Education

Best Christian Counseling Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Christian Counseling programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Christian counseling is the process of helping people resolve their personal, social, and spiritual problems from a Christian perspective. Christian counselors work with people to identify the sources of their problems, and to develop strategies for resolving those problems. Christian counselors also work to improve communication and relationships within families, and to strengthen family relationships.

Christian counseling is a growing field, as more and more people are seeking help with their personal, social, and spiritual problems. Christian counselors are in demand in a wide variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, and private practice.

Christian counseling degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in Christian counseling, including clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and family therapy. Students in Christian counseling degree programs learn about the different theories and techniques of Christian counseling, and how to apply those techniques to resolve conflicts.

How to Choose the Right Christian Counseling Program

When choosing a Christian counseling program, there are many factors to consider. The first is the cost of the program. Many Christian counseling programs are offered by private colleges and universities, which tend to be more expensive than public schools. However, there are also many scholarships and financial aid opportunities available to help offset the cost of tuition.

Another important factor to consider is the length of the program. Most Christian counseling programs take four years to complete, but there are also many accelerated and online programs that can be completed in less time.

The curriculum is also an important factor to consider. Many Christian counseling programs require students to take courses in theology, Christian counseling theory, and Christian counseling techniques. Students should make sure that the program they choose offers the courses they need to complete their degree.

Finally, students should consider the location of the program. Many Christian counseling programs are offered online, which gives students the flexibility to study from anywhere in the world. However, some students may prefer to study in a traditional classroom setting.

Best Bachelor’s in Christian Counseling Programs

The best programs for Christian Counseling ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Oral Roberts University
Tulsa, OK

The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Caregiving and Counseling from Oral Roberts University is an online program that can equip students with the philosophy, methods, and resources suited for professional or lay ministry in a broad range of pastoral settings.

The program is 124 credit hours and can be completed in 3.5 years when enrolled full-time.

Rank 2
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC

The Bachelor of Science in Biblical Counseling from Bob Jones University includes classes in Bible, counseling, and psychology, as well as the BJU Core, a unique combination of Bible and liberal arts courses. Electives throughout the program allow students to customize their experience, focusing on areas such as pastoral ministries, women’s ministries, youth ministries, or business.

Rank 3
Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Mount Vernon, OH

The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry from Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a flexible online program that prepares students for a career in ministry. The program is designed to give students a foundation in the Bible, theology, and ministry, as well as the skills necessary to lead in today’s diverse world. Students have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as preaching and worship, Christian education, or pastoral care. The program can be completed in as few as 21 months.

Rank 4
Grace College and Theological Seminary
Winona Lake, IN

The Bachelor of Arts in Counseling from Grace College and Theological Seminary is a great choice for students interested in exploring the ins and outs of mental health from a biblical worldview. The program provides a comprehensive overview of the field of counseling, preparing students to engage, assess, and treat individuals of all ages. Students can choose to specialize their studies in addictions counseling, child and family counseling, or mental health school counseling. The program requires real-world experience in the form of an internship.

Rank 5
Bethel University
Saint Paul, MN

The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries from Bethel University is a fully online program that can be completed in as few as 18-20 months. The program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in ministry and includes courses on topics such as biblical interpretation, Old and New Testament studies, Christian theology, ministry practicum, and interpersonal relationships. In addition to courses within the program, students also take core courses that explore personal values and faith formation.

Rank 6
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry from Gardner-Webb University is a degree completion program that is offered fully online. The program is designed to enhance students’ ability to minister in local churches and agencies. The curriculum for the program includes coursework in biblical interpretation, critical thinking, communication, spiritual formation, philosophy, Christian theology, and ministry. The program also offers opportunities for students to prepare for higher education in university, divinity, or seminary studies.

Rank 7
Houston Baptist University
Houston, TX

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology – Christian Counseling degree from Houston Baptist University is designed to prepare students for a career in counseling by providing them with a strong foundation in the scientific and applied traditions of psychology. In addition to coursework in psychology, students in this program will also take courses in Christian counseling, which will equip them to integrate their faith with the practice of counseling.

Rank 8
Southeastern University
Lakeland, FL

The Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Southeastern University is a 120-hour program that is designed to prepare students for ministry leadership roles in local churches, faith-based non-profit organizations, and other ministry contexts. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes courses in foundational core subjects, Bible, theology, ministry, and ministry practicum.

Rank 9
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Online Christian Counseling, Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree is a great choice for students interested in a career in counseling. The curriculum is designed to give students a strong foundation in the principles of psychology and counseling, and also provides practical skills training through an optional internship. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Rank 10
Crown College
St Bonifacius, MN

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Counseling degree from Crown College is designed to prepare students for careers in fields such as management, counseling, and ministry. The program provides students with knowledge and skills that are applicable to a variety of roles working with people. Additionally, the program prepares students for continued studies at the graduate level or for employment in a number of professions.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Christian Counseling Program

Students in a bachelor’s in Christian counseling program can expect to take courses that focus on the Bible and its teachings, as well as Christian principles of counseling. The degree program will also prepare students to work with individuals, families, and groups who are struggling with personal issues.

In addition to coursework, students in a bachelor’s in Christian counseling program will also be required to complete an internship. This will give them the opportunity to gain real-world experience working with clients.

Prospective students should be aware that a bachelor’s in Christian counseling is not the same as a degree in psychology or counseling. A bachelor’s in Christian counseling will prepare students to work specifically with clients who are struggling with personal issues from a Christian perspective.

