The Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program educates counseling students from a distinctively Christian perspective. One of the greatest challenges in providing a graduate level education in counseling from a Christian perspective is that Christians tend to either uncritically accept all claims made in the name of psychology or counseling or uncritically reject these disciplines as anti-biblical. At BTS we seek to avoid presenting these disciplines as independent systems which are immune to critique except from within. Instead BTS seeks to critique everything in light of the biblical text, our faith commitments, and effective helping strategies.

Grounded in the biblical text & focused on effective strategies

The MAC curriculum grounds students in the biblical text and theology so that the student can use it in the counseling context. Students learn a biblical anthropology that begins with God's design for human life, the impact of the fall on all of creation, and God's redemptive work among his people. Students learn to engage the biblical text in counseling, to learn from and minister in contemporary cultural contexts, and to effectively address ethnic, gender, denominational, and economic challenges.

More Master of Arts in Counseling Details:

Learn more about our unique Master of Arts in Counseling program including:

  • A schedule showing how to complete the program in 2 years
  • Detailed class descriptions & objectives

What do our graduates do with their degree?

The MAC program trains Christians for a broad spectrum of service, which may include, but is not limited to, pastoral or professional ministry. BTS's Graduate School of Counseling program meets the needs of students in a variety of career and avocational settings. MAC graduates serve on pastoral teams or in counseling ministries in the local church, in social service ministries and organizations, in para-church ministries, in specialized counseling ministries, and more. MAC's curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and self-awareness needed for effective, Christ-centered counseling ministries. Courses, retreats, and field work experiences address key professional counseling areas of study while maintaining a biblical and ministry focus.

How can the MAC program change you?

At BTS, the cohort model is a powerful delivery format for professional development because it taps into students’ prior ministry experience, it is collaborative, and it occurs over a period of two years. Because students move through the program together, the quality of learning from one course to another is enhanced. Cohorts develop strong communication skills where students sharpen and challenge each other. This dynamic learning community produces the kind of deep learning, authentic contextualization, and relational wisdom that missional leaders need today.

In addition, students will embrace spiritual formation through participation in retreats and sharing about their internship experiences throughout their time in the program.

"The past two years in the cohort have been very challenging and very rewarding. I have gained great knowledge, insight, friendship, and experience."

Lindsay Nolan, MA in Counseling

What is the option for advanced courses and licensure?

Students completing the MAC degree can opt to continue their studies in an array of advanced counseling courses. These courses are designed to meet the academic requirements for licensure in Pennsylvania. Many students take these courses for professional development or continuing education credits (CEs).

How long does it take to get my degree?

The MAC program is a two year program. Students start the program in a cohort of students who take courses together throughout the program. Classes are on Monday night (4:30 - 10:15 p.m.) plus one full day on Saturday per month. Classes start in September and run continuously to June. Elective courses are offered during the summer in alternate formats, such as on Friday-Saturday or online.


Why is BTS's Graduate School of Counseling program unique?

Wise Counsel:

Effective people-helping combines knowledge, skill and the self-awareness needed to practice what the Bible calls wisdom (Proverbs 2:2).

Biblical Anthropology:

Looks to the biblical story to best understand God's design for human life, the impact of the fall on all of creation, and God's redemptive work among his people.

Counseling Skills and Practice:

Students gain Fieldwork experience through 700 supervised hours over two years, including a practicum and a full-year internship.

Cohort Community:

Students remain together and follow a sequenced curriculum in Bible and Theology, Core Counseling, and Advanced Counseling course.

Generalist Program:

Students receive a broad and solid foundation for a wide variety of callings in God's kingdom including, but not limited to, pastoral or professional ministry.

Theology Developed for Counselors:

We successfully combine a thorough understanding of the biblical text and theology, and use it specifically in a counseling context.

Why choose BTS for my counseling degree?

