The primary purpose of the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program is to equip students for service in vocational counseling ministries in the church or in a parachurch ministry that is properly related to the church. This Seminary program is designed to be completed in a minimum of two to three academic years. Candidates for this degree should consult with Biblical Counseling faculty before beginning their program of study.
Philosophy of the Biblical Counseling Program
Under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and for the glory of His name, the counseling programs at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary are committed to equip students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission through the ministry of Biblical Counseling. We will provide Christians who are called to the ministry of counseling the training and experience that is needed to explain and apply the authoritative and sufficient written Word of God in a clinically informed manner.
The guiding foundation for SEBTS’s Biblical Counseling program is that the Holy Scriptures are the written Word of the Living God and are necessary for understanding people as spiritual, moral, relational, and psychological beings (2 Timothy 3:14-17; Psalm 1). SEBTS’s counseling program prepares students to counsel from within the framework of a biblical anthropology, developing a biblical, God-related understanding of human problems, and implementing truthful, graceful, timely, relevant, and practical Christ-centered methods of problem solving and change (Psalm 1:1-2; Hebrews 4:12-13).
Read the full central affirmations of Southeastern’s Biblical Counseling Program.
The MDiv B.C. is better preparation for those with long-term local church ministry goals. The MA in B.C. is for those who will be specializing primarily in vocational counseling ministries. Pastoral candidates seeking a specialization in counseling ministries are advised to complete both the MDiv following the Pastoral Ministry track and the MA in B.C. The Registrar can help a student design a program of study leading to the completion of both degrees.
Students seeking professional licensure will need to complete additional hours of academic and practical training beyond those offered in either the MDiv B.C. or the MA in B.C. degrees. Southeastern also offers several courses that are intended to be a part of the preparation for state-approved professional board licensure or certification. Course requirements vary from state to state, so the student is responsible to be aware of their state’s criterion and to take the courses that are necessary for that particular licensing or certifying board. These courses are not necessary for the degree (although they may be used to fulfill an elective requirement). We do not believe it is necessary or prudent for church-based counselors to be licensed by state-approved professional boards. The purpose of these courses is to prepare students for missional engagement with the mental health culture. We recommend that those who desire to pursue these optional courses have completed a bachelors degree with a major or minor in psychology and then discuss this with a SEBTS counseling professor to evaluate the student’s vocational objectives and make sure they are consistent with our program philosophy and goals.
Admission to this program is limited to persons holding a Bachelors degree or its equivalent who also meet all other admission requirements for the seminary.
Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MA B.C.) students complete 34 semester hours of core studies and 31 semester hours of counseling courses for a total of 65 credit hours with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better.
*NOTE: In the MA Core, Biblical Counseling students take BCO 7900 - Counseling Practicum Mentorered Internship as an approved substitution for PMN7900.