Common Christian Counseling Courses

The coursework for a Christian counseling degree will vary depending on the school and program. However, there are some common courses that are often included in these programs.

Biblical Foundations of Counseling

This course covers the foundations of Christian counseling, including an overview of the Bible and its counseling implications. Emphasis is placed on the development of a Christian counseling philosophy, integration of faith and learning, and the application of biblical principles to personal counseling. Upon completion, students should be able to apply biblical principles to personal life experiences and integrate faith and learning in the development of a Christian counseling philosophy.

Theology

This course covers the major themes, ideas, and figures of Christian theology. Emphasis is placed on the Bible as the primary source and norm of Christian theology, God as Trinity, creation and fall, incarnation and redemption, and eschatology. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the development of Christian theology and its major themes, ideas, and figures; and apply theological principles to personal faith and life experiences.

Cross-Cultural Counseling

This course introduces the student to the challenges and opportunities of counseling in a cross-cultural context. Students will develop an understanding of the impact of culture on the counseling process. The course will also address the need for counselors to be aware of their own cultural biases and the importance of self-awareness in the counseling process. Students will be expected to develop counseling skills that are appropriate for use in a cross-cultural setting. Upon completion, students should be able to apply counseling skills in a cross-cultural setting and be aware of the impact of culture on the counseling process.

Methods and Techniques of Counseling

This course covers the methods and techniques of counseling and how they are used in a Christian counseling setting. Topics include the counseling process, stages of change, helping relationships, group dynamics, and multicultural counseling. Emphasis is placed on the development of counseling skills through role-playing, simulations, and other experiential activities. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the methods and techniques of counseling to a variety of settings and populations.

Crisis & Trauma Counseling

This course covers the development of high-quality, individualized, responsive/engaging relationships and experiences for infants, toddlers, and twos. Emphasis is placed on typical and atypical child development, working with diverse families to provide positive, supportive, and engaging early learning activities and interactions through field experiences and the application of the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate responsive curriculum planning, respectful relationships and exposure to a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences/materials that support a foundation for healthy development and growth of culturally, linguistically and ability diverse children birth to 36 months.

Career Options for Christian Counseling Graduates

Graduates of Christian counseling programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including ministry, education, publishing, and counseling. They may also work in fields such as social work, chaplaincy, and hospital administration.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) work with individuals, couples, and families to address a wide range of issues, including relationship difficulties, communication problems, parenting issues, and mental and emotional health concerns. MFTs may work in a private practice, hospital, community mental health center, or other clinical setting. They use a variety of techniques, including psychotherapy, to help their clients improve their relationships and communication, resolve personal and family conflicts, and cope with stress, anxiety, and other mental and emotional health issues.

Grief Counselor

Grief counselors work with individuals who are grieving the death of a loved one. Counselors may work in a hospice, funeral home, or hospital setting, or they may have their own private practice. In addition to providing emotional support, grief counselors may also offer practical advice, such as helping individuals plan funerals or connect with resources like support groups. Grief counselors typically have a background in psychology, social work, or counseling, and most states require counselors to be licensed.

Christian Counselor

Christian counselors provide spiritual and psychological support to individuals, couples, and families. They may work in a private practice, a church, or another religious organization. Christian counselors use their faith to guide them as they help clients work through personal issues, such as anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and grief.

Chaplain

Chaplains are religious leaders who provide spiritual guidance and support to people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, prisons, the military, and colleges and universities. In addition to offering counseling and performing religious rituals, chaplains may also be responsible for leading Bible studies or prayer groups, participating in interfaith initiatives, and representing their faith community to the public.

Minister

Ministers are responsible for providing religious guidance and performing ceremonies for their congregation. They may also be responsible for administrative tasks such as managing the church budget or overseeing the construction of a new church building. In some cases, ministers may also provide counseling services or visit sick parishioners in the hospital.

Insights From a Christian Counseling Graduate

Whitney Bauer is a Licensed Professional Counselor at The Light of Christ Counseling Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Christian counseling from Liberty University. Whitney has over 3 years of experience in counseling and therapy.

ClimbtheLadder: What would you recommend that students do in addition to their degree program, in order to stand out to employers?

Whitney Bauer: I would recommend that students get involved in as many internships and practicums as possible. This will not only give you the experience you need to be a successful counselor, but it will also give you the opportunity to network with other professionals in the field.

In addition, I would recommend that students get involved in professional organizations such as the American Counseling Association or the American Association of Christian Counselors. These organizations offer many resources for counselors, including continuing education opportunities, networking events, and job postings.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in a Christian Counseling career?

Whitney Bauer: I think the most important qualities for success in Christian counseling are a love for God and a love for people. If you don’t have a heart for both of those things, I don’t think counseling is the right fit.

You also need to be able to handle difficult topics and conversations. A lot of times, people come to counseling because they are struggling with something painful or difficult, and you need to be able to be there for them in that.

Lastly, I think it’s important to be able to be vulnerable yourself. I think it’s hard for people to open up and be honest about their struggles if they don’t see that you’re doing the same.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Christian Counseling program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Whitney Bauer: I didn’t expect the program to be as academically rigorous as it was. I was also surprised by how much the program emphasized the importance of self-care and self-awareness for counselors. I think that was a really valuable lesson that I didn’t expect to learn.

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