

Photo of autumn lindberg

Autumn Lindberg, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty of Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Admission requirements

Download the Admissions Checklist to get started.

Course listing

Required Courses (30-31 Units)

Biblical and Theological Studies

BIB 720The Church and God’s Mission in the World3
BIB 725Understanding, Interpreting and Teaching Scripture2-3

Must be taken as a 2 unit course

THEO 730Discipleship and Ethics2-3

Must be taken as a 3 unit course

BIB 709Bible Knowledge Requirement Seminar0

Bible elective 2 Units

Practical Studies

COUN 710Introduction to Counseling1
COUN 721Professional Ethics in Counseling3

Must be taken as a 3 unit course

COUN 728Family Violence1.5

Must be taken as a 1.5 unit course

COUN 760Substance Abuse1
MIN 768Serving Resiliently Through Crises and Trauma2-3
MIN 770Ministry Discernment0

Personal and Social Formation

COUN 724Interpersonal Communication2-3

Must be taken as a 3 unit course

MIN 704Discerning Vocation and Calling1
MIN 714Spirit, Character, and Transformation2-3
MIN 750A
MIN 750D
Cross-Cultural Encounter: Los Angeles
or Cross-Cultural Encounter: San Francisco
or 1.5


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 Sexuality 1 -3
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 700Peacemaking Institute and Mediation2-3

Must be taken as a 2 unit course