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Congregational Care

Biblical Seminary

When you're called to heal,
the possibilities are endless.

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.

Program Highlights

  • 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)


Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno

Required Courses (30-31 Units)

Biblical and Theological Studies

  • BIB 720 - The Church and God's Mission in the World Credits 3
  • BIB 725 - Understanding, Interpreting and Teaching Scripture Credits 2 - 3
  •    Must be taken as a 2 unit course

  • THEO 730 - Discipleship and Ethics Credits 2 - 3
  •    Must be taken as a 3 unit course

  • BIB 709 - Bible Knowledge Requirement Seminar Credits 0
  • Bible elective 2 Units

Practical Studies

  • COUN 710 - Introduction to Counseling Credits 1
  • COUN 721 - Professional Ethics in Counseling Credits 3
  •    Must be taken as a 3 unit course

  • COUN 728 - Family Violence Credits 1.5
  •    Must be taken as a 1.5 unit course

  • COUN 760 - Substance Abuse Credits 1
  • MIN 768 - Serving Resiliently Through Crises and Trauma Credits 2 - 3
  • MIN 770 - Ministry Discernment Credits: 0 – 0

Personal and Social Formation

  • COUN 724 - Interpersonal Communication Credits 2 - 3
  •    Must be taken as a 3 unit course

  • MIN 704 - Discerning Vocation and Calling Credits 1
  • MIN 714 - Spirit, Character, and Transformation Credits 2 - 3
  • MIN 750A - Cross-Cultural Encounter: Los Angeles Credits 1.5 or
  • MIN 750D - Cross-Cultural Encounter: San Francisco Credits 1.5


Choose 3 units from the following courses:

  • COUN 726 - Human Development Credits 3
  • COUN 732 - Aging and Long-Term Care Credits 1
  • COUN 736 - Counseling Children Credits 2
  • COUN 736L - Counseling Children Lab Credits 1
  • COUN 752 - Human Sexuality Credits 1 - 3
  • COUN 747 - Counseling Individuals and Couples: Modern Theories Credits 2
  • COUN 747L - Counseling Individuals and Couples: Modern Theories Lab Credits 1
  • COUN 748 - Counseling Individuals and Couples: Postmodern Theories Credits 1
  • COUN 756 - Grief Counseling Credits 1

Possibilities Await
With and FPU Education

Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary is rooted in the evangelical, Anabaptist tradition, and like you, we are passionate about making a tangible difference in the Central Valley and around the world. You’ll learn this through spirited inquiry, thoughtful reflection and hands-on experience. If you want a place to explore and pursue your calling in a practical way – join us!

First Steps to Admission

  • Review the admission requirements for your chosen program.
  • Submit an application for admission online
    * There is a $90 application fee.
  • Request official transcripts from previously attended colleges, universities and high schools and send electronically to
    • If you graduated from FPU, you do not need to request transcripts.
  • Submit remaining admission requirements via fax, email or postal mail.
    • Mail: Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary Admission, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Box 14, Fresno, CA 93702
    • Email:

Apply now


  • Commitment to and desire for Christian ministry and Service
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (minimum 2.5 GPA; 3.0 for MFT program*)
  • Application form and fee
  • Short Answer Questions
  • Two references. One should be from a spiritual mentor, and one should be an academic reference.
    • Please do not use a family member as the pastoral or employer reference
  • Writing sample from your undergraduate education
    • This can be any paper submitted for a letter grade regardless of subject
  • Check your specific program's requirements

*Under special circumstances these requirements may be waived.

Special Circumstances

FPU Undergraduate Alumni Admission

Undergraduate alumni (traditional and degree completion) pursuing a graduate program at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary may have courses waived towards their seminary program. Students must complete the qualifying undergraduate course with a grade of B or higher to receive seminary course credit. Once students have been admitted to a seminary program, they must complete the Advanced Standing form in Sunbird Central to officially request advanced standing at the seminary.

Admission with a GPA below 2.5 or below 3.0 for the MFT program

In some circumstances, we are willing to waive the GPA requirement if the student demonstrates high maturity and/or life experience that demonstrates they can perform well in the program. We take into account their ministry experience for BIB/MIN programs, their GRE score, volunteer counseling hours experience and psych pre-requisites for the MFT degree. We encourage people with a low GPA to still apply so we can look over their materials.

Admission without a Bachelor's Degree

Students will be considered for admission to Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary into the M.Div., M.A.CM, M.A. CLT, or M.A. MLC degrees or one of our certificate programs without the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree if they have:

  • 60 semester units or two years of post-secondary education minimum
  • Significant ministry experience
  • Evidence of life experience which has prepared them for graduate theological education

In compliance with the Association of Theological Schools such students may only pursue the degree or program to which they have applied.

Additional Bible Knowledge Requirement

The Bible Knowledge Requirement (BKR) is a one-day, no credit class with an examination at the end of the day. The BKR is required to be met during the first month of your first term.

Non-Matriculated Students

Students may enroll in up to 6 units of courses for credit/audit at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary without being admitted into a degree or certificate program. This is considered a non-matriculated status.

Cost & Financial Aid

The below listed prices reflect the current and upcoming Fall and Spring semesters and do not include any financial aid. Paying for college can be an overwhelming step in education your journey. We can help you find all the possible opportunities to reduce your out of pocket costs.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition per Unit Amount
Theology / Bib / Religion $495
MFT / Counseling $550
Other Costs Amount
Student Body Fee $115
Seminary Technology $50
Tuition per Unit Amount
Theology / Bib / Religion $515
MFT / Counseling $570
Other Costs Amount
Student Body Fee $115
Seminary Technology $50

* This is an estimate. Costs subject to change. Cost of attendance figures are used for budgeting purposes only and represent an estimate of projected tuition and fees for the coming academic year. Actual tuition rates are approved by the Board of Trustees and may vary.

Types of aid

Financial aid can refer to scholarships, grants and loans, which are available to you from the government, the university or outside sources. Aid types vary depending on the type of student you are.

View FPBS Private Scholarships

Career Opportunities

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

Career Development Happens Here

The staff in our Career Development and Experiential Learning Center are here to help you prepare to enter the working world. Whether your a freshman or an FPU alum, there are a number of resources and trainings offered to help you find the internship and job you’re looking for.

  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center