Master of Arts in Counseling


Do you want to help individuals and families suffering from addictions, substance abuse, disorders, developmental problems, depression and anxiety?

Every day, people suffer the pain and helplessness that can come from addictions and mental illnesses. Recent statistics show the prevalence of mental illness in the United States. Counselors who possess a caring disposition and value mental, emotional and spiritual wholeness can make a vital difference in our world. Trained professionals can save lives and guide people on the path to healthy living.

In response to this tremendous need for caring and clinically trained counselors, Central offers the Master of Arts in Counseling.

The MA in Counseling degree equips students to serve both faith communities and general populations as Licensed Professional Counselors. Upon completion of the program, students have a holistic understanding of wellness and the knowledge, ethics, values, skills and personal dispositions to provide mental health services to a multicultural population. Through a faculty of scholar-practitioners, a rigorous curriculum, and experiential learning, students are well-prepared for a future in the counseling vocation.

In addition, the MA in Counseling aims to meet Kansas, Missouri, and other state educational requirements for licensure. It is important for every student to understand the requirements of their state. To check on a state’s licensure eligibility requirements, click here.

This program is designed to prepare persons from a wide range of spiritual and social identities for vocations as clinically skilled licensed counselors who will:

  • value the integration of religious wisdom with cultural discourse
  • value the integration of spirituality in the complexity of human personhood and health
  • serve individuals and communities of varied or no religious traditions and affiliations
  • explore and grow in awareness of their own religious assumptions and convictions in order to develop insight into how these influence their work as counselors
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The program will address the following outcomes and competencies.

Program Outcomes

Students graduating from the MA in Counseling degree will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to provide mental health services to individuals in a diverse multicultural society and in varied clinical settings.
  2. Demonstrate professional counselor identity in conjunction with appropriate application of counseling theories and engagement in research and professional skills enhancement.
  3. Demonstrate professional counseling practice by selecting appropriate evidence-based treatments informed by diagnoses.
  4. Demonstrate the counselor skills and sensibilities for human spirituality needed to establish and maintain rapport and facilitate the treatment process.

Professional Competencies

Through engagement with appropriate readings, faculty instruction, peer collaboration, and supervised practicums and internship experiences, graduates will develop professionalism in the following areas:

  1. Scholarship: Students will learn the knowledge and skills needed to critically evaluate and communicate requisite knowledge about professional counseling.
  2. Professional Attitude and Behavior: Students will learn the knowledge and skills needed to conduct themselves professionally as defined by the American Counseling Association (ACA) ethical standards for professional counselors.
  3. Cultural Competence: Students will learn the knowledge and skills needed to appropriately factor a client’s unique cultural characteristics into decision making related to diagnoses, treatment models, counseling methods and techniques, and expected outcomes.
  4. Professional Practice: Students will learn the knowledge and skills needed to provide “standard of care” to clients from an integrated mind, body, soul, and spirit model of therapy and model of treatment.

Formation Goals

  1. The student will value the integration of spirituality among the complex of mental, physical, and emotional components that constitute human personhood and health.
  2. The student will prepare to serve individuals and communities of varied or no religious traditions and affiliations.
  3. The student will explore and grow in awareness of his/her own religious assumptions and convictions and develop insight into how these influence his/her work as a counselor.
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The program is 60 credits and can be completed in 2 years.  There are no prerequisites for courses, though some courses are recommended highly for first year study.  The internship is a year-long course, divided into three parts and can only be taken after the completion of 30 credits.

  • Professional Orientation and Ethics (3 credits)
  • The Helping Relationship (3 credits)
  • Counseling Theories (3 credits)
  • Abnormal Psychology Diagnosis & Treatment (3 credits)
  • Biological Basis for Behavior (3 credits)
  • Life Span Development (3 credits)
  • Multicultural Counseling (3 credits)
  • Statistics & Research Methods (3 credits)
  • Psychological Tests and Measurements (3 credits)
  • Supervised Counseling Practicum (3 credits)
  • Career Development (3 credits)
  • Diagnosis & Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent Disorders (3 credits)
  • Theory and Methods of Group Counseling (3 credits)
  • Marriage and Family Counseling (3 credits)
  • Diagnosis & Treatment of PTSD (3 credits)
  • Psychopharmacology (3 credits)
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders (3 credits)
  • Differential Diagnosis (3 credits)
  • Internship I (2 credits)
  • Internship 2 (2 credits)
  • Internship 3 (2 credits)
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The need for licensed professional counselors is enormous.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 22 percent increase in mental health counselor employment between 2018-2028.  This projection is related to the need for counseling services for under-served populations, the high percentage of persons with any mental illness that did not receive treatment and the increasing recognition that the use of counseling services for drug offenders is more effective than incarceration.

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All of Central’s counseling faculty are scholar-practitioners.  They know the research, and they practice their calling every day.  The counseling program is for professional practice.  We believe the faculty should be women and men who are engaged in practice as well.  Click here for a full list of Central’s faculty.

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The current tuition rate for Master’s programs is $365 per credit hour.  With no financial assistance, the program cost (tuition and fees) would be around $23,000.  Students are eligible to apply annually for institutional aid or a private education loan.

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Yes, even if you live far from our Shawnee, KS campus, you can participate in live classes through video conferencing technology.  Online learners will need a quality computer and high-speed internet connection to join and interact with the live classroom.  Students should be aware that some state licensing requirements have restrictions on the allowed amount of online coursework.   Consult your state licensing requirements related to online learning before beginning the program.

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Central Baptist Theological Seminary is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association of Theological Schools.  Both agencies have approved the school to offer the Master of Arts in Counseling.

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There are many schools that offer training for counselors.  You have a lot of options.  However, a school grounded in the Christian faith links its mission and degree programs to belief that we are to love one another as God loves us.  The counseling relationship is a great example of how we use our knowledge and skills to love and help each other.

Central’s clinically based counseling program is concerned with all aspects of personal wholeness, which includes spiritual wellness as well as mental-emotional health.  What better place to learn than a school that has been serving God and humanity since 1901?

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