2018 Best Online College for Christian Counseling Degrees
The 28 schools on this page offer online Christian counseling degree programs at every level, from associate to doctoral. Christian counseling students will learn biblical and theological ways to provide treatment through faith based practice, in order to help others utilize faith in their healing and skill building processes. Prospective Christian counselors will find 10 affordable choices on our list of best online colleges offering master's degrees in Christian counseling.
Those who are interested in Christian counseling as a career should research accredited programs before enrolling. Earning a degree from an online accredited program will help to ensure that the student is receiving a high quality of education. Furthermore, students choosing an online Christian counseling degree should take into consideration whether they will pursue certification or state licensure, as requirements vary by state.
Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Christian Counseling Degrees (28)
2018 Best Online Schools Offering a Master's in Christian Counseling
The following 10 schools offer the best online programs for master’s degrees in Christian counseling based on a combination of affordability and academic strength. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary leads the list with an annual tuition cost of $8,395 and an academic strength score of 66%. The school offers two Master’s of Divinity degrees as well as a Master’s of Theological Studies degree. Grace College and Theological Seminary has the lowest tuition rate on this list at $7,626 annually. Ranked second, the school offers a Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling with an academic strength score of 64%.
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Academic Strength|
|#1 Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary||Annual Tuition $8,395||Academic Strength 66%|
|#2 Grace College and Theological Seminary||Annual Tuition $7,626||Academic Strength 64%|
|#3 Regent University Online||Annual Tuition $8,925||Academic Strength 65%|
|#4 Liberty University||Annual Tuition $10,170||Academic Strength 66%|
|#5 Crown College||Annual Tuition $9,540||Academic Strength 60%|
|#6 Faulkner University||Annual Tuition $10,170||Academic Strength 59%|
|#7 Dallas Baptist University||Annual Tuition $17,262||Academic Strength 70%|
|#8 Ottawa University Online||Annual Tuition $11,430||Academic Strength 56%|
|#9 Missouri Baptist University||Annual Tuition $11,760||Academic Strength 53%|
|#10 Southwestern Assemblies of God University||Annual Tuition $21,060||Academic Strength 58%|
Online Christian Counseling Degree Overview & Career Information
There are many different online degree paths that can be taken when pursuing a career in Christian counseling. These options can be pursued at faith-based universities and seminaries and can be taken with religious studies courses. Individuals beginning their higher education can enroll in and online associate programs, which they can complete in two years and gain an introductory knowledge of the field.
An online bachelor's program in Christian counseling will introduce students to the topics of human behavior and development based on biblical principles over the course of four years. For graduates who are interested in furthering their education, an online master's program will increase their knowledge and skills in the field and allow them to obtain licensure. A master's program will typically take two to three years for participants to complete.
A doctorate in Christian counseling may open the door to higher paying positions as well as the opportunity to operate a private practice. Ph.D graduates may also go on to teach master's programs or conduct research.
An online associate degree in Christian counseling can be obtained at biblically-based colleges and universities.
Applicants who are interested in enrolling in an associate program must have a high school diploma or equivalent such as a GED. For some schools, students must also provide a written testimony and evidence of church attendance. Most online associate programs require two years of study, the equivalent of about 60-credit hours of coursework.
Online associate programs in the field of Christian counseling focus on teaching the basics of counseling techniques and theory through biblical perspectives and theology. Coursework includes History of Christianity, Introduction to Biblical Counseling, Biblical Interpretation, Pastoral Theology, and Old or New Testament Survey. Some programs may also require students to complete supervised internships.
Graduates of these online degree programs may go on to work in entry-level positions in the areas of mental health, including social services case worker, crisis intervention specialist, and family support positions. Additionally, an associate degree can prepare a student for educational advancement if he/she decides to continue on to a bachelor's degree program.
Individuals looking to further their education in Christian counseling may be interested in pursuing an an online bachelor's program, which can be found at faith-based universities.
In order to enroll in an online bachelor's program in Christian counseling, applicants must already hold a high school diploma or GED. Applicants are often required to submit their high school transcripts as well as standardized test scores. If the applicant has already attended an institution of higher education, official college transcripts will also be required. These programs are generally comprised of 125-130 credit hours; students can graduate with their bachelor's degree in four years of full-time study.
Students in an online bachelor's in Christian counseling will study human behavior and development and how to assess, counsel, and build therapeutic skills through a Christian perspective. Coursework includes foundations of Christian thought, marriage and family counseling, personality theories, crisis intervention, survey of biblical literature, and interpreting the Gospel.
People who have a bachelor's degree in Christian counseling may go on to work as youth leaders, assistant pastors, pastoral care staff, agency-affiliated mental health counselors or substance abuse counselors, or social and community services managers.
