MA Christian Counseling Degree (MACC)

Learn to provide comprehensive clinical care that empowers individuals to heal the mind, body, and soul.

Step into the transformative world of the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling (MACC) degree program at Houston Christian University. Here, the timeless wisdom of Christian tradition synergizes with the clinical advances of contemporary psychotherapy and counseling, molding you into a beacon of healing and guidance.

By weaving faith and psychological expertise, our full-time Christian counseling graduate program prepares you to serve with distinction. Whether in faith-based organizations, churches, ministries, hospitals, health care settings, private practices, Christian counseling centers, treatment centers, or independent self-employment, solidify your ability to provide spiritually informed therapeutic care through practical clinical experience.

As you consider the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling, you are preparing to lead with excellence in various professional roles. Leave an indelible mark on countless lives through your commitment to imparting spiritually grounded psychological expertise.

Program Highlights

  • Transform lives with a Christ-centered approach.
  • 66 Credit Hours
  • Three Years
  • In-Person Classes in Dynamic Houston
  • Many Online Class Options Available
  • Scholar-Practitioner Faculty
  • Pursue Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Certification in Texas and other states not requiring CACREP
  • certification
  • Two-Community Training: Practicum experience guides students to assist members of both the Christian Community and the Human Community

Master’s in Christian Counseling Degree Requirements

Immerse yourself in a rigorous curriculum covering a wide range of counseling topics, including trauma-informed counseling, substance abuse counseling, career counseling, ethics, and advanced psychopathology. Through these courses, you develop a solid theoretical foundation that empowers you to help individuals from diverse backgrounds. After learning key clinical diagnosis and treatment concepts, complete a counseling practicum and internship to elevate your practical skills.

Our program specifically provides individuals with the necessary coursework to obtain their Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credentials. Our approach is distinct from that of other degree programs in the field of counseling, as it is Christ-centered, biblically rooted, and clinically informed. Read more about the Christian psychology and counseling movement and the Christian counseling philosophy espoused by our counseling center.

[PDF]Review the MA in Christian Counseling degree plan and requirements.

Example Program Timeline

  • Fall Semester (3 credit hour classes)
    Spring Semester (3 credit hour classes)
    Year 1
    COUN 5335 – Christian Spiritual Formation for Therapists
    COUN 5320 – Theories of Counseling
    COUN 5340 – Systemic Theology
    COUN 5327 – Christian Psychology and Counseling Theory
    COUN 5328 – Biblical & Theological Foundations for Christian Psychology & Counseling
    COUN 5314 – Methods and Techniques for Christian Counseling
    COUN 5316 – Human Growth and Development
    COUN 5310 – Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling
    Year 2
    COUN 5318 – Counseling Skills and Techniques
    COUN 6310 – Clinical Psychopathology
    COUN 5321 – Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
    COUN 6325 – Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
    COUN 6323 – Crisis Response and Trauma Care
    COUN 6309 – Assessment and Testing
    COUN 6321 – Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development
    COUN 6324 – Substance Abuse and Addictive Disorders
    Year 3
    COUN 6391 – Counseling Practicum
    COUN 6392 – Counseling Internship I
    COUN 5317 – Multicultural Counseling
    COUN 6322 – Marriage and Family Counseling
    COUN 5311 – Advanced Ethics & Practice Management
    COUN 6320 – Research Design and Program Evaluation
    Subtotal: 33 hours
    Subtotal: 33 hours
    Total: 66

Counseling Practicum Experience

As part of our master’s in Christian counseling program, we offer you the invaluable opportunity to gain in-person counseling experience through a counseling practicum. This experience is a crucial component of your training, allowing you to apply your theoretical knowledge in real-world settings.

Under the guidance and supervision of experienced professionals in HCU’s counseling center or local practices in the Houston area, you can work with clients, further develop your counseling skills, and receive valuable feedback and support.

Program Benefits and Opportunities

By choosing our MACC program, you can be confident that you are receiving a comprehensive education that integrates faith with professional counseling practices, preparing you to serve and inspire others to find healing, hope, and wholeness.

