MA in Counseling (Specialization in Clinical Mental Health)

Degree Overview

Vocational Calling

To serve as a Christian counselor in a church-based ministry, social service agency, community-based ministry, or other Christian minis- tries. This degree fulfills the academic requirements in most states for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Program Outcomes

  1. Equip students to synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge in the field of counseling.

  2. Train students to have the necessary academic and clinical skills to obtain professional licensure.

  3. Equip students to develop a deeper understanding of cultural diversity to enhance counseling skills.

  4. Train students to integrate historical Christian beliefs, faith, and spirituality with the best practices of mental health science, in an ethical manner.

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr. Kathy Steele (Curriculum Coordinator)

  • Dr. Kristyn Carver (Specialization Advisor)

Program Requirements

Basic Ministerial Competency Component (18 hours)

Biblical Exposition Competency (9 hours)

course

hours

Exploring the Old Testament 

3

Exploring the New Testament 

3

Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics 

3

Christian Theological Heritage Competency (6 hours)

course

hours

Systematic Theology 1 

3

Systematic Theology 2 

3

NOBTS, SBC, and Cooperative Program

*

Disciple Making Competency (2 hours)

course

hours

Supervised Ministry 1: Personal Evangelism Practicum (M)

2

Spiritual and Character Formation Competency (1 hour)

course

hours

Introduction to Spiritual Formation (M)

1

Christian Counseling Component (66 hours)

Core Counseling Courses (15 hours)

course

hours

Techniques and Skills in Counseling 

3

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling 

3

Counseling Theories and Treatment 

3

Clinical Marriage and Family Assessment 

3

Psychopathology, Diagnosis, and Treatment

3

Student Process Group

**

Clinical Mental Health Counseling (21 hours)

course

hours

Human Development 

3

Group Counseling 

3

Lifestyle Development and Career Counseling 

3

Social and Multicultural Issues in Counseling 

3

Appraisal of Individuals 

3

Personality Development 

3

Scientific Research and Program Evaluation 

3

Contextual Dimensions (18 hours)

course

hours

Clinical Mental Health Counseling 

3

Addiction Counseling 

3

Human Sexuality 

3

The Bible in the Professional Counselor 

3

Practical Integration of Psychology, Theology, and
Spirituality in the Counseling Setting

3

Professional Issues in Counseling 

3

Clinical Practice (9 hours)

course

hours

Clinical Practicum 

3

Clinical Internship 1 

3

Clinical Internship 2 

3

Counseling Electives (3 hours)

course

hours

Contemporary Approaches to Marital/Premarital Counseling

3

Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling for Individuals, Marriage and Family

3

Brief Approaches to Individual, Marriage and Family Counseling

3

Trauma: Theories and Treatment

3

Trauma-Informed Care for Foster and Adoptive Families 

3

Death, Loss, and Grief 

3

Total Required: 84 hours

(M) Indicates course is also available in a mentoring format.

*All graduate students must take this course during orientation in their first semester; however, students will not receive a credit hour or be charged for the course.

**All counseling students must take this course during their first semester; however, students will not receive a credit hour or be charged for the course

PhD Eligibility

Students who complete the MA in Counseling are eligible to apply to the PhD at NOBTS. Students should, however, refer to all cur- rent admission requirements for Research Doctoral Programs to ensure the MA in Counseling meets the criteria for specific majors.

Phases of Admission

In addition to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary admission requirements and acceptance into NOBTS, a student pursuing a degree in counseling (any of the licensure tracks) must complete the following phases of admission:

Entry Phase:
Entry Level for Counseling Licensure Programs

Entry into any Graduate Counseling degree program at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s personal, professional, and academic records by the Counseling Faculty. NOBTS encourages applications from qualified applicants from diverse sociocultural backgrounds who display Christian character, professional promise, intellectual achievement, and educational commitment. This Phase is completed through the typical application process for NOBTS and the Registrar’s Office. At a minimum, applicants are expected to have the following qualifications, and meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must have the Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from a college or university accredited by an agency related to CHEA, or proof of equivalent training at a foreign university.

  • A minimum of 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent.

  • Beginning candidates must attend the graduate orientation at the beginning of their first semester, complete the NOBTS Entrance Exam, ACE Survey, and Trauma Symptoms Index. These are not barriers to entrance, but rather measures to facilitate more effective training opportunities for each student.

  • The student may take a maximum of four of the five core courses (twelve hours) in any of the Counseling degree programs (course work listed as COUN) at NOBTS on a conditional basis. Conditional admission does not guarantee admission into any of the Counseling programs. Students taking less than twelve hours of graduate credit in the counseling program their first semester may complete any of the remaining four core courses the second semester, and take additional hours in the Basic Ministerial Competency Component of the program to fill their semester schedule as needed.

  • Students may take any number of the Basic Ministerial Competency Component courses required in the program prior to seeking admission to one of the Counseling Degree Programs.

  • All students must complete the NOBTS Counseling Education Exam at the beginning of the entry phase.

Phase Two:
Completion of Academic and Clinical Requirements for Full Entrance in Graduate Counseling Programs

(This Phase completed through an application process in the Counseling Department.)

In order to be accepted into a Graduate Counseling Program, candidates must meet the following conditions:

  1. Complete the four prerequisite courses, with no grade lower than a “B.” Candidates cannot take additional COUN courses until they have been accepted into a graduate counseling program.

    COUN6303, Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling (offered every semester)

    COUN6302 Techniques and Skills in Counseling (offered every semester)

    COUN6301 Psychopathology: Diagnosis and Treatment (offered every semester)

    COUN6351 Counseling Theories and Treatment (offered only fall semester)

    OR COUN6350 Clinical Marriage and Family Assessment (offered only spring semester)

  2. Maintain a 3.0 GPA in all COUN classes

  3. Complete application to Phase Two of the Graduate Counseling Program: Students preparing to complete the first four core courses should apply to the program by October 15 or March 15. The application is online, in the Blackboard course COUN6380KS/Program and Practicum Application (on left menu).

  4. Evaluation of Work in Courses: After the candidate has completed and submitted all the above materials, the professors who taught the applicant’s core courses will complete an evaluation of the evidence of academic, emotional and spiritual preparation of the candidate for acceptance into the program and of the candidate’s preparedness to begin the practicum.

    Evaluation Checklist

    When the Application is submitted, the professors of the four core courses will fill out an evaluation checklist that will cover the following areas.

    • Academic Communication Skills

    • Professional Orientation

    • Interpersonal Competence

    • Personal Responsibility

    • Personal Integrity

    • Respect others and Diversity

    • Self-Reflection and Self-Care

    • Growth in Core Values of NOBTS

    • Growth in Seven Basic Competencies of NOBTS

    • Regular Involvement in your church and ministry

    • Evidence that the student is dealing with and/or working on any personal issues that could impact his or her work as a counselor.

  5. Interview with Faculty Member: At this point, the candidate will be invited to have an appointment for an oral interview with one of the professors in the Counseling Department. The interview will include all evaluation scores and discussion of any issues of concern.

Candidates will be notified in writing by the Clinical Director of the Depart- ment of Counseling regarding the results of their admission status. Those who are accepted will be allowed to register in COUN courses in the next semester.

NOTE: All counseling students are required to achieve a passing score on the CPCE exam before graduating.