Sometimes good advice is just good advice. But other times, we need to understand the reasoning behind what we hear. Many other times, even when the reasoning makes sense to us, we aren't convinced until we can emotionally and spiritually embrace the message we hear too. In the Christian community, it is common that the good advice people are looking for comes from their spiritual leadership. Receiving our council from this source means that we can feel certain what we hear corresponds with our moral and religious values, and that it is a trustworthy source to follow.
In fact, more and more individuals are turning toward pastoral counseling for their personal, family, and business counseling needs since they recognize the strong moral and practical foundation Christianity provides in a wide range of areas. If you are a Christian who has the passion to listen to others and provide them with guidance according to Biblical principles, than pursuing an Associate's Degree in pastoral counseling will be a highly appropriate career for you.
A pastoral counselor is first and foremost a religious leader, one who is devoted to the faith and who is knowledgeable in many different aspects of it. Unlike many other fields, becoming any kind of a religious leader means that individuals who seek your services will also look for these same principles applied in your own life. Pastoral counseling often involves sitting down with individuals, couples, families, or any people associated with the Christian community and providing them with the advice, perspectives, and encouragement needed to build healthy bonds and facilitate growth in Christian living. This kind of counseling emphasizes the spiritual aspect of relationships and living, and does not typically focus on diagnosing disorders or applying psychotherapeutic techniques common in secular practices.
To prepare for this important counseling field, a student will likely enroll in course programs that train them in a combination of Christian teachings and counseling techniques. Courses typically include theology, Christian apologetics, Christian ethics, couples' therapy, reconciliation, developmental psychology, and crisis counseling. In addition to mere coursework, they will also have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in clinical and internship style settings.
An individual does not have to have a specific job title of pastoral counselor to engage in counseling. Often, the counseling is a major facet of their leadership responsibilities within a church organization. Other job titles that are often available to those with an Associate's Degree in pastoral counseling include becoming a church administrator, outreach director, associate pastor, or youth minister. In each of these settings, have a background training in Christian theology and Christian relational ministries is important for being successful.
There is a growing demand for this type of pastoral counseling services. Often individuals who are not even necessarily religious are looking for guidance of a more spiritual nature rather than more formal, secular methods of diagnosis and therapy. The goal of pastoral counseling is to find ways to promote healthy living in relational and emotional ways for people's entire lives, and they do this through emphasizing the importance of Bible-centered morality and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
So while most of us know good advice when we hear it, we also know that some of the best advice comes from the religious leaders who encourage everyone around them to live their lives in a moral, centered, healthy way. There's a reason why individuals have based their lives off of the Bible relentlessly for thousands of years, and there's good reason to take the advice of those who specialize in knowing what Christianity is all about. If you're the type of Christian believer who understands these essential principles and has a passion for helping others in this way, then it's time to acquire your Associate's Degree in pastoral counseling.