Earn Your Hybrid In-Person & Online Master of Arts Counseling Degree

Master of Arts in Counseling

  • Professional Orientation
  • Theories & Methods
  • Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Research & Testing
  • Practicum & Internship

English | In Person/Online | 60 credits

Central Seminary’s hybrid in-person and online Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO) is an accredited program that equips students to sit for a state licensing exam to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Our professors are scholar-practitioners who are steeped in theory and equipped to translate that theory into clinical practice. You will be ready on day one after graduation to begin your career in professional counseling.

When choosing an online program for a master’s in counseling, accreditation is important. Central Seminary has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1962. We’ve also provided innovative online opportunities since 2010, which means our online programs are robust.

What You Will Learn With Our Accredited Masters Program in Counseling

The primary goal of the MACO program is to prepare students to become competent counseling practitioners who practice with integrity and empathy. Students can complete most of the coursework online with a certain number of hours required to be completed on-site, in-person.

Students will develop clinical skills by participating in a structured internship placement where they interact with clients, peers, skilled mentors, and faculty, which is critical in developing their skills as a counselor. Each component allows students to apply their coursework in professional settings with real patients. This experiential component of the Master of Arts in Counseling program is what helps students confidently progress from student to licensed counselor. Getting an online Master of Arts in counseling at Central Seminary gives you access to diverse student representation with peers nationally.

Learn Counseling With Our Masters Program in Kansas City

This 60-hour hybrid in-person and online Master’s in Counseling is available to students in Kansas, Missouri, and throughout the country. It delivers a curriculum based on the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards and leads to state licensure upon successful completion of licensing tests. Courses focus on evidence-based procedures, best practices, and standards of care protocols for treating individuals.

  • English Languages Offered: English
  • 60 Credits Program Length: 60 credits - 3 years of full-time study (6 or more credits per term)
  • Three 12 Week Terms Calendar: Three 12-week terms per academic year. New students can begin in any term. Terms begin in August, January, and May.

Can you Imagine Yourself Here?

This program is offered in person & online.

Session Start Date Application Deadline
Easter Trimester 2023 May 8, 2023 May 1, 2023


$375 per credit

Registration Fee

$250 per term

Graduation Fee


You can start your application any time for our academic degree programs. Classes start in August, January, and May.

Admission requirements include: Official transcripts, 2.3 undergraduate GPA, counselor Disposition Survey, three character references (excluding family), an autobiographical statement

Applicants should also have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution. Students participating in the English program for whom English is not their first language will be required to demonstrate their English proficiency.

  • Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • Counseling Theories
  • Life Span Development
  • The Helping Relationship
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Psychological Tests and Measurements
  • Theory and Methods for Group Counseling
  • Career Development
  • Statistics and Research Methods
  • Marriage & Family Counseling
  • Diagnosis & Treatment of Childhood & Adolescent Disorders
  • Diagnosis & Treatment of PTSD and Other Related Trauma Disorders
  • Diagnosis & Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
  • Differential Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
  • Supervised Counseling Practicum
  • Biological Basis of Behavior
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Supervised Counseling Internship 1
  • Supervised Counseling Internship 2
  • Supervised Counseling Internship 3

New students may begin in any term. Terms begin in August, January, and May

Photo of Lindsay Bonebrake

Lindsay Bonebrake
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling & Assistant Professor of Counseling


Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from Central Seminary’s hybrid in-person and online counseling master’s degree program will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to provide mental health services to a multicultural diverse society in various clinical and ministry settings.
  • Demonstrate and articulate the meaning of professional counselor orientation and identity.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of counseling theories and the ability to select evidence-based treatments informed by diagnoses.
  • Demonstrate skill in acquiring patient intake information, accurately diagnosing, treatment planning, and note taking.
  • Demonstrate the counselor skills and sensibilities for human spirituality needed to establish and maintain rapport and facilitate the treatment process.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop evidence-based treatments that emphasize wellness and prevention.
  • Demonstrate through study, course and clinical work, personal initiatives, and exercise of vocation that you, as a professional counselor, value research and continuing professional development.
  • Eligible to sit for the NCE exam.


Benefits of a Hybrid In-Person & Online Master’s in Counseling Degree Program

If you’re looking for a Master’s in Counseling in Kansas City, Central Seminary offers both in-person and distance learning opportunities with a variety of benefits.

Flexible Schedules

Whether you work during the day or at night, online education gives you the choice to build a convenient schedule that compliments the other responsibilities in your life. Central Seminary’s MACO program is designed to be completed in three years but can be completed in as little as two. Students can complete most of the coursework online with a certain number of hours required to be completed on-site, in-person.

Save Money

In addition to offering affordable programs, a mostly online master’s degree in counseling from Central Seminary will help you save on housing, transportation costs, and commute times. And scholarship opportunities are available to all degree-seeking students. Payment plans are also available to make your education affordable.

Develop Virtual Communication Skills

When you choose a master’s program in counseling, you’re actively developing skills for communicating and engaging in a virtual environment. These skills are valuable because counseling services are rapidly changing to include remote environments. Many people are choosing online counseling for help. With a degree from Central Seminary, you can expect to have the communication abilities and knowledge of current innovative virtual tools.

Have Access to Technological Resources

Too often we hear that one-on-one time in traditional classrooms is the best way to learn, but online tools are quickly changing that reality.

Instructors utilize online discussion boards to initiate meaningful conversations with their students, and asking questions and responding to peers is easier and more engaging online.