An online master's program in Christian counseling may be a good choice for individuals hoping to work as licensed counselors in a Christian setting.
Applicants to an online master's program must have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution. Most Christian universities will also require two letters of recommendation from professionals and personal reference as well as a letter of intent written by the applicant describing academic and professional goals. It is also important for applicants to research their state's professional licensure requirements before enrolling in a program as each state has different regulations regarding professional practice.
Students can graduate with their master's in Christian counseling in two to four years by completing 36-70 credit hours of study online. Online master's programs in Christian counseling focus on the basic themes and content of the bible and teach students to cultivate spiritual maturity within their practices. Students can expect to participate in courses such as core counseling concepts, the Bible and theology, multicultural counseling, human growth and development, group counseling, and a practicum. A supervised internship will also be required.
An online doctoral degree in Christian counseling is a good option for people interested in clinical counseling work in addition to research and teaching at the college level.
Applicants to an online doctoral program in Christian counseling must hold a bachelor's in counseling or an equivalent from an accredited college, university, or seminary; typically a master's degree is earned during the doctoral program. Students must usually submit transcripts from undergraduate degree programs and may also need to complete an admissions essay and present two letters of recommendation.
Online doctoral students pursuing their degree in Christian counseling will take courses like Mastering Pastoral Counseling, Creation Therapy, Temperament Case Studies, Marriage and Family Counseling, Youth Counseling, Cognitive Therapy Techniques, and Abuse Counseling, comprising of 40 to 60 credit hours. During their three to four years of study, doctoral students will also be required to complete an original dissertation or a thesis in order to graduate.
There are many different options for aspiring professionals who hold a doctorate in Christian counseling. Opportunities include teaching at the master's level, opening a private practice, as well as becoming a supervisor, consultant or administrator within a practice.
Aspiring Christian counseling professionals who are looking for online graduate level training but do not want to fully commit to earning a master's degree may be interested in an online graduate certificate program. Applicants are required to possess an undergraduate degree in a related field. The purpose of a certificate degree in Christian counseling is to equip each student with counseling skills through a condensed period of study. A typical program will include 15-credit hours of study including courses in human development & change, helping relationships, psychopathology, models of counseling, and addiction counseling. Earning a certificate degree in Christian counseling can aid pastors, counselors, and other Christian professionals in their career development. Certificate programs can be found at faith-based universities and seminaries. It should also be noted that if a graduate is interested in furthering their education in the future, their credits earned from their accredited certificate degree might be eligible for transfer into a master's program.
Licensure and Certification for Christian Counselors
Christian counselors may choose to receive certification from Christian organizations such as the National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA) or the Professional Christian Coaching & Counseling Academy (PCCCA). Those interested in becoming members of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) are required to also be licensed mental health professionals. Thus, state licensure may be an important consideration for those pursuing an online Christian counseling degree, due to the fact that state requirements vary when it comes to obtaining and using a counseling license in professional practice. More information about state licensure for counselors can be found here; however, it is important to note that most states do not allow licensed counselors to promote their personal religious beliefs.
Regional accreditation agencies review degree-granting non-profit institutions of higher education. Accrediting agencies ensure that the school is offering the highest level of quality education to its students. The major accrediting body for Christian counseling programs is The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE). ACPE accreditation assures students that a program will prepare them to fill roles as clergy or lay leaders. Students interested obtaining state licensure should also look for Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited programs. CACREP is the major accrediting body for graduate counseling programs both on-campus and online and students enrolled in these programs can be assured that their program has been evaluated and has met strict and consistent standards that have been set by the profession. It also helps to ensure that the curriculum contains relevant coursework that is going to provide the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a professional upon graduation and obtain licensure.
- Accreditation. Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.cacrep.org/value-of-accreditation/understanding-accreditation/.
- Admission Process. Liberty University. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.liberty.edu/online/admission-process/.
- Biblical Counseling. Maranatha Baptist University. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.mbu.edu/academics/majors/biblical-counseling/.
- Certificate in Christian Counseling. Biblical Theological Seminary. Accessed March 8, 2018. https://www.biblical.edu/become-a-student/counseling/counseling-certificates-biblical-seminary.
- Christian Counseling. Crown College. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.crown.edu/online-degree-programs/psychologycounseling-bs/.
- Counseling. Colorado Christian University. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.ccu.edu/ccu/mac/curriculum/.
- Doctor of Christian Counseling. America Evangelical University. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://aeu.edu/dcc.
- Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. Liberty University. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.liberty.edu/online/masters/professional-counseling/.
- What is CACREP?. CACREP. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.cacrep.org.