Biblical counseling approaches people’s problems in a way that is centered on the Holy Bible of Christianity rather than one of the secular psychological manuals, such as the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). Like secular counseling, it can be focused on individuals, couples, and families. However, biblical counseling has, as its foundation, a belief that psychological troubles are manifestations of sin. Improvement is thought to come as the patient remakes his or her life into one that is more in line with the Bible’s teachings.

As you can expect, universities that offer online doctorate degrees in biblical counseling are religious in nature. While they are not all seminaries, they are centered on Christianity. Usually, they will explicitly be of a specific sect, as well. This makes it easier to find one that lines up with your religious beliefs.

What Will I Learn in an Online Biblical Counseling Doctorate Program?

At some universities, there are multiple paths toward a biblical counseling doctorate degree. For example, at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, you can make biblical counseling your specified field under the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program, or go for the more specific PhD in biblical Counseling under the dedicated PhD track. If your goal is to be a minister or enter similar Christian service, you should choose the first option; if you want to be a counselor first and foremost, go for the PhD.

Note that not all universities use the term biblical counseling to refer to this field. The title “pastoral counseling” is quite popular too, and it is very common for seminaries and other religious education centers to combine biblical counseling with a wider Doctor of Ministry degree.

Often, you will need to contact the university of interest to find out the curriculum of such programs. However, Liberty University currently lists several course options for its online doctorate degree:

  • Individual and Family Issues
  • Premarital and Marital Issues
  • Crises and Current Issues
  • A 15-credit-hour thesis project or a 15-credit-hour portfolio

Unlike secular counseling doctorates, the D. Min or PhD in Biblical counseling do not lead to licensure. This is a downside if you want to get a job in a secular setting, but shouldn’t be an issue if you want to work in a church that is aware of the differences between Biblical and secular requirements.

Admissions Requirements for a Doctorate in Biblical Counseling

Since this type of counseling is explicitly Christian in nature, schools that offer online biblical counseling degrees typically require prior education in theology or ministry-related subjects rather than counseling. The goal is to make sure that you know your theology well enough to understand a biblical basis for counseling ideas, rather than to see if you know about secular counseling theories and practices.

Some of the requirements to expect still match those of secular universities, while others do not. As an example, here are Liberty University’s currently-listed admission requirements. The first several are almost universal:

  • Application
  • Fee (deferred)
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • CV

The school also requires a few theology-centric documents:

  • Proof of at least 18 graduate hours of Bible, theology, or ministry-related courses
  • School of Divinity Questionnaire
  • Ecclesiastical endorsement

While no GRE scores or minimum GPAs are mentioned by Liberty University, it is possible that some religious universities will require them. Be sure to check with all schools of interest to see if they are needed.

List of Biblical Counseling Doctorate Degree Programs

Find an online or campus-based doctorate program in biblical counseling today – our state-by-state listings make it easy to find a great program near you.

Virginia Beach, VA

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Tara Moretti, LMHC
Share This: