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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

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to pastoral counseling and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Pastoral Counseling Majors

Pastoral Counseling majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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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

As a pastoral counseling major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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?

People with a pastoral counseling degree often go into the following careers:

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
According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. 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

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in pastoral counseling have a median salary of $36,800 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $34,100 (25th percentile) and $42,000 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in pastoral counseling, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

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 you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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 degrees associated with pastoral counseling may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 283 schools offered some type of pastoral counseling and specialized ministries program. 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 19,838
Biblical Studies 4,551
Religious Education 1,497
Missionary Studies 1,379
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 1,375
Sacred Music 477

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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