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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

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.

Counseling Curriculum


Course List

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
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-PDX Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling 3
CN511-CA in place of CN510 Family Systems Therapy 3
CN512-CA in place of CN510 Marriage and Couple 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
CN522-CA Child and Adolescent Therapy 1
CN523-CA Human Sexuality 1
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 (CA students are required to take CN522 and CN523 and do not take electives)
CN561 Comprehensive Clinical Integration Paper 0
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization (Portland Campus) 60 hours counseling studies + 4 hours biblical studies + 4 hours theological studies. 
  • Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling Specialization (Sacramento and San Jose Locations) 63 hours counseling studies + 4 hours biblical studies + 4 hours theological studies.
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 on Child and Youth Counseling within the MA 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 74 credit hours. Upon completion of the emphasis, students will receive confirmation of the 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 (Replaces CN531, 2 or 3) Child/Youth Clinical Counseling Internship 3
CY541 Introduction to Working with Children 2
CY542 Introduction to Working with Adolescents 2
CY543 Child Assessment and Treatment in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Part One 2
CY544 Advanced Child and Family Counseling: PCIT Part Two 2

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.