Live online sessions give students real-time interaction with their cohort and instructors while providing location flexibility. Additionally, asynchronous video tools allow professors to communicate difficult concepts more effectively.

Online learning environments provide students with the tools necessary to leverage their preferred learning style. Video lectures, infographics, and webinars help students understand course material in a way that best suits them.

Large Support Network

Our master’s degree in counseling provides a support network of peers and instructors to help you reach your academic goals. With the program being mostly online, you will also have access to Central Seminary’s free lifelong learning events to support personal growth and empower you in your career.


Learn more about the Master’s Degree in Counseling Program.

How will I get the hands-on experience I need through an online program?

Distance learning students will get a high-quality hands-on experience by engaging with appropriate readings, faculty instruction, peer collaboration, supervised practicum, and internship experiences. Additionally, the format trains students for the new landscape of online counseling and therapy that has grown at a rapid pace in recent years. Research shows that satisfaction levels between online and in-person counseling sessions are no different and that the more a person attends sessions, the better their outcomes will be. Students will also receive in-person, hands-on experience with a certain number of coursework hours required to be completed on-site at Central Seminary.

How much of the counseling is faith-based?

There are no courses in biblical counseling or Christian counseling. Our counseling programs are specifically designed to lead to state licensure and the ability to work as a mental health therapist in private practice, non-profits, and mental health centers.

After earning a Master’s of Arts in Counseling, there are various ways you can apply your counseling education in professional settings.

You can choose to become a licensed practitioner in your state and open a private counseling practice. You can also work directly for a church, offering counseling services to members of the congregation who may be struggling with bereavement, marriage issues, addiction, or abuse. Competent counselors are needed to help youth, adult, and senior populations in every community, in religious and non-religious settings.

Does Central offer a Clinical or Biblical counseling program?

Central’s counseling program is clinically descriptive and biblically prescriptive. Our curriculum utilizes the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model in order to teach our students to provide holistic care to their future clients, acknowledging the connection between social, psychological, physical, and spiritual aspects in client care. Central’s counseling program is focused on clinical, science-based counseling. The curriculum is guided by industry standards and Kansas state requirements and does not include any courses in biblical counseling or theology. However, by completing this program at a seminary, some students feel more comfortable talking about faith as part of their emerging practice.

We desire to prepare students to become competent counseling practitioners who practice with integrity and empathy. Coursework focuses on helping students learn to apply holistic treatment methods after making a diagnosis. While students learn to serve clients both in and outside of the church, they will develop a deeper understanding of their own faith, which they can apply towards more effective practice.

Does this program prepare me for professional licensure in Kansas or other states?

The 60-hour Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO) degree is designed to lead to professional licensure as outlined by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board of Kansas; other state and international boards have unique licensure requirements. Therefore, before enrolling in a licensure program at Central Seminary, students should consult the rules and regulations regarding Professional Counseling for the particular state or nation that they intend to seek licensure after graduation.

Enrollment in the MACO program does not guarantee a degree from Central or promise qualification for professional licensure. Students are responsible for meeting all academic and professional requirements for graduation. Further information regarding these academic and professional requirements, see the Central Student Handbook as well as in the following pages of the MACO handbook. Students enrolled in the MACO program are responsible for knowing the material outlined in this handbook.

Further, if a student intends to practice in a state other than Kansas after graduation, the student should inform the program. The program will make a reasonable effort to determine if the program satisfies the educational requirements of that state. The student will be informed of these findings. Students who will seek licensure or credentialing outside the United States are responsible for researching the prerequisites for licensure for another country.

What are the career opportunities for a licensed counselor?

Upon completion of the program, there are a variety of ways you can apply your counseling education in professional settings. You can work directly for a church, offering counseling services to members of the congregation who may be struggling with bereavement, marriage issues, addiction, or abuse. You can also choose to become a licensed practitioner in your state and open a private counseling practice or work for an established practice or organization. Competent counselors are needed to help youth, adult, and senior age populations in most communities, in faith-based and secular organizations.

Do I have to pursue a state-issued license?

No, graduates from the counseling program are not required to obtain state licensure.

What are the pros and cons of being licensed? And what are the pros and cons of not being licensed?

The pros of state licensure include but are not limited to: being able to bill a client’s insurance, having a credential that is recognized by other health professionals, having a standard for continuing education that will keep you up-to-date on best practices.

Some of the cons of licensure include but are not limited to: the input and potential limitations third-party payers (such as insurance) can place on practitioners such as number of visits, paying for license renewal each year, can limit the application of spiritual practices within therapy depending on the setting.

Is your program CACREP accredited?

As a new program, we are not yet CACREP accredited. While CACREP accreditation is our goal for the future, our current students can be assured that our program was designed using CACREP standards and the course offerings are those required by other CACREP accredited programs.  Our current status may result in a longer waiting period while their academics on their application for state licensure is reviewed by their state board.

What is the licensure exam passage rate for your students?

Our program is new, so while we only have a few graduates, 100% have passed their National Counseling Exam (NCE)!

What makes someone a good counselor?

Good counselors are good listeners. They can process information not only with their head, but with their heart as well. Good counselors develop the wisdom needed to integrate their head and heart knowledge to analyze the information presented to them and give discerning help to their clients. Good counselors are committed to their own mental and emotional health and spiritual growth to focus on the care of the person they are serving.

What is the career outlook in the mental health field?

The good news is that the need for counseling is continuously growing! As the acceptance of therapy grows in the broader culture, so does the need for good counselors.

Reach Your Potential at Central Seminary