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 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. Professional counselors support people through their clinical expertise and willingness to invest their time and energy in the lives of others.
- School: Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
- Division: Counseling
- Degree Type: Master of Arts
- Format: Residential
- Location: Grand Rapids
- 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
Program Learning Outcomes
The Master of Arts in Counseling curriculum and course work requirements equip students to be biblically and culturally informed counseling practitioners.
- 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.