The Master of Arts degree program in Counseling Ministries (CM) offers training in the application of counseling and psychological theory and practice to ministry settings. Students in this 36-credit program are prepared for work in churches, mission agencies and other settings where lay counseling, support groups and healing ministries are provided. The program is especially designed for lay people and clergy who are involved in the application of counseling and psychological studies to those ministries.
Because the program can be completed in one year, international applicants and furloughed missionaries may find it especially suited to their needs. While this program exists to facilitate the application of counseling and psychological studies to ministry settings, it is not intended to prepare graduates for licensure as counselors, psychotherapists, psychologists, or marriage and family therapists, or to provide psychological services which are restricted to licensed practitioners.
Counseling Ministries students can complete program requirements in one academic year with the addition of courses in one or two summers. Students are free to take courses over a standard two-year period if they desire to remain connected to one class cohort through graduation. An 8-10 hour per week practicum generally begins during the second semester of the program. While the CM coursework and practicum does not prepare students for practicing in the traditional capacity of a mental health professional, students are trained to provide competent services in a church or ministry setting. Students are prepared for serving the Christian community by developing the knowledge, values, and skills of a clinician for application in their unique ministry setting.
Opportunities for Counseling Ministries Graduates
This program prepares students to work in a variety of Christian ministry contexts with advanced skills in counseling. For example, a graduate may work internationally with a mission organization and provide counseling services to individuals in the agency. Other examples may include counseling ministries within local churches.
Many Counseling Ministries students attend the Mental Health in Missions Conference >> in November and have the opportunity to network with professionals from around the world who are actively involved in mental health practice nationally and internationally. A limited number of scholarships are available to Counseling Ministries students to attend this conference.