Faculty of Excellence

Christian counseling faculty bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom, ensuring that you receive the highest quality education and mentorship. Each faculty member nurtures your journey of educational and spiritual discernment, shepherding you on the path to becoming a compassionate, skilled, and knowledgeable counselor.

In addition to their terminal degrees in counseling and psychology, many of our faculty hold seminary degrees and have specialized training in distinctly Christian counseling approaches, such as spiritual transformation, Christian psychology, and other faith-based therapeutic approaches.

Meet the distinguished faculty for the Christian Counseling program and the experienced counseling faculty housed in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Career and Salary Outcomes

Upon completing this program, a wide range of postgraduate opportunities unfold before you. Dive into the depths of practice in both Christian-focused environments and other mental health settings, whether you become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas or choose a different path. If you are pursuing certification in other states, review if the program of study meets the relevant licensure eligibility requirements.

Beyond immediate practice, the realm of academia might call you to further your education, exploring the intricacies of research or advancing to doctoral programs. The broader field also offers roles in administrative, educational, and community-centric settings.

Opportunities include:

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Clinical therapy roles in faith-based institutions
  • Academic research or educator roles
  • Counseling director positions in nonprofit or community organizations
  • PhD candidacy

Christian counseling salaries vary in response to different levels of education, licensure, and experience. According to Salary.com, Christian counselors in the United States make between $36,429 to $43,054 annually, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports substance abuse and mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists earn median annual salaries of $49,710 and $56,570, respectively. Income may increase for those leading faith-based nonprofits or practicing independently.

Support in Personal Growth and Spiritual Formation

We understand that personal growth and spiritual development are essential for effective counseling. Along with your academic coursework, our Christian counseling degree program curriculum places significant emphasis on spiritual formation, deepening your relationship with Christ and cultivating your spiritual growth.

Through reflective practices, mentoring, and integrating faith into your counseling approaches, you not only develop professional skills but also strengthen your character in pursuit of your calling.

The Office of Career and Calling provides personalized assistance for career goal-setting and achievement.

Related School of Education and Behavioral Sciences Degrees

Explore our various Christian counseling and psychology programs to discern which aligns with your calling to serve others through faith-based therapeutic practices.

  • Master of Arts in Christian Psychology: Dive deep into biblical principles and psychological science and assessment, preparing for a unique practice as a Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA).
  • Master of Arts in Psychology: Gain a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and cognitive processes, laying a foundation for diverse careers in therapy, research, or consultation.
  • Master of Arts in Christian Psychological Studies: Combine theological studies with advanced psychology, preparing for faith-based counseling, academic research, and PhD progression.
  • Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Empower individuals and communities through therapeutic techniques, assessment methods, and ethical practices, setting the stage for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) readiness and diverse professional practice.

Admissions and Aid

Join our supportive learning community today. Application deadlines to apply to a program in the Graduate School at HCU are as follows:

  • Spring: January 1 (priority December 15)
  • Summer: May 1 (priority April 15)
  • Fall: August 1 (priority July 15)

Review admissions information and email the Graduate Admissions Office with any questions.

Application Requirements

When you’re ready to apply, complete the online application to begin the process. Then, submit your additional application materials to the Graduate Admissions Office via email at verification@hbu.edu.

Requirements for admission to the Christian counseling master’s program include:

  • All transcripts from previously attended educational institutions
  • Two academic or professional references, one a pastoral/ministry reference
  • Current résumé or CV
  • 500-word written response to a given prompt

We invite applicants who meet the requirements specified by the graduate school to an in-person interview. These interviews and orientation are typically held about once per month and may take up to four hours, depending on the applicant pool.

Review more details and application requirements.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students in the Christian counseling degree program earn available scholarships based on a combination of financial need and academic promise. For each of our graduate applicants, a range of scholarships and financial assistance are available.

Learn about graduate financial aid and how to apply for scholarships.

Earn a Master’s in Christian Counseling at Houston Christian University

Graduates of the MA in Christian Counseling degree program at HCU blend clinical acumen with profound spiritual insight, guiding individuals toward wholeness and redemption. Begin your transformative journey with HCU’s Christian counseling legacy today.

Ready to counsel others with functional methods based on a Christian worldview? Attend an informational event or begin your application today.