Marriage and Family Counseling M.Div. Specialization

Degree Overview

Vocational Calling

To serve as a professional Christian counselor, pastoral counselor, minister of family life and counseling, other church staff member, social ministry worker, chaplain, or related areas of service which require or benefit from licensure as a professional counselor. This degree provides a total of 66 semester hours in counseling necessary for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in most states and a richer study of the biblical and theological foundation for ministry than the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling or the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degrees.

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr. Kathy Steele (Curriculum Coordinator)

  • Dr. Jeff Nave (Specialization Advisor)

  • Dr. William Warren (New Testament Advisor)

Program Requirements

Basic Ministerial Competency Component (41-42 hours)

Biblical Exposition Competency (15 hours)

course

hours

Exploring the Old Testament 

3

Exploring the New Testament 

3

Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics 

3

Old Testament Exegesis (English) 

3

New Testament Exegesis (English) 

3

Christian Theological Heritage Competency (10 hours)

course

hours

Systematic Theology 1 

3

Systematic Theology 2 

3

History of Christianity: Reformation to Modern

2

Baptist Heritage

2

NOBTS, SBC, and Cooperative Program

*

Disciple Making Competency (6-7 hours)

course

hours

Supervised Ministry 1: Personal Evangelism Practicum (M)

2

Church Evangelism (M)

2

Christian Missions (M)
OR
Discipleship Strategies (M)

3
OR
2

Servant Leadership Competency (3 hours)

course

hours

Pastoral Ministry
OR
Christian Ministry

3

Spiritual and Character Formation Competency (1 hours)

course

hours

Introduction to Spiritual Formation (M)

1

Worship Leadership Competency (6 hours)

course

hours

Worship Leadership

3

Proclaiming the Bible
OR
Teaching the Bible

3

Christian Counseling Component (66 hours)

Core Courses (15 hours)

course

hours

Psychopathology: Diagnosis and Treatment 

3

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

Student Process Group

**

Foundations for Counseling (21 hours)

course

hours

Human Development 

3

Group Counseling 

3

Lifestyle Development and Career Counseling 

3

Social & Multicultural Issues in Counseling 

3

Appraisal of Individuals 

3

Contemporary Approaches to Marital/Premarital Counseling 

3

Scientific Research and Program Evaluation 

3

Contextual Dimensions (18 hours)

course

hours

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

Family Systems Theory in Practice

3

Professional Issues in Counseling 

3

Clinical Practice (9 hours)

course

hours

Clinical Practicum 

3

Clinical Internship I 

3

Clinical Internship II 

3

Electives (Choose one of the following)

course

hours

Cognitive Behavioral Counseling: Individual, Marriage & Family

3

Brief Approaches to Individual, Marriage, and Family Counseling

3

Trauma-Informed Care for Foster & Adoptive Families

3

Death, Loss and Grief

3

Trauma: Theories and Treatment

3

Total Required: 107-108 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

In addition to the Program Outcomes of the MDiv degree and in order to meet licensure requirements, this specialization also is designed to:

  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.

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 Department 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.