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The following is a list of required courses that students in the MABC program must take in order to graduate.
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/her own counseling qualifications, design a plan for improving some area of his/her life, put that plan into action, and then evaluate his/her progress as the course draws to a close.
This course will help the student to understand the Christlike 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/her personal walk with Jesus Christ and as a skilled biblical counselor.
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.
This course is designed to critically analyze secular and evangelical integrationist theories of psychotherapy in a theological context, emphasizing the uniqueness of divine revelation for ontological and epistemological positions and worldview. It will probe the anthropological presuppositions of treatment theory and seek to bring a thoroughly biblical critique to their foundational assumptions and 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.
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.
This course is designed to apply the biblical principles taught in BC501 Introduction to Biblical Counseling and BC503 Methods of Biblical Change 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. Each student will research and present to the class a detailed biblical counseling outline for a teacher-approved counseling issue. Prerequisites: BC501, BC503, BC511, and BC531.
This course is an advanced examination of the science and art of interpretation, with special attention given 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.
This course is designed to continue to develop the skills of the graduate student in 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 that approach relates 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. Prerequisites: BC501, BC503, BC511, and BC531.
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 address from a biblical perspective some of the major difficulties that troubled marriages and families experience. 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.
All students are encouraged to seek membership in and certification by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). This seminar transitions students from the application and examination requirements for ACBC certification to the required supervised counseling. Students should delay taking BC556 if it will be more than a year before they begin the BC592 and BC593 internship sequence. Once students complete BC556, they will have one year after completing it to finish BC592 and BC593. If they do not complete the latter courses within this period, they will be required to re-take BC556 and BC592 or BC593 (or both).
This is a survey of the physiological factors that influence areas in a person’s life and are of importance when counseling that person.
This course is designed to help the student think biblically about conflict and how to biblically counsel interpersonal conflicts in a way that glorifies the Lord (1 Cor. 10:31). In particular, the graduate student will be taught how to exposit several key passages of Scripture that are appropriate to conflict and apply them to difficult situations in a very practical and life-changing way. Securing peace in a conflict is not the end. It is a means to an end. Bringing glory to God by seeking biblical reconciliation is our goal as biblical counselors. These principles apply to all walks of life where interpersonal relationships are formed, including business, the church, and marriage.
This course consists of observations and discussions of counseling sessions, designed to help the student learn practical skills in counseling by observation, evaluation, critique, and discussion. The course also involves practical application of the principles of biblical counseling and the various methodological aspects of the counseling process. The course will include student participation in counseling as a counselor, counselee, and observer. These activities will form the basis of seminar discussions where counseling will be analyzed from a biblical perspective. The goal is to help the student learn, evaluate, and sharpen their practical counseling skills. Prerequisites: All courses above except BC556.
This is part one of a supervised and evaluated internship, consisting of at least two actual counseling sessions per week and a total of 25 hours of counseling. Assistance will be provided for the student in obtaining counseling opportunities. Prerequisites: All core courses except BC593 and BC598.
This is part two of a supervised and evaluated internship, consisting of at least two actual counseling sessions per week and a total of 25 hours of counseling. Assistance will be provided for the student in obtaining counseling opportunities. Prerequisites: All core courses except BC598.
This course introduces the program capstone research project and guides the research task. The student is responsible to compose a fully-documented 20- to 30-page research outline, as the basis for either a seminar presentation or a formal 100- to 120-page thesis paper that deals with a special problem or area of investigation in biblical counseling. The research goal must be precisely stated in written form, pursued under faculty supervision, and approved by and presented to the chairperson and research coordinator of the Biblical Counseling Department. All students are required to defend their thesis outline in the Thesis Symposium held each year in the spring semester—the day before graduation. Prerequisite: All core courses.
The following is a list of some of the elective courses offered in the MABC program in previous semesters. Other than BC599 Thesis Composition, each one is not offered every semester out of the year, and there is no guarantee that a particular course will be offered during a given semester or year.
This course is an expositional study of the book of Proverbs with its special relevance to counseling. Prerequisites: BC511, BC521, BC531, and BC532.
This course is an expositional study of the book of Ecclesiastes with its special relevance to counseling. This course assists the counselor to work with individuals who are struggling with a materialistic cosmology. Prerequisites: BC511, BC521, BC531, and BC532.
This course is a study of the role of prayer in significant biblical passages, church events, and contemporary society, with relevant application for biblical counseling today. It is designed to challenge students to engage in a consistent and communal prayer life, as this will prepare them for the responsibility of effectively serving believers in biblical counseling, and as it relates to discipleship or sanctification for the counselee. Issues relating to the tensions regarding the sovereignty of God, the discipline and responsibility of humans to pray and respond, balancing counselor responsibilities, and the role of the Holy Spirit are evaluated.
A study of the history of the modern biblical counseling movement and an active engagement with its current leaders and the issues being debated among proponents. This course involves attendance at the annual conference of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.
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, typical counseling problems that women face, and the dynamic of counseling a woman facing those issues. Prerequisite: women only.
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. Prerequisites: BC501, BC503, BC511, BC521, BC531, and BC532.
This course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the legal issues involved in biblical counseling and the distinctive legal challenges raised with particularly difficult counseling situations. Taught from primary sources to the extent possible, topics include “clergy malpractice”, whether a biblical counselor has a “duty to refer”, pertinent evidentiary privileges, whether a biblical counselor has a duty to maintain confidentiality or has a duty to report specific conduct described by a counselee, and whether information provided by a counselee may be properly used in church discipline. Substantial emphasis will be given to the development of strategies to minimize potential criminal and civil liability.
Selected studies in specialized areas within the discipline of biblical counseling, as designed by a biblical counseling faculty member.
This course explores the theological realities and experiential aspects of bereavement, loss, and grief. Students will critique the “stages of grief” approach and consider the role of hope in counseling those in this condition.
This guided composition course requires the student to compose a thesis paper, 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 chairperson and the research coordinator; research and composition are pursued under an appointed faculty advisor. Prerequisites: All core courses and BC598.
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.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the M.A. in Biblical Counseling program.
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