Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Counseling

Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Counseling Online Graduate Certificate

About Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Counseling Certificate

Learn how to integrate spiritual perspectives into your counseling practice or pastoral care.

Facilitate awareness and positive change with a 100% online graduate certificate in spiritual, ethical and religious counseling (SERC) from California University of Pennsylvania. It's a perfect way to add specialization to a graduate degree or professional background in counseling, social work, ministry or a related field in the helping professions.

Cal U's certificate program embraces a cross-cultural approach and promotes diversity awareness. We uphold the American Counseling Association (ACA) codes of ethics and the Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC) competencies. 

Advanced program courses focus on applicable skills.

  • Theoretical applications to the field.
  • Grief and loss counseling and care.
  • Contemporary spiritual perspectives.
  • Ethics in spiritual and religious counseling.
  • The integration of spiritual, ethical and religious counseling skills.


100% Online
Our online certification program is asynchronous, which means you never have to log on to a course at a certain time. Classes utilize streaming video lectures, narrated PowerPoint presentations and online forums. Discussion groups, chat rooms and email allow for communication, interaction and insight.

Top Quality Courses
Certificate courses can be used as Act 48 continuing education units, and applied toward Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) credentials. All spiritual, ethical and religious counseling courses are housed in Cal U's Department of Counselor Education, which is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and related educational programs (CACREP).

Learn more

This three-course (9-credit) certificate can be completed in 15 weeks.
AffordableCollegesOnline.org named Cal U Best in State Online College in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
icon undergrad for degree

Degree Benefits

This program will give you skills and tools to facilitate spiritual awareness and positive change in individuals and social systems, including:

  • Skills to treat grief and loss, existential issues, and applicable diagnoses.
  • A high level of self-awareness.
  • An understanding of counseling professionalism and the Ethical Guidelines and Standards of Practice of the American Counseling Associates.
  • A sensitivity to diversity and the uniqueness of people within social and cultural contexts.
icon undergrad for degree

Graduate Outcomes

A certificate in spiritual, ethical and religious counseling prepares students and practitioners to better serve populations in a variety of counseling and ministry jobs and settings, including:

  •  Hospitals
  • Private practices.
  • Community agencies, rescue missions and shelters.
  • Churches, or faith-based counseling centers.
  • Military facilities.

Learn more about gainful employment.

Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Counseling - Graduate Certificate
Spiritual 1

Faculty Hero: Dr. Grafton Eliason

Meet, Dr. Grafton Eliason, professor of spiritual, ethical and religious counseling and coordinator of Cal U's clinical mental health counseling program. Dr. Eliason is also an ordained Presbyterian minister who was awarded the Southwestern Pennsylvania Red Cross 2014 Hero Educator Award. His extensive publications include the co-edited books Career Development Across the Lifespan and Existential and Spiritual Issues in Death Attitudes.

professor 2

Program Philosophy

Cal U's counselor education program is predicated on the belief that humans are bio-psycho-social-spiritual beings who have the capacity for self-reflection, to be responsible for their actions, and to articulate personal meanings for existence.

Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Counseling Graduate Certificate Courses

This three-course (9-credit) certificate program starts in the summer or winter terms and is 100% online. Courses will not certify you as a Professional Counselor or Pastoral Counselor, but may be utilized for LPC, NCC and Act 48 credits.

Course Examples
  • Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling
  • Applied Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Counseling Theory
  • Grief & Loss Counseling
  • Contemporary Perspectives and Ethics in Spiritual Counseling

View Course Sequence

Counselor Education

Master's Degrees

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master's Degree

A master of science degree fulfilling course requirements for NCC and LPC credentials. This degree facilitates students who want to work as professional counselors helping clients across a spectrum of mental and emotional disorders.


School Counseling Pre K-12 Master of Education Degree

A master of education degree fulfilling LPC requirements for students who want to work as counselors assisting Pre K-12 students in their academic, personal and career development.


View admissions requirements

Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Counseling Faculty

Dr. Grafton Eliason


Dr. Elizabeth Gruber
Professor, Department Chairperson


Dr. Jeff L. Samide


Dr. Jacqueline Walsh