Master of Arts in Professional Counseling
The Master of Arts in Professional Counseling is designed to prepare students for professional licensure by qualifying them for the specialized ministry of counseling in the contexts of clinical settings, the local church, or church-related agencies. The program enables students to thoughtfully integrate and ethically implement the most effective models and theories of counseling with a coherent biblical/theological perspective and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's activity. Since helping hurting people is an essential element of the Gospel, this program equips students to respond therapeutically to the opportunities of global diversity in facilitating healing and wholeness in every area of life.
The program is designed to meet the licensure requirements for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) and for Licensed Marital and Family Therapists (LMFT). While licensure requirements vary across states, certain core courses tend to be standard. Students are encouraged to contact individual state licensing offices to determine if any additional coursework is needed.
"I chose the MA in Professional Counseling because not only did it offer me a professional degree which I could utilize in the public sector, but it also incorporated an approach with the greatest answer to anyone's problems. That approach is Jesus. The opportunity to study counseling from a Christian perspective was an important factor in choosing this program. I feel that I am being exposed to real life situations and am able to incorporate spirituality as a tool for my future career.
"I really enjoy the atmosphere in the Graduate School of Theology and Ministry. The cohesion of the students creates a family in which you can grow and share struggles and triumphs. Also, the availability of the professors gives me a great opportunity to learn firsthand as they offer their knowledge and wisdom through relationship. I am so honored to have the professors as mentors and role models to look up to not only in my career, but also in the Lord."
Because students are called to the counseling ministry at all stages of life, this degree does not require prerequisites before matriculation. The courses within the degree, however, are sequential and need to be completed in a specified order. Advisers are available to help students design their degree plans.
The Master of Arts Professional Counseling aims to:
- Present an overview of the philosophy, history, and trends of the counseling profession, emphasizing its legal and ethical dimensions.
- Expose students to social, cultural, and religious diversity with an emphasis on the competencies conducive for effective counseling with diverse populations.
- Enable students to understand the various dimensions of human development and the impact of crisis events and addictive behaviors on that process.
- Assist students in developing their vocation and in acquiring the necessary skills to assist clients in making career decisions.
- Help students gain the necessary competencies for developing therapeutic relationships and facilitating the counseling process.
- Equip students with the knowledge and skills of group dynamics in order to facilitate group counseling.
- Train students in the art and science of assessment and diagnosis, including both theoretical and clinical (DSM-5) aspects.
- Instruct students in basic research skills and methodologies that enable them to conduct program evaluations, critique counseling research findings, and to appraise Empirically Supported Treatments (EST).
- Introduce students to various theories and models appropriate for clinical mental health counseling. (LPC)
- Immerse students in systems theory and introduce them to various models of marriage, couple, and family counseling. (MFT)
- Provide guided internship opportunities for the application of theory and practice in a professional setting.
- Engage students to integrate their spiritual/religious beliefs into an overall philosophy of counseling through theological reflection and examination of underlying assumptions.
- Integrate a biblical/theological understanding of people, the nature of change, and the activity of the Holy Spirit in counseling.
- Promote a biblical/theological understanding of the person, work, and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
- Enable students to articulate clearly their ministry/professional calling.
Master of Arts Professional Counseling:
For those who want to meet the licensure requirements for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).
Master of Arts Professional Counseling/Marital and Family Therapy Concentration
For those who want to meet the licensure requirements for Licensed Marital & Family Therapists (LMFT).
Michael Thomas, Graduate Theology Enrollment Counselor
Graduate School of Theology and Ministry
Phone: 918.495.6618 | Toll free: 800.643.7976 x2