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MABC


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.

Course Formats

Residential

We offer on-campus traditional 15-week courses in the evenings for our local students during the Fall and Spring semesters. Nearly the entire program can be completed in-person. Each class meets once a week for two hours at a time, either on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evening from 5:30pm-7:20pm or 7:30pm-9:20pm. Because of the opportunity for greater interaction with professors and fellow students, this format provides the highest quality of training for students who can take advantage of it.

Distance

For those who cannot take advantage of our residential program, we have a hybrid in-person/online program that consists of the same curriculum, same professors, same length of study, and same cost as the residential format.

During the Fall and Spring semesters, students will participate in classes completely online. Classes are 15 weeks in length and assignments are turned in on a weekly basis. Lectures are typically pre-recorded and can be watched weekly on the student’s own time. Some classes may require the student to participate in “live” class lectures via his or her computer, but the student will be sufficiently warned ahead of time about any such circumstance.

Similar to their Fall and Spring classes, during the Summer students will turn in assignments weekly and online from the beginning of May until the end of August. But no video lectures will be provided. Instead, the student will be required to attend all-week, in-person, intensive class lectures at the end of July. Attendance of a total of at least four weeks of eight class lectures are required for the student to graduate, thus requiring a minimum of two summers of classes.

At the end of the program, students will be required to attend a Thesis Research Symposium the night before graduation where they will defend the research done for the preparation of writing a thesis (a fully written thesis is not required for this program). Graduating students are encouraged to attend and participate in graduation the next day.

Program Framework

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 Progress

View Schedule

Steps to Apply

  1. Students must meet all eligibility requirements listed on Graduate Admissions page. Also, students must meet the spiritual qualifications of a deacon or deaconess (1 Timothy 3:8-13).

  2. Application Content: The application will ask a variety of questions, including the following categories:

    • Personal

    • Contact

    • Family

    • Education history

    • Employment history

    • Church

    • Additional Personal Information

  3. Short Answer Questions: Also included in the application will be several short answer questions about some key theological positions as well as your involvement with your local church and your reason to pursue Graduate Studies with us.

  4. 10-15 Page Writing Sample: You will also be prompted to provide us a brief description of your personal testimony and a 10-15 page writing sample of previous academic work, demonstrating graduate study proficiency (instructions will be included in that section of the application). There is no assigned topic for this writing sample - you are free to submit a paper you have already written for another class or program. However, be advised that in reviewing this writing sample, the MABC Admissions Committee will look not only for content, but also for acceptable formatting, syntax, grammar, and citation.

  5. 3 References: Also, you will be able to provide the names and email addresses of three different references - Pastor or Elder, Educator, Personal (these cannot be relatives). Once you provide the name and the email address of the reference in the application, the system will automatically send the reference the appropriate electronic form and your reference can fill out that form without having to confer with you. If the reference delays in filling out the form, there will be an option to change the reference when you sign-in again to the application, if necessary.

  6. Application Fee ($50): Finally, when you submit the application, you will be prompted to pay the application fee ($50) through our electronic portal (PayPal). If you cannot complete the payment using our electronic portal, you may mail in your application fee to this address (all checks can be made out to The Master’s University):

    THE MASTER’S UNIVERSITY
    Office of Graduate Studies, Box #50
    21726 Placerita Canyon Road
    Santa Clarita, CA 91321
    UNITED STATES

    You will always be able to save your application and return to it later to finish at another time.

  7. Official Transcripts: After the application has been submitted, the system will automatically assemble all previous schools you provided in the application and create a list of official transcripts that you will need to mail to our Graduate Studies Office. If your school uses a secure electronic system to email official transcripts, you may do this as well. But please be advised that these transcripts must be official (meaning that they cannot be copies of your transcripts, and they come directly from your school and have not been opened by you or anyone else). Of most importance, students applying for graduate studies must have a bachelor’s degree from a school that meets the accreditation standards of the Higher Learning Commission in the United States, with few exceptions. If you are unsure about the accreditation of your school you make consider the following resources:

  • If the school(s) from which you received your degree(s) is in the United States, you can use this website to see if your school is accredited.

  • If the school(s) from which you received your degree(s) is located in another country (i.e. International), you can:

    • Send us copies (or official documents) of your transcripts for evaluation by our Registrar. Please note that you will eventually need to send us official transcripts (not copies) for your application.

    • Have your transcripts evaluated by http://www.naces.org/ or http://aice-eval.org/.

