Bring healing and hope.

The Master of Arts in Counseling degree develops a student's competency in the skills essential to the practice of counseling, basic skills in biblical and theological interpretation, and the academic basis for state licensure.

Upon completion of our top-ranked program, you will qualify to apply for your Limited License as a Professional Counselor (LLPC). Graduates of this degree program have the option to receive a diploma from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary or Cornerstone University.

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. Counselors are professionals who minister through a willingness to invest their time and energy in the lives of others. A growing number of churches and ministries are recognizing the need to partner with trained and licensed counselors to care for their people.

  • Overview

    • School: Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
    • Division: Social Science
    • Degree Type: Master of Arts
    • Format: Residential
    • Location: Grand Rapids
  • Program Details

    • Program Length: 2-4 years
    • Credit Hours: 69
      • Counseling core (39 credits)
      • Specialization (9 credits)
      • Bible (12 credits)
      • Theology and ministry (9 credits)
    • Practicum: 100 hours
    • Internship: 600 hours
    • Career Options: Private practice counseling, community mental health counseling, human resources, student development, residential treatment centers, chaplaincy or pastoral care

    Formative Ministry Training

    "The program at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary helped me work toward a specialization in Health Psychology emphasizing the influence of biological, social, psychological and spiritual factors on health and illness.

    "This field integrates my nursing experience with counseling and enables me to focus my practice on those who work in high stress environments, as well as those who are dealing with grief, loss, trauma and crisis."

    — Anne Parpas (M.A. '13)
    GRTS Alumna

Program Learning Outcomes

To help develop biblically and culturally informed counseling practitioners, our Master of Arts in Counseling curriculum and course work requirements are designed to enable you to:

  • Conduct basic biblical interpretation and application with reference to the English Bible texts.
  • State a basic understanding of the primary elements of Christian theology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, values and practices essential to personal spiritual formation.
  • State a personal philosophy of counseling that reflects awareness of personal beliefs, foundational theories and worldview integration.
  • 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.
  • Articulate and apply effective counseling strategies reflecting practical techniques and multicultural applications.
  • Demonstrate understanding and competency in the use of testing instruments and research interpretation in appraisal and diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate theoretical understanding and basic competency in career development counseling.
  • Exhibit understanding and compliance with the legal requirements and ethical codes of the counseling profession.