Master of Arts in Counseling

People all over the world are suffering from substance use disorders, behavioral or process addictions, trauma, phase of life issues, mental health disorders, developmental problems, and similar issues. You can help!

The MA in Counseling degree equips students to serve within faith communities and in general populations as Professional Counselors. Upon completion of the program, students should have a holistic understanding of wellness and the knowledge, skills, and personal disposition to provide mental health services to diverse populations. Through a faculty of scholar-practitioners, a rigorous curriculum, and experiential learning, students are well-prepared for a future in the counseling vocation. The MA in Counseling aims to meet Kansas and other state educational requirements to sit for licensure exam.



Take a few classes each term to complete your degree in three to four years.



Central is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Association of Theological Schools.



Excellent tuition rates.
Scholarships available for all degree-seeking students.
Payments plans available to make your education affordable.

"Well prepared clinicians equipped with both compassion and clinical competence are vital for our communities. Our counseling program works to train students in translating theory into practice, to be ethically competent and spiritually aware counselors. Through guidance from our faculty of scholar-practitioners, our program works to promote students' ability to treat mental and emotional wellness in diverse populations and a variety of counseling settings."

Dr. Lindsay Bonebrake
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program
Assistant Professor of Counseling

MACO Purpose & Outcomes

Master of Arts in Counseling Program Handbook (pdf)

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.

Professional Competencies

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.

MACO Courses & Schedule

Languages Offered In: English

Program Length: 60 credits - 3 years of full-time study (6 or more credits per term)

Calendar: Three 12-week terms per academic year

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


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
Supervised Counseling Internship 1
Supervised Counseling Internship 2
Supervised Counseling Internship 3

Add the following classes to complete the Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy in addition to the MACO degree:

Introduction to Chaplaincy
Chaplaincy in Hospice and Elder Care
Caring Ministries
Christian Ethics

MACO Counseling Faculty

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.

Standing Faculty

  • Dr. Lindsay Bonebrake, Director of the MA in Counseling Program & Assistant Profess of Counseling
  • Dr. Larry Cornine, Administrator of Counseling Programs & Professor of Counseling
  • Dr. F. Michael Grubbs, Assistant Professor of Counseling

Supplemental Faculty

  • Dr. Matthew Luckenbach, Supplemental Assistant Professor in Counseling
  • Dr. Kenneth Tombley, Supplemental Associate Professor in Counseling
  • Dr. Kandice Jackson, Supplemental Assistant Professor in Counseling
  • Dr. Kathi Williams, Supplemental Assistant Professor in Counseling
  • Ms. Esther Kim, Supplemental Instructor in Counseling

Click here for a full list of Central’s faculty.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition - $375 per credit

Registration Fee - $250 per term

Graduation Fee - $200

(Amounts shown are for academic year 2022-2023 and only represent basic costs. Consult the current academic catalog for complete financial information.)

Professional Licensure Disclosure

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 Baptist Theological 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 is outlined in the CBTS 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.

Ask a Question

Dr. Lindsay Bonebrake
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program
Assistant Professor of Counseling


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

Why Earn a Master of Arts in Counseling degree?

If you want to channel your spiritual faith into a counseling career, take a few moments to learn about our Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO) program at Central Seminary. 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.

The primary goal of the MACO program is to prepare students to become competent counseling practitioners who practice with integrity and empathy. Coursework focuses on helping students learn to apply mind, body, soul, and spirit therapy and treatment methods after making a diagnosis. While students learn to serve religious and non-religious patients, they will develop a deeper understanding of their own faith, which they can apply towards more effective practice.

MACO Coursework and Learning Outcomes

Your core counseling education covers a wide range of psychology, counseling, and relationship-based topics. Courses include abnormal psychology, lifespan development, counseling theories, multicultural counseling, and more. Statistics and research methods are an integral component of your education as well. These competencies will help you conduct research and draw rational conclusions from data to improve your counseling practice.

In the final semesters of your MACO curriculum, students will participate in a supervised counseling practicum, as well as internships. The goal of each component is to give students the opportunity 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 transcend from student to licensed counselor.

The Master of Arts in Counseling students can add the Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy to their program and earn both the degree and certificate. View the course list below to see the requirements.

Program Benefits

The MACO program is designed to be completed in three years but can be completed in as little as two years. This flexibility allows seminaries with a variety of lifestyles and responsibilities to pursue their goal of becoming a counselor without putting their life on hold.

In today’s world, there are many professional career paths outside of the church that can satisfy your need for a faith-infused career. Whether you choose to learn at our Shawnee, KS campus, or take advantage of the online option, our faculty and staff will provide you with a welcoming atmosphere where you can explore your faith while developing the competencies of a professional counselor.

Experiential Learning is a Primary Focus

The process of becoming a competent professional counselor is a culmination of knowledge, interpretation, and application of learning outcomes in vocational situations. As you progress throughout the program, you will form the skills necessary to successfully complete the supervised counseling practicum and the internships to fulfill program requirements. The goal of your internships is to work in a setting that is relevant to the path you want to take once you earn your degree.

Work as 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, working with patients from a faith-based perspective. Competent counselors are needed to help youth, adult, and senior age populations in most communities, in religious and non-religious settings.  

Ready to Become a Licensed Counselor?

Contact Central Seminary today to learn more about our Master of Arts in Counseling program. We can review your qualifications, financial aid options, and other questions you have. Join our passionate and diverse seminary community.

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