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Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC)

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC) provides academic and professional training needed in order for persons to provide ministerial support and counseling within a variety of settings. This program will equip you with the skills necessary to effectively integrate theology and pastoral education (inclusive of, but not limited to the study of human development, crisis intervention and counseling, and pathology) into your ministerial practice.
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In pursuing my clinical counseling degree I have been challenged and affirmed, both personally and professionally, by my professors, and I remain grateful for the opportunity to learn from them.

Clinical Track Option

For those seeking licensure as a professional counselor in the state of Illinois, coursework required for licensure is available through The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago (CRPC). Those who chose the clinical track option will be required to complete 65-credit hours to fulfill the requirements of the MAPCC, including two courses at Northwestern University and clinical courses at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago (CRPC).

Students must first apply to Garrett-Evangelical's MAPCC program and following their first semester, they will apply to CRPC's program. Please note: Acceptance into the Garrett-Evangelical MAPCC program does not guarantee acceptance into the clinical program at CRPC. Each institution has its own admissions process and students are are strongly encouraged to discuss their career goals with one of the Pastoral Care professors as they apply. Once accepted into the MAPCC program, students should meet in early September with their advisor to discuss interest in clinical training.

About The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago

The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago (CRPC) is a not-for-profit organization offering psychotherapy and pastoral counseling for adults and adolescents, individuals and couples, since 1965. It is fully accredited as a clinical and educational site by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Staff members are licensed by the state of Illinois, and have been trained both in psychodynamic psychotherapy and in the engagement of the spiritual and religious dynamics of human experience. To learn more, go to

Affording Your Education

One Student. One Scholarship.

At Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, every master degree student receives a scholarship. Scholarships are available for full-time and part-time students and are designed with an eye toward each student’s passion and our mission. Scholarships range from 25% of tuition up to 100% of tuition with stipends. To learn more about all of our scholarship opportunities, please visit

Fellows Program

Deacon Fellows

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has been a leader in preparing students for ministry as a deacon since The United Methodist Church created the Order of Deacons in 1996. In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Order of Deacons, Garrett-Evangelical launched teh Deacon Fellows program in Fall 2017. You can learn more about Deacon Fellows, as well as the Deacon Studies program at Garrett-Evangelical, at

Hispanic-Latinx Fellows

Since 1988, Garrett-Evangelical has been committed to bringing Hispanic culture and experience into the life of the seminary and provide continuing education to the church through the Hispanic-Latinx Center. In line with this commitment, Garrett-Evangelical is launching a new Hispanic-Latinx Fellows Program in order to better support Hispanic-Latinx students who are called to ministry. This fellows program recognizes the unique gifts of our Hispanic and Latinx applicants who will be ministering in bilingual settings and/or who have significant contributions to make to the global religious landscape. To learn more about the Hispanic-Latinx Fellows program, visit

Pan Methodist Fellows

Since 1970 and the foundation of the Church and the Black Experience, Garrett-Evangelical has had a strong emphasis on African American experience and ministry. In line with this commitment and our Methodist heritage, Garrett-Evangelical launched Pan-Methodist Fellows Program in order to better support AME, AMEZ, and CME students who are called to ministry. To learn more about the Pan-Methodist Fellows program visit

Renowned Faculty Dedicated to the Practice of Pastoral Care and Counseling

Throughout Garrett-Evangelical's history, there has been a long-standing commitment to the pastoral care and counseling field. Our faculty is composed of men and women who have become national leaders of their professional organizations. Our pastoral care and counseling faculty include:

Dr. Trina Armstong is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care at Garrett-Evangelical. She is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and certified rape counselor. Her research intersects with practical and womanist theology, post-trauma psychology, and relational cultural theory. She also researches issues of loss, grief, death and dying, crisis care, and the impact of historical trauma on the wellbeing of African American families and interpersonal relationships. Prior to teaching at Garrett-Evangelical, Armstrong was Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and Pastoral Theology and Faculty Director of the Center for Interfaith Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care and Counseling at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, as well as a multi-systemic therapist at Nystrom and Associates, LLC.

Dr. Rolf Nolasco is Professor of Pastoral Theology at Garrett-Evangelical. He is an experienced professor, trained in pastoral and counseling psychology, mindfulness and contemplative spirituality, and affective neuroscience. Nolasco is also a psychotherapist, published author, and has vast experience in cross cultural communications from living and working across the world within varying social and cultural backgrounds. He is the author of The Contemplative Counselor: A Way of Being (Fortress Press, 2011) and Compassionate Presence: A Radical Response to Human Suffering (Cascade Books, 2016). His most recent work seeks to affirm compassion as the pulsating heartbeat of Christian theology and praxis through the hermeneutical perspectives of brain science, psychology, and practical theology. Nolasco is currently working on two books, namely God’s Beloved Queer (Wipf and Stock, 2018) and Depression, Dark Night of the Soul, and Joy (Cascade Books, 2020).

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling is a 48-hour program. Students have the option to take 12 additional hours to complete denominational ordination requirements. This degree is most often completed in two years for students enrolled full time.

Those who chose the clinical track option will be required to complete a total of 65-credit hours to fulfill the requirements of the MAPCC, including two courses at Northwestern University and clinical courses at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago (CRPC). This degree track is most often completed in three years for students enrolled full time.

Online Learning

While we honor the traditional methods of instruction and rich heritage of academia, we also embrace non-traditional methods such as online learning and hybrid classes. The maximum number of courses which may be taken in an online format is 1/3 of the degree. Students receiving advanced standing or transfer can take no more than 1/3 of remaining credits toward the degree in an online format. Students seeking ordination should check with the appropriate church authorities to see if there are more specific guidelines that must be met.

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Admission Requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university
  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Proficiency in the English language

Admission Process

Applications will be reviewed upon completion. The admissions committee reserves the right to determine, in its sole judgment, whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific degree program or for the vocation that the program represents. Applications are accepted on an ongoing, rolling-admission basis and are due six weeks before date of entry for domestic students. International applications are due March 1st.