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MA in Counseling (California)

MA in Counseling (California)

The Master of Arts in Counseling: Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling specialization is a professional graduate degree that equips counselors to offer concern and care for the whole person. It prepares you to excel in counseling in private practice, church, agency, or school settings. As with most counseling degrees, this program offers skill-based coursework and practicum experience. You will be required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of personal counseling as part of your preparation for counseling others.

Since this program is offered at a seminary, it provides foundational biblical and theological studies in order to assist students as they integrate a Christian worldview with their counseling preparation. This curriculum satisfies the requirements to apply with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to register as an Associate MFT in the State of California, and later sit for your exam to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). It also allows you to register as an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor and later sit for the exam to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

Find median pay rates and employability outlook for counselors at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.




Reduce This!



Graduate in as few as two years and 8 months



10 credits are available as online courses


San Jose




A Counseling Program of Distinction*

  • BBS Approved since 1992
  • Approved for California licensure as an LMFT and/or an LPCC
  • Integrates a biblical worldview with current counseling theory and technique
  • Instruction from a seasoned faculty who average over 16 years of practice and 10 years teaching
  • Enables you to apply what you're learning in the classroom almost immediately by completing a minimum of 280 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups

*An optional 5-8 credit Addiction Studies Certificate allows for specialized training for those interested in working with people with substance abuse and chemical dependency issues. 

Counseling Program Curriculum



Accessible Scheduling

You can complete the MA in Counseling degree in two years and eight months' time by enrolling in mid-week evening and weekend courses at our San Jose and Sacramento campuses. Alternatively, you can take up to 10 credits of online courses through the Western Seminary Online campus. This flexible schedule allows you to minimize travel time and maintain your family, church, and work commitments. 

Counseling Education That Keeps Debt Down

We encourage wise financial stewardship as you pay for school. It might surprise you to learn that a minority of our students utilize loans, with most choosing instead to pay out of pocket, with scholarships, or via a monthly payment plan. Look into your options for financial aid

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • A foundational knowledge of psychology
  • A completed application for admission and all admissions materials, including:

If an applicant does not meet one of these requirements, we invite them to contact an admissions counselor to explore alternative admission options to the MA in Counseling program.