A Doctor of Theology (D.Th.) in Biblical Counseling program may take between two and five years to complete, depending on the university or seminary offering the program. The programs typically require a great deal of individualized research as well as classroom seminar hours and dissertation research hours. Many also require students to participate in hands-on experiences in which they put biblical lessons to practical use in supervised counseling sessions.
A baccalaureate and master's degree are the two most common educational prerequisites for enrollment in a D.Th. in Biblical Counseling program. Some programs are also only made available to working pastors, associate pastors or other church leaders who are interesting in taking on a larger counseling role within the church.
Doctor of Theology in Biblical Counseling
The curriculum found within a typical D.Th. program in biblical counseling focuses both on advanced bible studies and on counseling strategies. Some examples of such courses are listed below:
- Substance abuse and addictive behavior
- Crisis, grief, and trauma counseling
- Counseling depressed individuals
- The doctrine of Christ
- Grief and trauma counseling
- Counseling for the terminally ill
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a Doctor of Theology in Biblical Counseling degree program can go on to apply their knowledge in a variety of positions within the church, including pastors, counselors, youth counselors, and small group ministers. Additional positions these graduates can pursue include:
- Church marriage counselor
- Professor of biblical studies
- Associate pastor
- Teaching pastor
Employment Prospects and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clergy members earned an annual average wage of $48,150 as of 2015. Employment opportunities for clergy members were projected to grow 6% between 2014 and 2024, reports the BLS, which is about average.
Students will develop skills in research, counseling, and biblical knowledge through a Doctor of Theology in Biblical Counseling program. Graduates can pursue careers as pastors, counselors, and professors.