The Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling Program Invites Applicants - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Skip to main content

The Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling Program Invites Applicants

Main Content
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The program for the Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling degree is designed to provide clergy of all faiths a unique setting in which to complete the educational and supervisional components necessary to apply for membership in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) upon graduation.  The D.Min. degree program combines the certification program in clinical education for pastoral ministry with additional courses and seminars taught by HUC-JIR faculty leading to a D.Min. degree.

Degree Requirements
Students enrolled in the D.Min. program are expected to earn, generally over a two-year period, a certificate in pastoral counseling. In addition to the certificate, 4 additional courses are offered by and are designed to add religious perspectives to the program. Six additional seminars and a demonstration project are also required.

Advanced Standing
Graduates of the Pastoral Counseling Training Program may be eligible for advanced standing in this D.Min. Program Candidates with extensive similar training may also be eligible and are requested to present a detailed description of this training along with their application. Decisions regarding advanced standing are made by the HUC-JIR Graduate Studies Committee in consultation with the Co-Directors of Pastoral Counseling Training.

Special Requirement
The program does not require candidates to undertake personal psychotherapy. Nevertheless, candidates are advised that this is an ideal way to complement clinical training and that the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) invariably expects some form of personal therapy on the part of candidates seeking national membership.

Course of Study
The Pastoral Counseling component (10 courses) includes (a) psychodynamic theory and assessment pertinent to the conflicts of individuals, couples, and families; (b) intervention techniques pertinent to the spectrum of counseling situations, including specialized interventions of cases of addiction, threat of suicide, and the like; (c) peer group interaction and exploration of each counselor's personal style; and (d) supervision of the candidate's ministry in congregational, agency, or specialized settings.

HUC-JIR faculty present 4 seminars exploring the contributions of religious text and tradition as they inform responses to particular client needs as well as the candidate's overall approach to ministry. HUC-JIR courses in the theology of pastoral care, personal faith development, and pastoral liturgy are included in this component.

During the summer between the first and second years, students develop a proposal for a demonstration project in consultation with their faculty advisor. This demonstration project is one in which the critical, integrative method of course work is brought to bear on an actual clinical problem or need in the student's ministry setting. Demonstration Project

The Doctor of Ministry degree is awarded to students after they have developed necessary pastoral counseling skills and participated in interfaith studies in worship and ritual, theology, spiritual guidance, and psycho-pathology. The students also complete a demonstration project that integrates counseling and spiritual development skills.

Project topics are chosen by students from the entire range of pastoral care duties and are based on their own interests, needs, and experiences. Past Doctor of Ministry demonstration projects have focused on:

  • The Language of Shame Among People Living with HIV/AIDS: Its Challenge to Ministry
  • Jewish Faith, Identity, and Ego Repair after Divorce
  • The Use of Guided Meditation with Male Inmates in a High-Security Prison
  • Jewish Men's Spiritual Growth
Examinations will take place between the first and second years of study. Students may take up to one month to complete their written responses. A follow-up oral examination may also be scheduled, during which both student and examining committee discuss issues pertinent to the written exam and to the first year of study.

For further information regarding this program, please contact:
Coordinators of the Doctor of Ministry Program
Rabbi Hesch Sommer, D.Min
(203) 458-3705
Ann M. Akers, M.Div., LP

Click here for the D. Min. applicant instructions.

Please download and complete this form and mail it to:

National Office of Admissions
HUC-JIR, 3077 University Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90007-3796
For further information, please click here.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.