Undergraduate Certificate in Pastoral Counselling

PBC’s Undergraduate Certificate in Pastoral Counselling provides students with the opportunity to gain introductory level knowledge and skills in providing emotional and spiritual support to people within a faith-based context. This certificate empowers students to gain a deeper understanding of the principles and practices of Christian counselling, whether their goal is to serve as a counsellor or to move onto further studies.

Course Details

Study Load

Full-time or part-time

Study Mode



Full-time: 6 months
Part-time: 2 years

All applicants who endeavour to submit an application must meet the general admission requirements.

All domestic candidates must be Christian and 17 years or older.

Applicants must confess their faith in Christ under the PBC Statement of Faith, be involved regularly in a local church, demonstrate a desire to be involved in church ministry, demonstrate the physical and psychological capacity for studying in a tertiary institution, agree to abide by PBC policies and procedures and agree to abide by the Student Code of Conduct.

Before applying, please ensure you have:

  • A Unique Student Identifier number (USI). If you don’t have one, you can apply here. To find your number, click here.
  • A colour PDF of your birth certificate, passport, and permanent resident visa (or a certified copy)
  • A digital passport-style image
  • A colour PDF of previous academic transcripts and certificates of completion(or a certified copy)
  • A page or two detailing your testimony, including how you became a Christian and why you believe the Lord would have you train for Christian life and service at PBC
  • Contact information for two chosen referees
  • Contact information for your Pastor/Leader.

All students will also be required to demonstrate English Proficiency, which is equivalent to an academic IELTS band of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each subset. This can be demonstrated by:

  • evidence of the completion of studies undertaken only in the English language;
  • evidence of the completion of English studies undertaken at TAFE or an equivalent institution;
  • completion of an external assessment of English language, for example an IELTS (Academic Version); and/or completion of an onsite English evaluation. Candidates will be required to attend the PBC campus to complete the evaluation.

In addition to demonstrating English Proficiency, students must either:

  • be qualified for admission to an Australian University;
  • have other acceptable post-secondary qualifications (e.g. PBC Diploma of Ministry with distinction average); or
  • qualify for admission as a mature age student.

When you have all the required supporting information for your application, please apply online here.

‘This course is not available for Overseas Students’

4 core units

Core Units

Marriage and Family (CO604, CO704)

This unit deals with human sexuality, marriage and family life.

Human sexuality, marriage and family sets us apart from animals. It is precisely in the domain of sexuality and relationships that the dignity of humanity is the most clearly expressed.

Our sexuality calls us beyond ourselves to a whole, secure, healthy and intimate relationship with another human being other than us. Marriage and family issues present an ideal opportunity to show how the gospel can affect lives for the good.

Our marriages and family relationships can become showcases of the grace of God. It does not mean we must present ourselves as ‘getting it right’ in our marriages and families. But we can meet the world as people who have tasted something great and cannot settle for anything less.

The hope that we can offer people in the light of our understanding of God’s vision for our marriages and families can transform lives and relationships.

Models for Pastoral Counselling (CO601, CO701)

Pastoral counselling equips us to engage meaningfully with people in the light of the gospel’s message.

This unit will present and explore several foundational models to the understanding and practice of pastoral counselling. They will include psychological, anthropological, theological and counselling theories and models.

This will enable students to develop pastoral counselling relationships that are informed, supportive, at times graciously challenging and always hopeful.

Pastoral Counselling as Community Care (CO603, CO703)

Pastoral counselling does not occur in a vacuum. It occurs in a particular context – a church, a school, a para-church organisation or in more specialised agencies. It also exists within a specific community and cultural context.

People’s challenges and struggles also occur within particular contexts.

This unit will help the student to develop the understanding and skills needed for pastoral counselling and care in their specific community, cultural and practical ministry contexts.

Pastoral Counselling in a Christian Context (CO602, CO702, PA604, PA704)

In this unit, students will develop and practise pastoral counselling models shaped by theological thinking, the social sciences, and ministry contexts.

Students will learn to work through several counselling models through practicum and role-play. After developing the skills to move through the models step by step, they will then be encouraged to use them more flexibly and contextualise the models to specific case studies.

In the first instance, the Christian context being referred to is developing and practising counselling models informed by a Christian perspective and worldview. Secondly, referring to the vocational contexts, a pastoral counsellor may be working in.

Course Completion

Upon completion of all four core units, students will be awarded the Undergraduate Certificate in Pastoral Counselling.

CRICOS Course Details

This course is not available for overseas students.

Recognition of Prior Learning

PBC will assess Recognition of Prior Learning on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to apply for RPL, please inform the College at the time of applying.

For more information on this, please see PBC’s Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.


Enrolment process

Before the beginning of each semester, each student shall apply for enrolment by completing and lodging an Enrolment Form, obtainable from the Student Office.

The Dean of Students and the Dean of Studies will arrange enrolment appointment days for enrolling new and returning students. These meetings will allow students to receive advice on which units to enrol in, ensuring they will meet the requirements of their course.

Enrolment forms must be completed before attending lectures for that semester. All enrolments must be finalised by the census date. Students cannot add new units or transfer between units after the census date.

Students may apply to change their course enrolment at the beginning of a new semester up until the census date.

Students must complete an Application for Change of Enrolment form to make such an application. Students must meet the requirements outlined in the Course Articulation and Change of Course Policy to qualify to change course enrolment.


PBC may permit the deferral of a course enrolment of a student in some circumstances as outlined in the Enrolment – Domestic Students Policy and Enrolment – Overseas Students Policy.

Fees and charges

PBC’s most current fee structure can be found on the Course Fees page.

Academic requirements

Please carefully read the academic requirements as listed on the award that you are interested in pursuing.

Student support is an important aspect at PBC.

We take our students’ success in their studies seriously and understand that good student support requires a holistic approach. As a result of our commitment to our students, we have consistently been ranked above 90% for the student support aspect in the national Student Experience Survey facilitated by the QILT team.

Read more about Student and Campus Services.

Access and equity

PBC does not discriminate in the admission and access to its programs and activities based on disability, age, sex, race, colour of national or ethnic origin.

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“The thing I loved most about PBC was the environment. We have a Christian community on campus, support from the lecturer, lovely students and fellowship. It has encouraged me to feel part of the community.”