The M.A. in Biblical Counseling is a 34 credit hour graduate degree program, designed to allow students to pursue in-depth training in Biblical Counseling.
Courses are pursued through a combination of on-campus and distance education courses. The program is designed to give students maximum flexibility in progressing through the degree while also strategically offering instruction in the format best suited for effective educational training–serving both distance and local students. With these available formats, the entire degree may be earned without relocating to Southern California, although local students may experience additional mentoring because of their proximity to campus and additional ministry connections with the faculty.
Courses which are only offered on-campus–because of their unique advantage in a traditional classroom setting–may be pursued either through weekly meetings (courses meeting once a week for a 15-week period), or through intensive meetings (courses which meet intensively for 1 week on campus in July and from a distance the rest of the term–formerly known as our “Summer Intensive Program”).
Weekly courses are designed to serve residents of the greater Los Angeles area especially or others who are able to move to the area. Courses are held in the evenings Mondays through Thursdays, allowing students to continue to work in their present occupations and ministries while completing their degree program.
Intensive courses (available only during the Summer term) are designed to serve distance students especially, those in various parts of the world who are entrenched in their current ministries and without the ability to relocate to Southern California. Courses extend from May to August, but intensive lectures and classroom dialogue are conducted in a single week period always scheduled during the last two weeks of July. Preparatory and follow-up studies surround the intensive week. Students are encouraged to take four courses each summer (which include two weeks of intensive class meetings) in order to complete the on-campus requirement in 2 years. Each student will present his master’s thesis to the faculty and fellow students on-campus during the week of graduation, which is always held at the beginning of May.
The program is optimally completed in two to four years, but program length may depend on the student’s own schedule and external commitments. Typically, students complete their course work over a two to three year period, and their internship and research in an additional year. The degree must be completed within six years of enrollment.
The M.A. in Biblical Counseling is awarded to students who succesfully fulfill the requirements of the following courses.
Required Courses (Credits)
BC501: Introduction to Biblical Counseling (2)
BC502: Essential Qualities of a Biblical Counselor (2)
BC503: Methods of Biblical Change (2)
BC506: Theology & The Psychologies (2)
BC511: Theological Basis of Biblical Counseling (2)
BC521: Problems & Procedures (2)
BC531: Hermeneutics (2)
BC532: Advanced Hermeneutics (2)
BC542: Marriage & Family Counseling (2)
BC556: ACBC Membership Seminar (2)*
BC557: Counseling & Physiology (2)
BC560: Biblical Conflict Resolution (2)
BC580: Counseling Observation & Practicum (2)
BC592: Counseling Internship (2)
BC593: Advanced Counseling Internship (2)
BC598: Thesis Research (2)
*Every student graduating from the MABC program will have completed all requirements for certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC), by nature of those requirements seamlessly woven into the curriculum of required courses.
Elective Course (Credits)
The student will take an additional elective course, related to his specific research or counseling methodology interests.
Suggested Full-Time Schedule for Degree ProgressView Schedule
BC501- INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL COUNSELING
This course offers a general introduction to basic concepts and distinctive features of biblical counseling. Students will discuss what biblical counseling is and what it involves, the role of the counselor in biblical counseling, the different kinds of counseling that are needed, the place of counseling in the ministry of the church and how biblical counseling theory and practice relate to and differ from some of the more common secular models and theories. Part of the course will involve a personal improvement project in which the student will evaluate his own counseling qualifications, design a plan for improving some area of his life, put that plan into action, and then evaluate his progress as the course draws to a close.
BC502 - ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF A BIBLICAL COUNSELOR
This course will help the student to understand the Christ-like character and functional qualities of the discipler/counselor. The course will also provide the environment for self-examination for present and future growth, both in his personal walk with Jesus Christ and as a skilled biblical counselor.
BC503 - METHODS OF BIBLICAL CHANGE
This course provides an overview of the counseling process presenting a comprehensive methodological model for promoting biblical change in people. The goal of this course is to encourage biblical thinking and procedures in the process of helping people.
BC506 - THEOLOGY & THE PSYCHOLOGIES
This course is designed to critically analyze secular and evangelical integrationist theories of psychology and psychotherapy, and to recognize those theories or psychologies as part of larger belief systems, perhaps logically derived from erroneous starting points, while also comparing them to what has been revealed from Scripture and what falls into the study of theology, practical theology, and Biblical Counseling. The course will probe the anthropological presuppositions of treatment theory and seek to bring a thoroughly biblical critique to their foundational assumptions as well as methodology. Issues like theories of the subconscious, psychoanalytic approaches to personality, establishing norms, psychological testing, making the distinction between the normal and abnormal, major and mood disorders, schizophrenia and multiple personality disorders are among the psychological constructs and their popular theoreticians that will be explored. All persons encountered in counseling practice will have been exposed to foreign belief systems other than that promoted by the Scripture and, to various degrees, adopted those worldviews—even those who profess to know Christ in a saving way. Therefore, the wise counselor ought to be equipped to recognize points of departure from truth.
