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MA in Counseling (Oregon)

MA in Counseling (Oregon)

Western Seminary's Master of Arts in Counseling degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares Christian counselors to bring concern and care for the whole person. It equips you to excel in Christian counseling, as well as in church, private practice, agency, clinical mental health, or school settings. As with most counseling degrees, this program offers skill-based coursework, internship experience, as well as a requirement to complete your own personal counseling.

CACREP Accredited LogoSince this program is offered at a seminary, it also unites biblical and theological studies in order to connect both Christian worldview and compassion to the counseling profession. While the curriculum satisfies Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) requirements set forth by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, it is also CACREP accredited, allowing you flexibility to obtain licensure in many other states with minimal additional work.



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Portland Counseling Department 

What Sets Our Counseling Training Apart?

  • CACREP Accreditation
  • Unique integration of Christian theology and counseling in a seminary context
  • Mentoring from core faculty who are licensed professional counselors with earned doctorates and years of clinical experience
  • Optional Child and Youth Counseling emphasis
  • Opportunity to complete the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination before graduation - 98% of Western graduates pass on their first attempt
  • An emphasis on “learning while doing”…
    • …in a state of the art counselor training center on the Portland campus
    • …serving clients as early as your second semester in the program
    • …completing 700 hours of clinical experience across two sites

Counseling Curriculum


See a list of courses

Biblical Studies: 4 credits
BL506 Old Testament Literature for Counselors 2
BL507 New Testament Literature for Counselors 2
Theological Studies: 4 credits
TH506 Theology I for Counselors 2
TH507 Theology II for Counselors 2
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization (Portland Campus)
Counseling Studies: 60 credits
CN500 Professional Orientation 1
CN501 Clinical Foundations: The Helping Relationship 2
CN502 Psychotherapeutic Systems 3
CN503 Advanced Counseling: Theory and Techniques 3
CN504 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention 1
CN505 Psychopathology 3
CN506 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling 3
CN507 Human Life Span Development 3
CN508 Integrative Issues in Counseling 1
CN509 Advanced Integration in Counseling 2
CN510 Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling 3
CN513 Multicultural Counseling: Theory and Techniques 3
CN514 Research & Program Evaluation 3
CN515 Testing and Assessment 3
CN517 Physiology and Psychopharmacology 3
CN518 Career Development: Theory and Techniques 3
CN519 Addiction Counseling 3
CN520 Group Counseling 3
CN521 Crisis and Trauma Counseling 3
CN530 Clinical Counseling Practicum 2
CN531 Clinical Counseling Internship I 3
CN532 Clinical Counseling Internship II 3
CN533 Advanced Clinical Counseling Internship 1
CN5XX Counseling electives (Consult with department advisor) 2
CN561 Comprehensive Clinical Integration Paper 0
Child and Youth Counseling emphasis (Portland Campus only)

Each year the Counseling Department admits a limited number of counseling students at the Portland Campus to an emphasis in Child and Youth Counseling within the M.A. program. In addition to the 60 required credit hours of counseling courses listed above, Child and Youth Counseling students use their electives toward the following required courses, bringing their total to 73 credit hours. Upon completion of the emphasis, students will receive confirmation of completion of Child and Youth Counseling coursework. CY531 will also be required for students who do not complete a child/youth emphasis for their program internship class experience.

CY531 Child/Youth Clinical Counseling Internship 3
CY541 Introduction to Play Therapy 2
CY542 Child Assessment and Treatment 1
CY543 Counseling Adolescents 1
CY544 Parent Skill Training 1
CY545 Advanced Child and Youth Counseling 2

Child and Youth Emphasis

The Child and Youth emphasis will equip you to offer hope to children and their families. Over the course of two years, students within this emphasis will gain a deeper understanding of attachment and development from infancy all the way through childhood and into adolescence. You will also receive the skills necessary to assess, diagnose, and treat common childhood disorders. In addition to learning how to support caregivers in forming healthy relationships with their children and give them the necessary skills to successfully navigate challenging behaviors, you will learn the language of play and how to enhance therapeutic work with children using this modality. Additionally, students will learn counseling techniques and skills that will facilitate successful work with adolescent populations.

CACREP Accreditation

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) holds member schools to the most rigorous standards of counseling curriculum and training experience in the United States. In the absence of a national counseling licensure standard, a CACREP accredited counseling degree is the best asset you can have to achieve licensure–in many states.

Accessible Scheduling

The MA in Counseling may be completed in three years’ time by taking courses offered on Mondays at our main campus in Portland, Oregon. Some courses are offered online through Western Global. Learn more about our course delivery method. These scheduling solutions allow students to minimize travel to campus and maintain their family, church, and work commitments. 

Counseling Education That Keeps Debt Down

We encourage wise financial stewardship as you pay for school. Look into your options for financial aid, and find median pay rates and employability outlook for counselors at the  Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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, followed by an in-person interview.

If you do not meet one of these requirements, contact an Admissions Counselor to explore alternative MA in Counseling admission options.


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program (MA degree) at Western Seminary Portland Campus.




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