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Pastoral Specialized Ministries Major

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Pastoral Specialized Ministries

1,090 Master's Degrees Annually
230 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#108 in Popularity (Master's)
$46,980 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Pastoral Specialized Ministries Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many pastoral counseling and specialized ministries graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,100
Doctor’s Degree 230
Graduate Certificate 136

What Pastoral Specialized Ministries Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, pastoral counseling majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Pastoral Counseling Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in pastoral counseling should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills for Pastoral Counseling Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to pastoral counseling:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities for Pastoral Counseling Majors

A major in pastoral counseling will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Pastoral Specialized Ministries Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with pastoral counseling:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Clergy 8.2% $48,990
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 7.1% $40,810
Philosophy and Religion Professors 12.3% $71,890
Religious Workers 7.7% $29,820

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Specialized Ministries?

1,100 Master's Degrees Annually
54% Percent Women
35% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Roughly 54% of the graduates are women, and 46% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of pastoral counseling majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Pastoral Counseling Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 68
Black or African American 182
Hispanic or Latino 113
White 586
International Students 76
Other Races/Ethnicities 75

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Pastoral Counseling. About 6.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India

How Much Do Pastoral Specialized Ministries Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in pastoral counseling was $36,800 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $34,100 (25th percentile) and $42,000 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to pastoral counseling.

Salaries According to BLS

Pastoral Counseling majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $35,860 to $53,290 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Pastoral Specialized Ministries Major  ( 35860 to 53290 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with pastoral counseling require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for pastoral counseling careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.3%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 2.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 36.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 2.8%
Master’s Degree 30.0%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.2%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.1%
Doctoral Degree 24.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.0%

Online Pastoral Specialized Ministries Programs

In 2018-2019, 283 schools offered a pastoral counseling program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 26 8
Certificate (1-2 years) 15 4
Certificate (2-4 Years) 7 3
Associate’s Degree 31 13
Bachelor’s Degree 49 9
Post-Baccalaureate 26 8
Master’s Degree 177 48
Post-Master’s 8 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 21 5
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 7 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 14 0

Is a Degree in Pastoral Specialized Ministries Worth It?

The median salary for a pastoral counseling grad is $46,980 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 18% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $141,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to pastoral counseling.

Major Number of Grads
Theological & Ministerial Studies 13,555
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 943
Biblical Studies 832
Religious Education 608
Missionary Studies 451
Sacred Music 136

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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