Why This Matters


    Many students who earn a master’s in Christian counseling go into marriage and family therapy. This field requires a master’s degree in all 50 states.


    The opioid epidemic has led to a surge in demand for substance abuse, mental health, and behavioral disorder counselors. The field is expected to grow 25% and see 79,000 new jobs by 2029.


    Helping people pays well. The average annual salary for professionals who have a Master of Arts in Christian Counseling is $74,000. That’s even more than the $46,240 median salary of substance abuse counselors.

Our Research

We reviewed numerous master’s in christian counseling degree programs, including Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Christian Counseling (MCC), and Master of Divinity (MDiv) degrees. The list includes online, on-campus, and dual-mode programs to offer maximum flexibility.

All of the listed programs are accredited regionally or nationally. Many are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), or Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Accreditation helps ensure the quality and acceptance of a degree program.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 76 hours to write this article
  • 155 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 349 education programs we compared

The Top 33 Master’s in Christian Counseling Degree Programs

Best Master's in Christian Counseling Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Counseling is a closely regulated field, and counselors generally must obtain a state-license to practice on their own. Without a license, it may be possible to help others under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

Most states require a master’s degree for licensure, and some have specific accreditation requirements that the program must meet. Make sure any program you consider will enable you to become licensed in the state where you hope to practice. You’ll also likely need to complete a certain amount of clinical hours and pass an exam to become licensed.

Most of the coursework required for online programs can be completed over the internet, but many programs have in-person practicums. Research a program’s in-person requirements, then confirm your schedule can accommodate these requirements during the course of the program. Sometimes, scheduling conflicts can make this difficult.

Although all of these programs are Christian counseling degree programs, they don’t all come from the exact same perspective. Some programs are broadly Christian, while others have a particular denominational affiliation. Choose a program that melds well with your personal beliefs.

What’s Next?

Consider these questions as you research master’s in Christian counseling degree programs:

  • What licensing or certifications are required? Counselors are licensed at the state level, and requirements vary by state. Not all Christian counseling programs meet the requirements of every state, and going to an unapproved program could lead to limited job opportunities. Check your state’s requirements and choose a program accordingly.
  • Am I eligible for this program? Most master’s in Christian counseling degree programs require a bachelor’s degree, but the bachelor’s usually doesn’t have to be in a specific area. You’ll likely also have to furnish a testimony of your Christian lifestyle.

Once you identify a program of interest, find out about required application materials and deadlines. You can get these details from a program’s website or by contacting a program directly.

Also consider how you’ll manage the cost of tuition. Speak with program administrators about potential scholarships and other financial aid options. You might also get financial assistance from a church or tuition reimbursement from an employer.