The American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) is a membership and certification organization whose mission is to provide spiritually informed and integrated counseling, collaborative community based services, training and education in order to enhance the well being of individuals, families and communities. AAPC, founded in 1963, represents and sets professional practice standards for over 2000 Pastoral Counselors and 75 Pastoral Counseling Centers.
Pastoral counseling is a unique form of counseling which uses spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing and growth. Certified pastoral counselors are licensed mental health professionals who have also had in-depth religious and/or theological education or training. Clinical Services are non-sectarian and respect the spiritual commitments, theological perspectives and religious traditions of those who seek assistance without imposing counselor beliefs onto the client.
Membership in AAPC is open to individuals who embrace its mission and desire to increase their professional capacity to provide spiritually informed and integrated care. For those who wish to be certified one can go to the Membership Manual to view descriptions of the categories of certification and the related requirements. For members, AAPC offers vital continuing education opportunities; encourages networks for professional support and enrichment; facilitates growth and innovation in the profession; and provides both specialized in-service training and supervision in pastoral counseling.