Course of Study

The Pathway to Licensure

The Commonwealth of Kentucky requires a state license to practice pastoral counseling.  The basic degree requirement to become a Kentucky Licensed Pastoral Counselor is a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.).  Sitting for the licensure exam requires 1,375 hours in the practice of pastoral counseling along with 250 hours of clinical supervision acceptable to the Board.

KPCC provides all the education and training necessary, post-MDiv or equivalent, to qualify a candidate-in-training to sit for the state licensure exam, once all clinical and supervisory hours are obtained. 

KPCC faculty also offer supervision, both in-module and individual.

What follows is a description of our training modules and format.

Note: In traditional doctoral-level format, trainees will lead each seminar-styled module with their prepared essays, book reviews, and case presentations with supervision and input provided by the teaching faculty. Modules are evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

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Group Meeting


Introduction to Pastoral Counseling, Part I
An Overview

This module serves as an introduction to the history and role of pastoral counseling in the church and in the context of other mental and behavioral health practices.

Family at a Beach


Introduction to Pastoral Counseling: Part II
Theory, Practice, & Ethics

Part two examines various pastoral counseling theories, the practice of pastoral counseling in various contexts, and the myriad ethical considerations facing clients and their pastoral counselors.

Women Holding Hands


Marriage & Family Therapy, Part I

Introduction to Theoretical Approaches

The third module introduces trainees to commonly used marital therapy theories, focusing specifically on Gottman Marital Theory, its history, structure, essential tenets, and therapeutic utility with couples seeking relationship counseling.



Marriage & Therapy, Part II
A Practicum

In this module, trainees will utilize Gottman Marital Theory to workshop multiple case studies in a small group context, honing their knowledge and practice of marital theory.



Integration of Health Care Sciences, Theology, & Counseling Practice

Pastoral Counselors are educated in multiple fields, and their practices are defined by an integration of them all. This module has trainees exploring that integration to ensure competency and best practices.

Posing in a Garden


Personality Theory & Psychopathology

Diagnosis is a critical part of pastoral counseling, and knowledge of personality theories and a working relationship with the DSM-V is vital to this work. This module uses case studies to explore the work of diagnosis, which is integral to mental and behavioral health and, for those practitioners who will file insurance on behalf of their clients, is necessary for billing purposes.

Woman Working at Home


How We Do Training

All modules are conducted over a one- or two-month time period, depending on the needs of trainees. Reading assignments, essays, and case consultation presentation reports are prepared individually during that time in what amounts to an independent study, and are presented to the ongoing cohort of all trainees during a daylong virtual seminar conducted via ZOOM on the final Friday of the module period, which will include lecture, small group work, individual presentation, and case consultation. Faculty will assign final grades to trainees, who then advance to complete the next module.
(Modules may be taken asynchronously.)