Doctor of Theology in Biblical Counseling: Program Overview

Oct 12, 2019

A Doctor of Theology program prepares students to contribute to academic research in theology and religious studies. It is generally designed to give current church counselors and pastors a masterful understanding of the Bible and its teachings.

Essential Information

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:

  • Minister
  • 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 $53,290 as of 2018. Employment opportunities for clergy members were projected to grow 6% between 2018 and 2028, 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.

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