BTS's Master of Arts in Counseling program is tailored to assist in preparing you for the helping field, whether it is your career/ministry or your avocation/ministry. You will be learning from faculty who actively counsel in professional, pastoral, and lay environments and bring that expertise to the classroom. MAC faculty are passionate about training men and women to counsel others with "wise counsel." You will be learning alongside others who desire to bring their faith commitments to counseling in a way that helps people in their life struggles and points them to Christ.

"Counseling classes at BTS have helped us bring hope to those who are in this broken world."
Wendy Chou, MA in Counseling

Master of Arts in Counseling Curriculum

Year 1 - 27 Credits

  • Helping Relationships
  • Counseling & the Biblical Text I
  • Human Development & Change
  • Psychopathology
  • Models of Counseling
  • Counseling & the Biblical Text II
  • Practicum Professional Orientation
  • Counseling & the Biblical Text III
  • Counseling & Physiology

Year 2 - 25 Credits

  • Internship & Professional Seminar I
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Counseling & Theology: Cultural Issues
  • Internship & Professional Seminar II
  • Counseling & Theology: God & Human Beings
  • Child & Adolescent Counseling - (2 Credits)
  • Advanced Marital Therapy - (2 Credits)
  • Advanced Counseling Topics - (6 Elective Credits)

Students will be expected to complete 15-25 hours of homework each week. Students will complete 700 hours of supervised practicum and internship in an area for which they have a passion.

Total Required Credits - 52


Why Choose the BTS Graduate School of Counseling for Training?

BTS has classes and programs that are custom tailored to assist in preparing you for a career or ministry in the helping field. In addition to continuing education offerings, BTS provides the following additional options:

  • Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) - This 52-hour degree is delivered in a cohort class format that meets one night a week and one Saturday a month for two years. It includes a reduced schedule in the summer (see summer counseling institute) and two fall retreats.
  • Certificate in Christian Counseling (CCC) - An excellent means of developing basic counseling competencies at the graduate level. This certificate benefits pastors, church leaders and many others interested in counseling others from a biblical perspective. Courses taken in the certificate program are eligible to be transferred into the Master of Arts in Counseling degree.
  • Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling (CAPC) - This certificate allows students with a master's degree in counseling to acquire advanced counseling training. Many students who complete the CAPC program will pursue full licensure.
  • Master of Arts, Counseling Concentration (MA,CCC) - This 48-hour degree is delivered in a traditional class format with an emphasis in practical theology and counseling.
  • Master of Divinity degree, Counseling Concentration (MDiv, CC) - The language-based Master of Divinity consists of 90 credits in a convenient format. Due to block scheduling, full-time students are on campus a maximum of only two days per week. Courses are offered in the afternoon and evening so students may work and minister as they complete their degree.
  • Summer Counseling Institute - The institute is open to current students completing their elective credits, alumni, and those desiring additional couseling education and training at the graduate level. Course topics have included anxiety, suffering and disability, depression, grief, victimology, and more. CEU credits are also available, and are provided over a weekend.
  • Global Trauma Recovery Institute - Dr. Diane Langberg & Dr. Philip Monroe provide high quality continuing education for those interested in addressing the needs of psychosocial trauma victims in the United States &around the world.
BTS Graduate School of Counseling's Program Goals
  • Live grace-based lives increasingly characterized by wisdom, the fruit of the Spirit, and love for God and community.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to humble, learner-oriented ministry in a world marked by cultural, theological, and philosophical diversity.
  • Grow in knowledge of the Bible and ability to humbly interpret & apply it in light of history, culture, and genre.
  • Demonstrate effective counseling skills in light of student's gifting, call, and context.

Important Dates:

  • Open Now:
  • Registration for fall 2014 Classes

Questions? Feel free to email anyone on our admissions team.

Contact Admissions

VP Student Advancement
Malcolm Walls
Contact for:
MDiv, DMin, MA
Dana Ergenbright
Contact for:
Chang Hoon Oh
Contact for:
Pastor Michael Heath
Graduate Program Recruiter
Patsy Byrd
Contact for:
General Info

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