Helping those in need.

The Master of Arts in Counseling is designed to develop competency in foundational counseling theories and skills, the professional dispositions essential to the practice of counseling, the academic base for professional licensure in the State of Michigan (and various other states via individualized program design), along with basic skills in biblical and theological interpretation.

The Master of Arts in Counseling is a 69 semester hour degree program, consisting of an 18-hour core in Bible and theology, a 42-hour core in counseling and a 9-hour counseling specialization (e.g., Addictions Counseling, Trauma Counseling, Multi-State Licensure or Interdisciplinary). The counseling core includes counseling philosophy and theory, techniques and skill development and participatory learning through a practicum and two internships.

Applicants for this degree should possess a minimum 2.5 cumulative undergraduate grade point average from an accredited baccalaureate institution. Upon completion of this program, you will be eligible to apply for your Limited License as a Professional Counselor (LLPC) in Michigan, as well as many other states.

Could I be a counselor?

This is a question that everyone who considers counseling has to wrestle with. Answering some of the following questions may give you some insight as to whether you might make a good counselor:

  • Are you passionate about helping hurting people find hope in a broken world?
  • Do you want to help individuals and families through difficult times?
  • Does your heart break for the pain that people experience in daily life?
  • Are you excited to share the love of Christ with those who need it most?
  • Do you like to listen and help individuals work through big decisions?
  • Are you interested in helping those with mental illness learn how to thrive?

At the heart of a counselor is the desire to help people overcome brokenness and pursue wholeness in life. Professional counselors support people through their clinical expertise and willingness to invest their time and energy in the lives of others.

  • Overview

    • School: CU Online
    • Division: CU Online
    • Degree Type: Master of Arts
    • Format: Online
    • Location: Grand Rapids

    Admissions Requirements

    • Main Application (free)
    • Official transcripts demonstrating a 2.5 GPA in a completed bachelors degree at an accredited institution. 
      • Mail to: Graduate Admissions at Cornerstone University | 1001 E. Beltline Ave. NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49525
    • Ministry Reference
    • Personal Reference
  • Program Courses

    Our program checklist breaks this program into modules and lists the courses required for each module. Depending on how many classes you want to take each semester, the average MA Counseling student completes the program in 3-4 years. The following documents provide both a 6 credit and a 9 credit layout of how you can complete the program.

    Career Opportunities

    • Private practice counseling
    • Group counseling
    • Doctoral studies
    • Community mental health counseling
    • Intensive outpatient counseling
    • Inpatient counseling
    • School guidance counseling
    • Human resources
    • Student development 
    • Church-based counseling ministry
    • Residential treatment centers
    • Chaplaincy
    • Pastoral care

Convenience and Flexibility

With course offerings online, you will maximize your educational experience while still maintaining your work and family life. Just two times during the program, you'll join your cohort on campus for a 3-day intensive (Thursday – Saturday). This will allow personal interaction, in-class experience and relationship building to launch your cohort and then again to reconnect after the first year.

The 6 days you spend on campus will enhance your educational experience without causing disruption to your other commitments.

Online counseling classes will be taken in an 7-week online format. Bible and theology classes will run concurrently in a 15-week format. This allows students to complete the program in 3-4 years!

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is also available in a residential format through Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Master of Arts in Counseling curriculum and course work requirements equip students to be biblically and culturally informed counseling practitioners.

Core Curriculum

  1. Conduct basic biblical interpretation and application with reference to the English Bible texts.
  2. State a basic understanding of the primary elements of Christian theology.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge, values and practices essential to personal spiritual formation.

Counseling Major

  1. State a personal philosophy of counseling that reflects awareness of personal beliefs, foundational theories and worldview integration.
  2. Facilitate the counseling process for individuals, groups and/or families by providing consultations that foster awareness, growth and restoration that is based on established client-centered goals and a sound systemic framework.
  3. Articulate and apply effective counseling strategies reflecting practical techniques and multicultural applications.
  4. Demonstrate understanding and competency in the use of testing instruments and research interpretation in appraisal and diagnosis.
  5. Demonstrate theoretical understanding and basic competency in career development counseling.
  6. Exhibit understanding and compliance with the legal requirements and ethical codes of the counseling profession.