Although it may depend on what kind of counseling degree you wish to pursue, there is a wide range of top Christian graduate schools that provide various counseling degree programs. These programs may be considered some of the best for their unique degrees, availability of these degrees on-campus or online and special learning opportunities they offer. Find out more about some of these top schools and their programs.
A few of the top Christian graduate schools for counseling are affiliated with the Baptist, Wesleyan and Church of the Nazarene denominations. Compare and contrast some of these schools and their graduate tuition rates below.
|School Name||Institution Type||Denomination||Location||Tuition (2017-2018)*|
|California Baptist University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Southern Baptist||Riverside, CA||$13,287|
|Houston Baptist University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Southern Baptist||Houston, TX||$14,000|
|Liberty University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Evangelical Christian||Lynchburg, VA||$8,217|
|Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion||4-year, private not-for-profit||Wesleyan||Marion, IN||$10,764|
|MidAmerica Nazarene University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Church of the Nazarene||Olathe, KS||$12,000|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
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Description of the Top Christian Graduate Schools for Counseling
Some of the top Christian graduate schools for counseling may offer degree programs at the master's and/or doctoral degree levels and typically provide students with ample amounts of hands-on experience. Here we discuss a handful of the top schools, their counseling programs and spiritual growth opportunities.
California Baptist University
California Baptist University had close to 2,530 graduate students in 2017, according to the NCES. The university offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling Ministry, Master of Science (MS) in Counseling Psychology (available online or on-campus) or a MS in School Counseling. The school's MA in Counseling Ministry is one of only a few in the country and offers a concentration in professional ministry or research in counseling ministry. Students often pair this degree with the MS in Counseling Psychology to prepare for MFT (Marriage Family Therapy) licensure. Students can grow in their spiritual lives through chapel services, local service opportunities, mission trips or Discipleship Groups and Tribes (larger discipleship communities).
Houston Baptist University
Houston Baptist University in Texas offers an MA in Christian Counseling (also offered online), an MA in Counseling and an MA in Pastoral Counseling (also offered online). The MA in Christian Counseling and MA in Counseling lead to LPC licensure and all three programs include hands-on learning experiences. Students in the pastoral counseling program can further specialize in areas such as human sexuality, crisis response and military and veteran care and counseling. The university also supports students' lives with Convocation, missions opportunities, Bible studies, spiritual concerts and Baptist Student Ministry. As of 2017, the university had about 1,010 graduate students, according to the NCES.
Virginia's Liberty University helps students grow in their faith through Convocation, Bible studies, spiritual leaders (Community Group Leaders and Resident Life student leaders), mission trips, local service opportunities and online resources for the many online students at the university. According to the NCES, the university had 29,290 graduate students in 2017, including online students. Students can pursue online doctoral degree programs in community care and counseling, as well as several different counseling degree programs at the master's level, including professional counseling, pastoral counseling, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family counseling, human services counseling and addiction counseling. Some of these master's degree programs offer additional concentrations and many are available on-campus and online or exclusively online.
Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion
Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion had a little over 270 graduate students in 2017, per the NCES. The university offers three different graduate certificates in counseling and master's degree programs in addictions counseling, community counseling, school counseling, student development counseling and administration, marriage and family counseling/therapy and clinical mental health counseling. Many of these programs are available on-campus, online and/or in a blended format. Students on campus can also gain hands-on learning experience through practicums and internships at the school's IWU Graduate Counseling Clinics that are open to the local community. Spiritual life on campus includes chapel services, Bible studies, small groups, mentorship opportunities, worship services and student leadership.
MidAmerica Nazarene University
MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas offers an on-campus MA in Counseling with available concentrations in school counseling, marriage, couple and family counseling or clinical mental health counseling and an optional degree emphasis in Christian counseling. Each concentration requires a hands-on practicum experience and multiple internships. Graduate students on campus are encouraged to attend chapel services and many classes on campus begin with an opening prayer or devotional. In 2017, the NCES reported that the university had 580 graduate students.