Master of Arts in Christian Counseling (M.A.)

Credit Hours: 36

Total Cost: $5,400.00

Prerequisites: Bachelor’s Degree

Master of Arts in Christian Counseling

Are you called to heal the brokenhearted, strengthen couples and families, and walk people through life’s challenges? Earn your Master of Arts in Christian Counseling and become a competent, church-based religious counselor.

The Master of Arts in Christian Counseling degree is designed to prepare the student for a specialized ministry in the counseling of individuals, couples, families and special focus groups within the context of the local church, para-church ministries, church-related agencies, or other religious settings. The program enables the student to employ integrative therapies: integrating proven, effective counseling methods, models and modalities, with sound biblical and theological principles. The vision of the church is to be a healing community. Hope for hurting individuals and families is an essential element of the Christian message. The MA program equips the student to help people realize personhood wholeness in every area of human life – spirit, mind, and body – and to facilitate marriage and family harmony and enrichment.

Courses You’ll Complete to Earn Your Degree

The twelve courses listed comprise the Master’s degree in Christian Counseling. Changes or substitutions are subject to the approval of the Academic Dean. Substitutions may be made if some of the above courses have already been taken.

  • CO 500: Psychology and Theology

    This study is intended to help pastors and other Christian leaders develop proficiency in enabling people to solve their problems while understanding and balancing the tensions between psychology and theology.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CE 502: Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management

    An examination of the process of interpersonal communication and conflict management in human relationships within Christian organizations, with attention given to communication models, self-concept, nonverbal messages, stress and other strategies that will assist the Christian leader in developing interpersonal communication skills and the productive use of conflict.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 510: Human Development From a Christian Perspective

    It is the purpose of this course to focus on the anatomical, physiological, intellectual, sociological and spiritual development of the human organism from conception until death. The major theorists in the area of human development will be researched and the various major theories of human development will be critically compared. Specifically, this course views human growth and development as a psychological, biological, and spiritual process that demands an integrated analysis. The course addresses the development and wellness of individuals and families throughout the life cycle. The aspects of development including biological, social, cognitive, emotional, and moral will be covered. The course will examine how the abilities, needs, problems, and concerns of humans change throughout life, and how people are shaped by their experiences throughout their development from a Christian perspective.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 530: Counseling Theories and Strategies: A Biblical Integration

    This course will introduce students to counseling psychology concepts and interventions related to lifespan development, prevention of mental health problems, social justice, and optimal human functioning in both the church and society. An emphasis will be placed on psychopathology, in order to provide strategic counseling for specific issues in the congregation and family. The course provides preparation in the core counseling skills essential for the practical counseling and effective treatment outcomes.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 540: Crisis Counseling: A Christian Perspective

    Crisis Counseling is one of the required courses for students pursuing degrees in counseling with an emphasis in family counseling, domestic violence counseling, pastoral counseling and substance abuse and addiction counseling. Crisis counseling focuses on the etiology, context, process and effects of victimization. This course is designed to acquaint students, as well as pastors, chaplains, educators, and church workers understand the theoretical basis for, and acquire the practical skills necessary to carry out effective therapeutic interventions in a diversity of crisis situations. Emphasis is given those types of crises typically encountered by the Christian Counselor including: 1) Grief and Bereavement, 2) Emotional Traumatization, 3) Sexual Molestation and Incest, Domestic Violence and The Abuse of Children and Elders. The underlying purposes of the course are to: 1) provide students an understanding of the nature, effects and consequences of crises, to perpetrator, the victim and witnesses as well as society in general, 2) educate students in the types of trauma inducing crises 3) teach students the signs and symptoms of unresolved trauma, resulting in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and manifesting itself in numerous associated personality disorders, thereby enabling students to identify victims of trauma, traumatized witnesses and their abusers, 4) teach students how to conduct an assessment and psychosocial evaluation of a traumatized individual, 5) teach students how and when to use direct and indirect counseling techniques, 6) how to develop appropriate social service networks and guide clients to hotlines, victim support groups and other support services that can assist them in regaining control of their lives, 7) train students in effective therapeutic intervention techniques including stress-reduction, and 7) increase students critical thinking, writing skills and report preparation.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 550: Marriage and Family Counseling: A Christian Perspective

