Admissions Interview FAQs

What is the purpose of this interview?

We'd like to think together with you about whether the role of counselor is a good career/ministry fit for you. We want to know that:

  1. You have time in your schedule for academic work and personal processing.
  2. You are gifted in the necessary characteristics of an effective counselor that, among others may include skills of listening, empathy, ability to challenge others effectively, and sensitivity to work with diverse people.
  3. You have personal stability and ego strength sufficient to withstand the stress of counseling people who have endured severe and disturbing circumstances and life events.
  4. Other people in your life are supportive and encouraging of you in your academic pursuits.
  5. The desire to be a counselor flows out of your walk with God. 

How will you know if counseling is a good fit for me?

It’s a daunting task for the interviewing committee to try to determine your gifting in a one-hour interview. In addition to our communication with you, we also review the input from those who furnished personal recommendations, and the materials you provided in your admission application. We may ask questions about how your current life circumstances will interact with your counseling ministry or profession. While we attempt to assess appropriateness of applicants for the program, we value diverse people with various life experiences, because having a variety of perspectives will expand and enrich our profession.

How long will the interview take?

Most interviews will be approximately one hour in length. On California campuses, the interview will typically follow a standard interview process. On the Portland campus, the interview is a monthly group interview that is two hours in length. For Portland applicants it may be helpful to think about something you have been working on in your own life that would be safe to share during an interview.  You may be asked to step out of the room for a short time for interviewers to dialog about their observations.

How do most people feel about the interview experience?

Candidates come away not knowing whether they were viewed favorably. It is not our desire to make you uncomfortable. It is, however, of great importance that we think carefully about your suitability to enter the counseling program. We want to ensure that your time, money, and effort are spent wisely in an area where we are trying to collaboratively predict your success. We want Western Seminary counseling graduates to be of the highest caliber and excellent representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ in the counseling profession.

When will I know the results of the interview?

The interviewing committee will make a recommendation to the Admissions Office. This combined with the other aspects of your application will be reviewed to make a final determination. A letter will be sent to you within about two business weeks, advising you of your status.

Who will conduct the interview?

The interviewing committee will be four or more Western Seminary representatives—faculty members from the Counseling department. They may sometimes be assisted by another Western faculty member or a representative from the Office of Student Development. It is our desire to seek the Lord’s direction and to think together with you about your fit for the counseling program.