Master's degree programs are becoming more commonly available online as technology grows in the education field. Learning how to become a Christian counselor is one way that you can get involved in online education. The following article looks at some Christian-affiliated schools and the online counseling master's degree programs they offer.
Though the tuition figures in this list are per credit, there are other fees that will be included with your tuition down the road. For instance, Columbia International University includes a $150 online technology fee each semester.
|School Name||Institution Type||Denomination||Location||Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*|
|South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary||4-year, private not-for-profit||Interdenominational||Deerfield Beach, FL||$350|
|Houston Baptist University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Southern Baptist||Houston. TX||$550|
|Westminster Theological Seminary||4-year, private not-for-profit||Protestant||Glenside, PA||$615|
|Columbia International University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Nondenominational||Columbia, SC||$510|
|Maranatha Baptist University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Baptist||Watertown, WI||$322|
Source: *College websites
Overview of Colleges with Online Christian Counseling Master's Degrees
Several seminaries and Christian schools provide online opportunities for learning about Christian or biblical counseling. Pursuing education via an online format typically means there is no need to attend campus chapels, though these schools still offer opportunities for spiritual growth and development during your studies.
South Florida Bible College and Seminary
In about two years, you could earn your master's degree in pastoral counseling from South Florida Bible College and Seminary. Its online program looks at psychology through a Christian lens and prepares you to work as a counselor for a church. You'll take 60 credit hours' worth of courses on such topics as issues in counseling, human sexuality, couples' counseling, human growth and development, pastoral counseling theories, group counseling theories, and treatment of psychopathology. You must also complete 100 hours of internship experience, and you can get a placement somewhere that you believe you can best serve. Though chapel is available on campus, prayer requests and a number of services are available to online students, including counseling and advisement.
Houston Baptist University
Houston Baptist University (HBU) offers a Master of Arts in Christian Counseling program online. While this college does provide students with the training needed for licensure in Texas, every state varies in its requirements. The point of an online program through HBU is to further your education by studying research foundations and gaining clinical experience. Before graduation, you'll be expected to complete 700 hours of training with a university-approved licensed psychologist or counselor. Though undergraduates are required to attend chapel and convocation, graduate students are not. However, the school does encourage graduate students to join in spiritual events and faith development. This may include service opportunities and programs offered through the school's Spiritual Life Department.
Westminster Theological Seminary
Though the master's degree program at Westminster Theological School is referred to only as a counseling degree, it is steeped in Christian ideology. Program curriculum was designed in partnership with the Christian Counseling Educational Foundation (CCEF) and is available 100% online. You can enroll up to two weeks prior to one of four annual terms. Some of the courses you could take include:
- Marriage counseling
- Church counseling
- Human personality
- Secular psychology and theology
- Helping relationships
- Biblical change
Through online meetings, you'll get to know your fellow classmates and build relationships. You will also need to complete 100 hours of clinical practice under the supervision of an approved mentor.
Columbia International University
The Master of Arts in Care and Counseling at Columbia International University (CIU) is for students who want to approach mental health and counseling from a theological perspective. There are two tracks available through CIU, one for students who already have a background in theology and one for students without that knowledge. Chapel is required, but for those who live off campus, such as online students, permanent excuses are available. However, going to a local church is not just encouraged, but expected. Also, the President's Chapel is available online, and all students, even those excused from campus chapel services, are required to listen to these messages.
Maranatha Baptist University
The biblical counseling graduate program at Maranatha Baptist University can be taken on campus or online. Should you choose the distance learning method, you will complete 8-week courses delivered asynchronously. However, you will be required to complete two live classes (online formats are still available) and the Biblical Counseling Seminar held in Indiana. Some online courses you may take include crisis counseling, addictions counseling, Proverbs and counseling, and abuse survivors counseling. You will also complete a biblical counseling internship to round out your education. Each year, the student body creates Walk Worthy, a devotional that can be used in your daily spiritual walk at home.