Pastoral caregivers and missionary caregivers are those who work for a church, Christian ministry or missionary organization in which they help a person look at a life situation from God's perspective. They use primarily the Bible with counseling, spiritual development diagnoses, limited testing and assessment skills. The pastoral caregiver has the advantage of bringing the church as a body and organization to the benefit of the person in need. She or he can have a personal discipling relationship in and out of the counseling office with the person in need.
The clinical counselor, on the other hand, works more with diagnosis from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, intensive therapy of serious issues and pathology using the Bible, counseling, research and clinical testing tools. The clinical counseling student will need under-graduate psychology counseling coursework, must pass the National Counselors Exam and complete a post-graduate internship at least two-years long. They come under state and legal and ethical guidelines. They are not allowed to have an ongoing relationship with the client outside of the counseling office. The clinical counselor may qualify for insurance reimbursement for his or her services.