Master of Arts in Counseling Program

Master of Arts in Counseling

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

English | In Person/Online | 60 credits

Why Pursue a Master’s Degree in Counseling?

The Masters of Arts in Counseling (MACO) degree equips students to sit for licensure exams which will allow them to serve within mental health providers, non-profit organizations, faith communities and secular private practice as licensed professional counselors. Upon graduation from the program, students will have a holistic understanding of mental and spiritual health and will be trained in the necessary skill set to be a knowledgeable, compassionate mental health provider to diverse populations.

Online technology has made counseling services accessible to people from all types of communities and locations, making counseling an in-demand profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows an expected 11% growth from 2020 to 2030 for school and career-related counseling. Marriage and Family therapists expect a 16% growth, and addiction and substance abuse counseling opportunities will increase by 23% in the next ten years.

Master of Arts in Counseling Program

Through the coursework and the experiential learning required by this program, students are prepared for a career in counseling across a variety of settings. The MA in Counseling is designed to prepare students for the state licensing exams in Kansas, as well as other state requirements.

Purpose & Learning Outcomes

The purpose of Central’s MA in Counseling degree is to equip students to become Licensed Professional Counselors.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from Central’s Master of Arts in Counseling degree 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.
  • 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 in person and online.

Session Start Date Application Deadline
Ordinary 2024 (August - November) August 26, 2024 August 5, 2024
Lent 2025 (January - March) January 6, 2025 December 9, 2024
Easter 2025 (May - July) May 5, 2025 April 14, 2025

Tution

$405 per credit (24-25 academic year)

Registration Fee

$250 per term

Graduation Fee

$200

Start your application anytime. Classes start in August, January, and May.

Official transcripts, a 2.3 undergraduate GPA, a Counselor Disposition Survey, three character references (excluding family), and an autobiographical statement will be required for admission.

Applicants should 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

Add the following courses to add the Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy to your MACO degree:

  • Introduction to Chaplaincy
  • Chaplaincy in Hospice and Elder Care
  • Caring Ministries
  • Christian Ethics
Photo of Lindsay Bonebrake

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

lbonebrake@cbts.edu

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

  • Scholarship: Students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to critically evaluate and communicate requisite knowledge about professional counseling.
  • Professional Attitude and Behavior: Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills needed to conduct themselves professionally as defined by the American Counseling Association (ACA) ethical standards for professional counselors.
  • Cultural Competence: Students will demonstrate 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.
  • Professional Practice: Students will demonstrate 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.

Benefits of the MACO Program

A Master’s degree in counseling will provide you with a strong foundational knowledge of the field while equipping you with a thorough understanding of a range of theoretical frameworks and modalities that will inform your counseling practice.  The critical thinking and active listening skills that you gain during this program will prepare you to thoughtfully engage with the counseling profession. Students go on to exciting and meaningful careers such as social work, education, and healthcare.

Experiential Practice in Counseling

Students will develop clinical skills by participating in a structured internship placement where they interact with clients, peers, skilled mentors, and faculty which will allow them to develop their skills as a counselor.

The goal of this internship is to allow 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.

Learn in a Faith-Based Environment

Students who complete the MACO program at Central have the advantage of completing a counseling degree in a faith-based setting, meaning that conversations with a spiritual or faith based dimension are welcomed, and this may provide students with access to many kinds of career paths upon their graduation. Graduates may use their unique skills to serve as ministers, pastors, leaders in non-profit or para-church organizations, or even denominational organizations in addition to traditional counseling jobs.  For students not interested in these career paths, all other career paths are still available depending on the level of licensure you pursue.

Korean Psychological Counseling Programs at Central Seminary

For students that speak Korean and would prefer a faith-based program, you can pursue a Christian Care and Counseling degree. The program provides a strong focus on faith-based organizational ministry, but does not meet requirements for licensure.

Testimonials

Reasons to Come to Central Seminary for Your Counseling Degree

Central Seminary has been an innovative online education provider since 2010. Our student body includes a diverse community of students with a strong passion for the ministry rooted in their desire to serve all of humanity. Our MACO program can help you develop the theological knowledge and clinical skills to guide your Christian faith in ways that produce positive outcomes for your patient population. In a volatile world, with ever-changing challenges, we need qualified counselors of faith more than ever.

Accreditation and Diversity

At Central Seminary, the Masters of Counseling program is offered both online and remotely from our Shawnee, Kansas campus, meaning students join us from all over the country.  The rigorous yet flexible curriculum is based on the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards and is designed to prepare students for state licensure.

Courses focus on helping students to build an understanding of prevalent theories in the field of psychology, evidence-based methodology to prepare students to provide counseling services to a diverse clientele, and, contemporary best practices for counseling in a variety of settings.

Central Seminary’s classrooms are filled with diverse individuals with different religious backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences.  This program is uniquely situated to prepare students to serve as a counselor in faith-based settings, but students will be able to apply the skills and knowledge they learn from this program in a wide variety of counseling settings, from hospitals to schools, to private practices.

Receive Financial Aid and Scholarships

Central Seminary offers low tuition rates. We are proud to offer three types of scholarships that prospective students can apply for: denominational, endowed, and need-based scholarships. Additionally, all degree-seeking students have access to financial aid.

Flexible and Effective MACO Courses

This 60-hour program is designed to be completed in three years but can be completed in two. Courses are flexible for both in-person and online students to fit your needs. Most coursework can be completed online at your own pace and lectures are recorded so they can be viewed multiple times. Students can complete most of the coursework online with a certain number of hours required to be completed on-site, in-person.

Master of Arts in Counseling Program FAQ

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

What are the application requirements for Central's Counseling program?

Official transcripts, a 2.3 undergraduate GPA, Counselor Disposition Survey, three character references (excluding family), and an autobiographical statement will be required for admission. Applicants should 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.

How much does it cost to complete the MACO degree on campus?

  • Tuition: $375per credit
  • Registration: $250 per semester
  • Graduation Fee: $200

What counseling skills will this program help me learn?

You will develop clinical skills by participating in a structured internship placement where you will interact with clients, peers, skilled mentors, and faculty, all of which are critical for developing your skills as a counselor.

The goal of each component of the internship is to allow students to apply their coursework in professional settings with real patients. This experiential aspect of the MACO program is what will help you confidently progress from student to licensed professional counselor.

Will I need experience beyond my education to find a career?

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is designed to allow you to sit for national and state licensure exams in the state of Kansas and other states. From there, students will have the qualifications to apply to many jobs within the field or to further their education. Additionally, the required internship program will help you to build professional connections outside of the classroom.

How much technology should I know for the online programs?

For joining classes online students will need a working computer or laptop with access to high-speed internet. Applications like Zoom will be needed for attending class, Google Docs or Microsoft Office will be needed to complete assignments, and Microsoft Outlook will be required for communication with peers and faculty.

How can I use my Master's in Counseling?

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.

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 of 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 to 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 in which 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. For further information regarding these academic and professional requirements, see the Central Student Handbook as well as 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 in 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, and 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 the 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 academics on a student’s application for state licensure is reviewed by their state board.

What is the licensure exam passage rate for your students?

Our program is new. 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 are able to 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 serve.

What is the career outlook in the mental health field?

The good news is our field is only growing! As the acceptance of therapy grows in the broader culture, so does the need for good counselors.

Apply for Our Master of Arts in Counseling Program Today

Now is the perfect time to start your degree in counseling. Central Seminary allows an affordable, flexible and diverse atmosphere to get you started and equipped for state licensure in this growing field.