A Message from Dr. Jay Foster
Dean of the School of Christian Counseling
The School of Christian Counseling’s program is designed to train ministers, therapists, and lay persons in effective Christian Biblical Counseling. The need for Christian Biblical counseling in churches, schools, and Christian counseling centers is in great demand. The program is designed to equip counselors with recognized techniques and methods for counseling with psychologically and emotionally dysfunctional individuals. The program also emphasizes the wise use of biblical principles, prayer, relational and inner healing. Special importance is given to the use of spiritual/religious principles in the application of counseling therapies. Many Licensed Professional Counselors have felt the need to expand their training to include Christian Biblical Counseling.
The counseling department offers certificate programs for those who are interested in receiving foundational education in a selected area of instruction without pursuing a degree in the field of study. Each certificate program contains five courses; the selected areas of instruction include Basic Christian Counseling and Marriage and Family Counseling.
It is not a program in professional psychology and is not appropriate for those seeking licensure to practice psychology.
The Psychology and Christian Counseling degree program offers Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs. The characteristics and requirements for each of these programs are explained in the following sections.
Bachelor of Arts in Christian Counseling
The program leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Counseling requires one hundred twenty-eight semester credit hours (128SCH) of academic work.
Master of Arts in Christian Counseling
If you have sufficient preparation in psychology and Christian counseling as determined by your faculty advisor, you may wish to pursue the Master of Arts in Psychology and Christian Counseling degree program. As with all graduate study programs you must, however, meet the individual approval of the Admissions Office.
This program requires that you already possess an undergraduate degree in a related field of study. You must complete a minimum of thirty semester credit hours (30SCH) of course work. You must also complete a thesis for which you receive six semester credit hours (6SCH), for a total of thirty-six semester credit hours (36SCH) at the graduate level.
Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Counseling
The Ph.D. is the highest academic degree that can be earned at the institution. Therefore, the University demands an excellence in scholarship which includes the ability to execute effective independent research. Because of the nature of a Ph.D. Program, no more than thirty semester hours of credit should be achieved through structured class work. Structured courses will be selected from the 600 and 700 series of counseling courses. All other courses must be approved research projects, practicums or cooperative education experiences that fall within the parameters of the field of study. The program culminates in an original work representing a significant contribution in their field of study.
The self-directed portion of the program promotes personal growth through independent research and a wide variety of learning initiatives offered in the program, including directed research projects, approved readings, carefully monitored practicums and cooperative learning experiences.
The person admitted to our Ph.D. program must have the appropriate academic background and the initiative, self-discipline and the research skills necessary to succeed in such a program.
Upon approval for entry into the program the doctoral student is assigned a faculty advisor and two other faculty members. These three persons must approve the individualized program that is designed for the student seeking a Ph.D. The faculty advisor acts as chairperson for this committee. Faculty members function primarily as facilitators or evaluators who advise and monitor your progress.
Professional Development Organizations in Christian Counseling
Louisiana Baptist University recommends that graduate students pursue membership in professional counseling organizations. Graduating students are encouraged to seek membership in The American Association of Christian Counselors, Board of Christian Professional & Pastoral Counselors, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors as well as others.