    This course is designed to expand on the basic concepts and procedures for marriage and family counseling from a pastoral perspective. The purpose of the course is to assist theology students in their development of a ministry to family systems. The course provides a comprehensive understanding of various approaches to marital and family therapy. Within the context of systems theory, emphasis will be placed on understanding various methods of conceptualizing family dynamics and intervention strategies.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 560: Assessment and Diagnosis: A Christian Perspective

    This course provides an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in counseling. There will be an emphasis on assessment strategies and psychometrics. The phenomenology of emotional disorders and their diagnosis will be explored in detail. The course will also explore the means of assessment and diagnosis that are consistent with effective counseling techniques from a Christian perspective.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 610: Group Dynamics: A Christian Perspective

    Group Dynamics: A Christian Perspective, is one of the required courses for students pursuing a degree in counseling. This course explores the history of the development and growth of groups (an outgrowth of social psychology), the varied kinds of groups, and the process and structure of individual and group behavior as it relates to group dynamics, Christian maturity and ministry. The course will acquaint students, pastors, chaplains, educators, church workers and group facilitators with the theory and research relating to small and large groups; the benefits and detriments of homogeneous groups vs. gender-specific, or problem-specific groups; and the benefits and detriments of democratically governed groups vs., facilitator directed groups. Students will gain insight into a number of different types of groups, including: problem solving groups, decision making groups, recovery groups, support groups, process groups and Christian Growth Groups. Students will learn how to develop, organize and govern groups to optimize the effectiveness of group dynamics for behavioral change and cognitive restructuring.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 620: Addiction Counseling: A Christian Perspective

    The course is one of the required courses for students pursuing degrees in Christian counseling. It is designed to acquaint these students, as well as pastors, chaplains, educators, church workers with the etiology, cultural context, prevailing patterns and outcomes of alcohol and drug abuse, the phenomenon of addiction as an illness of body, mind and spirit, and the resources, treatment approaches, models and methods for helping alcoholics and addicts in their recovery. Particular focus in given to the medical aspects of illnesses and recovery in addiction. The underlying purposes of the course are to: 1) provide students an understanding of the nature and consequences of substance abuse, to the individual abuser as well as society, 2) educate students in the drugs of abuse 3) teach students the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, thereby enabling them to identify substance abusers, 4) teach students how to conduct an assessment and psychosocial evaluation of a substance abuser, 5) teach students how to select the most appropriate treatment approach, setting and modality, 6) train students in effective therapeutic intervention techniques, and 7) increase students critical thinking, writing skills and report preparation.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 630: Cross-Cultural Christian Counseling

    This course provides an overview of the theories of multicultural counseling and development from a culture-centered perspective. Issues related to social and cultural diversity will be examined as well as guidelines for developing multicultural counseling competencies and sensitivity in Christian counseling service. The impact of diversity, within and between group differences, is examined. Various psychosocial developmental factors of diverse cultural and ethnic groups, and the influence of these variables on the counseling relationship will be explored.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 640: Christian Ethics and Law

    This course provides an introduction to professional ethics with special application for the Christian Counselor. The course includes an analysis of professional ethics, training and practice standards, educational requirements, and mental health law. Attention will be given to contemporary professional and psycho-social issues that affect the training and practice of Christian counselors. The course also provides students with the knowledge of legal and ethical guidelines for the practice of community and religious counseling. Students will learn to use these guidelines to make sound decisions about professional practice. The course examines ethical and legal standards related to professional practice and the impact of personal values on the counseling process.

    3 Credit Hours.

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  • CO 710: Human Sexuality: A Christian Perspective

    In an atmosphere designed to de-mythologize sexuality, this course examines different sexual styles, behaviors, cultural values, and over-reaction to sexual stimuli. Resources from Biblical theology and the behavioral sciences are utilized as each student is asked to develop a stance about sexuality of modern times for an effective spiritual ministry.

    3 Credit Hours.

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