Admissions MA in Counseling California BW

MA in Counseling (California)

MA in Counseling (California)

The Master of Arts in Counseling 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 are available as online courses


San Jose




A Counseling Program of Distinction*

  • BBS Approved since 1992
  • 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 225 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups
  • Qualifies to sit for the Professional Clinical Counselor licensing exam with one alternative course (69 total credits) 

*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


Biblical Studies

BL506 Old Testament Literature for Counselors 2
BL507 New Testament Literature for Counselors 2

Theological Studies

TH506 Theology I for Counselors                        2
TH507 Theology II for Counselors 2

Counseling Studies

CNS501 Clinical Foundations 2
CNS502 Psychological Theory and Techniques 3
CNS503 Family Systems Therapy 3
CNS504 Psychotherapeutic Systems 2
CNS505 Psychopathology 3
CNS506 Legal and Ethical Issues 2
CNS507 Human Life Span Development 3
CNS508 Integrative Issues in Counseling 2
CNS509 Advanced Integration 2
CNS510 Spiritual Development and Assessment 2
CNS512 Group Counseling 3
CNS513 Social and Cultural Foundations 2
CNS516 Marriage and Couple Counseling 3
CNS517 Child and Adolescent Therapy 2
CNS518 Career and Lifestyle Development 2
CNS523 Human Sexuality 2
CNS524 Research in Counseling and Family Studies 2
CNS525 Tests and Measurements 3
CNS526 Psychopharmacology (for future MFTs) 2
CNS527 Physiology and Psychopharmacology (for future PCCs) 3
CNS529 Counseling Addictions 2
CNS530 Counseling Practicum 2
CNS531 Internship Case Conference I 2
CNS532 Internship Case Conference II 2
CNS539 Advanced Internship Case Conference 1
CNS544 Counseling for Violence and Abuse Issues 3
CNS553 Human Services 2
CNS559 Emergency Preparedness: Crisis Management 2

Total: 68/69 Credits

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. In fact, the average Western Seminary counseling student graduates with an average of only $13,567 in loan debt to repay. It might surprise you to learn that only about 19% of our students utilize loans, choosing instead to paying 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.