It is not uncommon for Christian schools to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in counseling that can be completed online. A handful of colleges, universities and seminaries offering these types of programs are profiled below.
Searching for an online program can often be tricky. You want to be sure that the college is a not-for-profit college and is entirely accredited by a recognized accreditation agency. The following six Christian colleges meet these requirements and offer online programs in counseling.
|School Name||Institution Type||Denomination||Location||Tuition (2017-2018*)|
|Liberty University||4-year, private||Evangelical||Lynchburg, VA||$21,310|
|Biola University||4-year, private||Non-denominational||La Mirada, CA||$38,448|
|Crown College||4-year, private||Christ and Missionary Alliance Church||Saint Bonifacius, MN||$25,430|
|Colorado Christian University||4-year, private||Non-denominational||Lakewood, CO||$30,370|
|Westminster Theological Seminary||4-year, private||Protestant||Glenside, PA||$15,520|
|The Master's University and Seminary||4-year, private||Interdenominational||Santa Clarita, CA||$33,020|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Online Christian Colleges for Counseling
Christian schools offer a unique opportunity for students interested in counseling. While some may focus on a psychology perspective, others use a God-focused counseling technique. It's important to first decide whether you want to study the faith-based or science-based track.
Whether seeking a brick and mortar or online college, Liberty University offers degrees in both campus-based and distance education formats. Its Bachelor of Science in Psychology program with a Christian counseling focus is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This 120-credit program is available 100% online and offers eight different start dates throughout the year. It features courses in Christian counseling for children as well as Christian marriage and family counseling.
Almost 6,100 students call this college home. However, if you live outside of La Mirada, CA, you may decide that you prefer to take their online B.S. in Applied Psychology. This program is designed with working adults in mind, providing 7-week courses and a 24-month timeline for completing all degree requirements. Coursework includes the study of counseling techniques, and graduates are prepared for advanced study in this field. Financial aid is available for those who need it. Roughly 60% of students at this school use federal student loans, while 97% of students receive grants and scholarships - the types of aid that do not need to be repaid.
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Crown College offers a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology/counseling. This wholly online program includes coursework in theories and methods of counseling in addition to core theology and bible studies classes. It is available as a stand-alone degree or as part of an accelerated master's program in counseling. Crown is a small college, with about 1,328 students enrolled. The yearly tuition is $25,430, with an additional $1,300 in anticipated costs for books and supplies. To handle the large tuition bill, Crown college offers financial aid and a payment plan.
Colorado Christian University
Students seeking an online counseling degree can pursue a BS in Psychology with an emphasis in clinical counseling or an MA in Counseling at Colorado Christian University. The bachelor's degree curriculum includes graduate-level courses that can be applied towards the master's degree. The graduate program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and requires students to attend three 5-day residencies on campus. Ninety-nine percent of undergraduate students at this school receive some form of financial aid.
Westminster Theological Seminary
Westminster boosts a simple tuition idea - no hidden fees or costs, simply $615 per credit. The smallest school on this list, Westminster boosts a student body of 505 and a faculty of only 19. Its Master of Arts in Counseling program can be completed at your own pace, with most students finishing within 2-5 years. Expect to spend 8-10 hours a week working on courses and assignments that can range in topics from church history and apologetics to marriage counseling and biblical change.
The Master's University and Seminary
Another seminary, Master's offers an online BA in Biblical Counseling degree. This program is designed to prepare students for certification by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and to focus their work in the church community. Master's University and Seminary boasted an 88% retention rate for their 1,895 students for 2015-2016. Students will complete 122 credit hours prior to graduation. Topics of study include biblical conflict resolution, elementary Greek and biblical counseling.