BC511 THEOLOGICAL BASIS OF BIBLICAL COUNSELING
This course offers a consideration of the theological realities that form the basis of a proper approach to counseling. Special emphasis is given to the nature of God and of man (fallen and unfallen), a biblical definition of the image of God, the nature of sin, the realities of regeneration and progressive sanctification, the concept of “the flesh” (old man/new man), an understanding of the heart/mind as used in Scripture and the place of the local church in the ministry of counseling.
BC521 - PROBLEMS & PROCEDURES
This course is designed to apply the biblical principles taught in the Introduction to Biblical Counseling (BC501) and the Methods of Biblical Change (BC503) courses to a range of specific counseling problems. Topics discussed include anger, fear, depression, homosexuality, anxiety, eating disorders, incest, child abuse, counseling youth, counseling divorcees, and crisis counseling. During the second semester of this course, each student will research and present to the class a detailed biblical counseling outline for a teacher-approved counseling issue. Pre-Requisite: BC501, BC531, BC503, BC511.
BC531 - HERMENEUTICS
This course is an introduction to the science and art of interpretation, with special attention to the application of Scripture to counseling. Various interpretive approaches on key scriptural passages will be examined, especially as they relate to the biblical counselor and his task.
BC532 - ADVANCED HERMENEUTICS
This course is designed to continue to develop the skills of the graduate student with the science and art of biblical interpretation for greater accuracy in the application of truth in a counseling context. A proper hermeneutical approach will be modeled for difficult passages that are frequently used in counseling, especially as they relate to the use of texts from a variety of genres in Scripture. The focus of this course is for the graduate student to learn how to properly interpret each book of the Bible, with its special literary genre and subgenres, in order to be well-equipped to accurately apply its truth. Pre-Requisite: BC501, BC531.
BC542 - MARRIAGE & FAMILY COUNSELING
Marriage and family problems are present in the majority of counseling cases. This course will give an overview of general marriage and family counseling issues relating to the content and process of counseling. It will then proceed to specifically deal with some of the major difficulties that troubled marriages and families experience from a biblical perspective. Included in the course are discussions of the biblical basis and purposes of marriage, family stages, in-law problems, developing unity, husband/wife roles and responsibilities, correcting communication problems and how to resolve conflicts that arise.
BC556 - ACBC MEMBERSHIP SEMINAR
All students are encouraged to seek membership in and certification by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). This seminar will prepare the student for membership by taking the Theological and the Counselors Exams and and by beginning supervised counseling as part of their ACBC membership process. Pre-Requisite: BC501, BC531, BC503, BC511, BC502, BC512, BC521, BC590/591 (BC580).
BC557 - COUNSELING & PHYSIOLOGY
This course addresses a biblical view of medical issues, involving biological and psychosomatic diseases, syndromes, and illnesses. The spiritual and physical aspects of counseling will also be addressed.
BC560 - BIBLICAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION
This course is designed to help the student think biblically about conflict and how to respond to conflicts in a way the glorifies the Lord. In particular, the student will be taught a model and a plan for how to think about struggles in relationships and evaluate their own typical patters of response. These principles apply to business and the church but there will be special focus on handling marriage difficulties.
BC580 - COUNSELING OBSERVATION & PRACTICUM
This course consists of observations and discussions of counseling sessions and practice in counseling by correspondence. It is designed to help the student learn practical skills in counseling by observation, evaluation, ciritique, discussion and actual practice. Pre-Requisite: BC501, BC531, BC503, BC511.
BC592 - COUNSELING INTERNSHIP
This is a supervised and evaluated internship, consisting of at least two actual counseling sessions per week, and a total of 25 hours of counseling. Prerequisites: All core courses.
BC593 - ADVANCED COUNSELING INTERNSHIP
This course continues the internship experience requirement of BC592 with another term of supervision and evaluated internship, consisting of at least two actual counseling sessions per week, and a total of 25 hours of counseling. Prerequisites: All core courses.
BC598 - THESIS RESEARCH
This research course requires the student to produce and defend a counseling topic in a seminar format on campus. The defense must deliver biblically researched solutions to a precise counseling problem, taking the form of a 20-to-30 page, fully-documented outline. Thesis topics are approved by the Thesis Coordinator; research is pursued under an appointed faculty advisor. The course entails (1) getting an approved thesis topic, (2) developing an approved research outline, and (3) defending that thesis in our research symposium. Prerequisites: All core courses.
Sample of MABC Elective Courses
BC518 - COUNSELING FROM PROVERBS
This course is an expositional study of the book of Proverbs with its special relevance to counseling. Pre-Requisite: BC501, BC531.
BC519 - COUNSELING FROM ECCLESIASTES
This course is designed to help the counselor to work with individuals who are strugging with a materialistic cosmology. Pre-Requisite: BC501, BC531.
BC555 - THE BIBLICAL COUNSELING MOVEMENT
This course reviews the history of the modern Biblical Counseling Movement and leads students to engage the current leaders through a focus on contemporary issues.