When having your official transcripts sent to us, make sure to remind your school that the “Box #50” must be included in the address. Some schools have our basic address in their system without the “Box #50.” They may need prompting to include this number. If it is not included, the transcript will arrive in another department on our campus, and it may take some time to track it down. Thank you in advance!

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Only for students in which English is not their first language, you will need to complete and score a minimum of 100 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Please visit their website here and search for “Master’s College” or “Master’s University” in Santa Clarita as the school where you would like your exam scores sent.

After Your Application Is Complete

When all the application items have been submitted and sent to us (online application,recommendations, official transcripts, TOEFL), then your application will be ready for review by the Admissions Committee in the Graduate Studies Office. The Committee might take up to 3-4 weeks to review incoming files for admission. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Upon Acceptance

Assuming the Admissions Committee grants you acceptance, you will be instructed to pay a $250 deposit that will act as payment toward your first class(es). We will not be able to finalize setting up your new student account until the deposit is paid. You will be granted the opportunity to pay the deposit electronically through our PayPal service provider upon accepting the offer of admission, or you may send the deposit via mail to the address listed above.

Former/Current TMS Students

Your application will be shorter than what is prescribed above. Please designate that you are a Former/Current TMS Student at the beginning of the application. This will prompt the system to reduce your application requirements automatically. In the application, you will NOT be prompted to provide us a writing sample, pastor/elder reference, personal reference, or TOEFL. For your transcripts, we have your TMS record already, so you will not need to request that from the Seminary. However, we will need you to request for copies of your other school transcripts from the TMS secretary (Helen Lee). Please email Helen at hlee@tms.edu and request from her copies of your transcripts to be sent to Box #50, the Graduate Studies Office at The Master’s University.

Re-Admit Students

Your application process will be shorter than what is prescribed above. Please designate that you are a Re-Admit Student at the beginning of the application. This will prompt the system to reduce your application requirements automatically. In the application, you will NOT be prompted to provide us a writing sample, educator reference, personal reference, or TOEFL. Also, the short answers in the application will be uniquely fitted for you. For your transcripts, please send us only official transcripts of any schools you have attended since the last time you were enrolled as a student in our Graduate Studies programs.

Application Deadlines

  Domestic International
Spring Term - November 1 (of previous year) July 15 (of previous year)
Summer Term - March 1 December 15
Fall Term - July 1 April 15

Starting Semester for Residential Students

It is preferred that residential-local students begin studies in a fall term, but there are opportunities to begin in a Spring or Summer semester if necessary.

Starting Semester for Distance Students

Because the intensive-modular courses form both the foundation and anchor for the entire distance student’s experience, we highly recommend distance students to start the program in a summer term. A distant student may begin in the fall or spring semesters but the he/she must realize that he/she will necessarily need to take classes out of the prescribed order (see what we prescribe here) and thus be initially limited as to which courses he/she may take in the first couple of semesters. Moreover, students should be aware that some classes will assume the student’s familiarity of previous content from courses that would normally be taken in the prescribed order. In this way, all students will be held to the same academic standards whether he/she is taking the classes in the prescribed order or not. The Graduate Studies Office will help students minimize any potential problems that may result from taking classes out of the preferred order, but it is important that the student is aware of these potential challenges.

Transfer Credits

Credits from other institutions are generally not accepted for transfer due to the unique content and nature of our programs. 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.

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.

Spiritual

  • 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.

Academic

  • 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.

Application Requirements

The following documents must be submitted in order to apply to The Master’s University:

  1. Application for Graduate Admission

  2. Official transcripts indicating the completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university

  3. Reference forms: academic, pastoral (or other lay-leader), and personal (forms provided with application)

  4. Writing sample (a 10-15 page sample of your academic work, demonstrating graduate study capability)

Transfer Credits

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.

International Students

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.

Costs

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.

Scholarships

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 graduatestudies@masters.edu 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 (jlmiller@masters.edu; 661-362-2644).

Financial Aid

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; rwethern@masters.edu) – in the Financial Aid Department at TMU. He will help you pursue the best course of action for your financial situation.

Contact

The Masters University
Office of Graduate Studies, Box #50
21726 Placerita Canyon Road Santa Clarita, CA 91321

Jay Street
Graduate Studies Admissions Coordinator graduatestudies@masters.edu
P: 661.362.2652; 800.568.6248 x2652
F: 661.362.2712