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.

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. Craig Garrett (Program Supervisor)

  • Dr. Jeff Nave (Program Coordinator/Advisor)

Program Requirements

Master of Divinity Core (27 hours)

Biblical Studies (12 hours)

course

hours

Interpreting the Old Testament 1

3

Interpreting the Old Testament 2

3

Interpreting the New Testament 1

3

Interpreting the New Testament 2

3

Theological/Historical Studies (12 hours)

course

hours

Systematic Theology 1

3

Systematic Theology 2

3

Baptist Heritage

3

Christian Apologetics
OR
Philosophy of Religion

3

Applied Ministry Studies (3 hours) *
*One course from the Applied Ministry Studies section must be taken in a mentoring format.

course

hours

Christian Missions (M)

OR

Evangelism (M)

3

Christian Counseling Specialization (66 hours)

Core Counseling Courses (18 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

Cognitive Behavioral Counseling

OR

Brief Solution-Focused Counseling

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 & Multicultural Issues in Counseling 

3

Appraisal of Individuals 

3

Scientific Research and Program Evaluation 

3

Contemporary Approaches to Marital/Premarital Counseling 

3

Contextual Dimensions (15 hours)

course

hours

Family Systems Theory and Practice 

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 (Choose 3 hours from the following)

course

hours

Cognitive Behavioral Counseling: Individual, Marriage & 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

Addiction Counseling

3

Childhood Disorders and Treatments

3

Total Required: 93 hours

(M) Indicates course is available in a mentoring format, as well as other formats.

*One course from the Applied Ministry Studies section must be taken in a mentoring format.

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:

Phase One (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 Admission’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 Contact Form, the NOBTS Entrance Exam, ACE Survey, and Trauma Symptoms Index. These are not barriers to entrance, but rather facilitate more effective training opportunities for each student.

  • The student may take a maximum of four of the six 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 four of the core courses in the counseling program their first semester may complete any of the remaining core courses the second semester, and take additional hours in the Master of Divinity Core section of the program to fill their semester schedule as needed.

  • Students may take any number of the Master of Divinity Core courses required in the program prior to seeking admission to one of the Counseling Degree Programs.

Phase Two (Full Entrance):
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 criteria:

  1. Complete four of the six core courses, with no grade lower than a “B.” Candidates cannot take additional Non-Core COUN courses until they have been accepted into the 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)

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

    one of these:

    COUN6354 Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling: Individual, Marriage and Family (offered only in the fall semester)

    OR COUN6355 Brief Approaches to Individual, Marriage and Family Counseling (offered only in the spring semester)

    Students should complete the remaining core courses the semester after full acceptance.

  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 Canvas course Clinical Practice (Community Course).

  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

    • 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.

    • 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 or concerns.

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

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