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Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling

Dr. John D. Street, Chairperson

The Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC) is a graduate program intended to equip men and women for

practical excellence in counseling biblically and training counselors for counseling within local church ministries. The

content of the courses emphasizes the practical skills of counseling without neglecting the solid biblical foundation on

which these skills are built. The classes, homework, and assigned reading can be practically implemented in each

student’s life and ministry immediately. Each course the student takes will enhance his walk with God and his ministry.

The MABC degree is designed to help people study, use, and know Scripture more effectively in their own lives and in

their counseling ministries with others. Our goal is to produce men and women who understand God’s Word as it

applies to the exercise of the spiritual gift of counseling under the oversight of a local church.

The MABC program is designed to equip teachers, pastors, missionaries, elders, deacons, and the other Christian

workers to counsel in ministry settings and is not structured to meet state requirements for licensing. It does meet

requirements for certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). Vocational opportunities

after graduation include ministry positions in local churches, chaplaincies, Christian colleges, Christian schools, crisis

pregnancy centers, children’s homes, rescue centers, and mission agencies, as well as enhanced application in other

professional fields. Even those whose primary responsibility is not counseling find that the MABC program provides

invaluable training, as it provides skills and personal insight in the Christian life and improves their overall effectiveness

on the job, in personal relationships, and in their local church.

PHILOSOPHY OF COUNSELING

The Holy Scripture, being God’s law and testimony, is true and should therefore serve as the Christian’s standard for

all matters of faith and practice (Isaiah 8:19-20; 2 Peter 1:3). There is no authority that is higher than the one found in

Scripture. Wherever and on whatever subject Scripture speaks, it must be regarded as both inerrant and authoritative.

There have always been people who have affirmed the inerrancy and authority of Scripture in matters of faith and

practice but who would not affirm the sufficiency of Scripture for understanding and resolving the spiritual (non-

physical) problems of man. These people acknowledge Scripture to be the Word of God and are therefore worthy of

our respect, but when it comes to understanding and resolving many of the real issues of life, they think that Scripture

has limited value. It is, therefore, crucial that we clearly articulate what biblical counseling truly is. There are four

distinguishing features of truly Christian counseling as explained below.

Christ-Centered Counseling

Biblical counseling is conscientiously and comprehensively Christ-centered. It focuses on who Christ is and what He

has done for us in His life, death, resurrection, and in sending the Holy Spirit. Christ-centered counseling also focuses

on what He is doing for us right now in His intercession at the Father’s right hand and what He will yet do for us in the

future. In biblical counseling, the Christ of the Bible is not an appendage or a “tack on” for living in the fast lane. Rather,

He is at the center and the circumference (and everywhere in between) of counseling.

Christ-centered counseling involves understanding the nature and causes of our human difficulties. It involves

understanding the ways we are unlike Christ in our values, aspirations, desires, thoughts, feelings, choices, attitudes,

actions, and responses. Resolving those sin-related difficulties includes being redeemed and justified through Christ,

receiving God’s forgiveness through Christ, and acquiring from Christ the enabling power to replace un-Christlike

(sinful) patterns of life with Christlike, godly ones.

Salvation-Centered Counseling

A biblical counselor is also conscientiously and comprehensively Christian in his outlook on life. Truly biblical

counseling is done by individuals who have experienced the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and have come to

Christ in repentance and faith, acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. These are also people who want