BC572 - COUNSELING WOMEN
This course outlines the basic concepts and distinctive features of woman-to-woman biblical counseling, in order to equip women to fulfill their scriptural mandate to mentor/counsel other women and bring ultimate glory to God. It will focus on Gospel-centered counseling in the context of one Christian woman coming alongside another woman with words of truth from God’s Word in the context of relationship to encourage, admonish, comfort, and challenge. Emphasis will be placed on practical principles of gospel application, the qualifications of the biblical counselors, the roles of the counselor in the ministry of the local church, and the key aspects of progressive sanctification.
BC574 - DEVELOPING A COUNSELING MINISTRY
This course trains students to establish a Biblical Counseling ministry within a local church or parachurch organization. Special focus is given to models for counseling ministries, strategies for developing counseling personnel, principles from Ecclesiology, successful organizational structures, policies and procedures for operational effectiveness, resources and documentation, and legal matters.
BC597 - PRACTICUM IN TEACHING
A faculty-directed practicum concerning the principles and practices of effective teaching of Biblical Counseling in conjunction with a semester-long teaching opportunity. Emphasis will be placed on teaching technique, the learning process, and curricular design. Prerequisite: All core courses.
BC599 - THESIS COMPOSITION
This guided independent research requires the student to advance a thesis, presenting the biblical understanding and counseling methodology for a specific problem that could be encountered in counseling, taking the form of a 100 to 120 page, fully documented paper. Thesis topics are approved by the Department Chair and the Thesis Coordinator; research and composition are pursued under an appointed faculty advisor. Prerequisites: All core courses.
In order to be considered for enrollment to the M.A. program at The Master’s University, the following eligibility requirements must be met by the applicant. The administration and faculty of the University reserve the right to withdraw the privilege of enrollment or to place a student on probation if, after enrollment, the student proves to be lacking in these qualifications.
Testimony of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Demonstration of submission to the will of God and obedience to the Word of God.
Possession of the personal and spiritual gifts necessary for counseling and discipleship (deacon/deaconness qualified).
Recommendation by church leaders and other people who have had significant contact with the applicant.
General agreement with the doctrinal statement of The Master’s University.
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (official transcript required). The prospective student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work. The student will be expected to maintain a 3.0 average in the M.A. program.
The following documents must be submitted in order to apply to The Master’s University:
Official transcripts indicating the completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Reference forms: academic, pastoral (or other lay-leader), and personal (forms provided with application)
Writing sample (a 10-15 page sample of your academic work, demonstrating graduate study capability)
Credits from other institutions are generally not accepted for transfer due to the unique content and nature of the Biblical Counseling courses. However, some courses from other theological institutions may transfer with minimal additional coursework. Eligibility for transfer credits is only determined through the transcript review step of the application process.
The Master’s University is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. Students from abroad are welcome, provided they meet the admission requirements of the College. For applicants, for whom English is a second language, a minimum score of 100 is required on the TOEFL exam in order to be considered for admission. While all classroom instruction is conducted in English, the administration, faculty and staff attempt to be sensitive to the needs of our international students. As foreign students’ legal needs are different from those of U.S. citizens, there are additional requirements. Foreign students are urged to contact the Office of International Student Advancement to obtain the appropriate information.
In general, the costs that should be considered for the MABC program at TMU are as follows:
$435 credit hour 34 credit hour program $14,790 total tuition
~$1,500 for books and materials (including required Bible software program & Journal of Biblical Counseling *subscription/archive)
$50 one-time application fee
$15 library fee/semester and $20 parking permit/semester (when using a car on campus)
$495 week for meals and housing for traveling distance students in the summer semesters
Unknown travel or relocation expenses you may incur for the program
A $250 deposit is required upon admission before your new student account can be finalized. See the instructions under Steps to Apply here.
For the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC) program, scholarships are provided through the Graduate Studies department directly, not through our Financial Aid office. Scholarships are awarded semester by semester, so anyone who wants a scholarship must apply each semester. Because scholarship funds are provided directly from our department, they are limited. Therefore, we necessarily will prioritize full-time students, and often those who are in the latter portions of the degree. In this way, scholarship applications are considered on the basis of a combination of academic performance, financial need, and ministry potential. Additionally, we do not grant scholarships to students who take only 1-2 classes per semester. Instead, we prioritize students who commit themselves to 3-4 classes each semester.
If you would like a scholarship form, you may contact our department at email@example.com or 661-362-2652. Assuming you are admitted to the program and have filled out the form, you can send it back to us at the email address. After you have turned in your scholarship form, questions regarding your scholarship status for the current semester should be directed to our program director, Jeff Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org; 661-362-2644).
While scholarships are exclusively provided through the Office of Graduate Studies, financial aid and government loans can be sought through the Office of Financial Aid at The Master’s University (TMU). If you would like to pursue government aid or loans, you may correspond with our financial aid representative – Ryan Wethern (661-362-2292; email@example.com) – in the Financial Aid Department at TMU. He will help you pursue the best course of action for your financial situation.
The Masters University
Office of Graduate Studies, Box #50 21726
Placerita Canyon Road Santa Clarita, CA 91321
Graduate Studies Admissions Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
P: 661.362.2652; 800.568.6248 x2652