Christian counseling associate programs prepare learners to enter an in-demand field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for counselors to grow 23% from 2020-2030, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
Aspiring counselors need at least a bachelor's degree in counseling or a related field. Earning an associate degree in Christian counseling can make a good starting point.
This page lists the best Christian counseling associate programs. Read on to learn about costs, common classes, and licensure requirements.
Questions About Christian Counseling
What Jobs Can I Get With an Associate in Christian Counseling?
Graduates who continue their education with a bachelor's degree often pursue jobs as counselors. They may focus on mental health, addiction, or trauma therapy. These professionals may take a Christian-based approach to counseling.
How Do I Become a Christian Counselor?
Christian counseling associate programs provide a good starting place for this career. However, aspiring counselors need at least a bachelor's degree to practice. States require varying amounts of supervised clinical hours for licensure purposes.
Do I Need an Advanced Degree to Become a Christian Counselor?
Some employers and states require all counselors to earn a master's degree. A counseling license, which grants permission for the counselor to practice independently, requires a master's degree.
Why Get an Associate Degree in Christian Counseling?
Students may pursue an associate degree in Christian counseling for numerous reasons. For example, a two-year degree in this subject lets enrollees learn more about the field without committing to a four-year program. An associate degree can also prepare learners to enter the workforce sooner. This degree qualifies graduates for assistant and entry-level roles in the counseling field.
Many two-year colleges offer associate degrees. Some learners earn their general education requirements by earning an associate degree and then transferring to a four-year college. Semester tuition at two-year colleges may cost less than four-year colleges.
How Much Does a Christian Counseling Degree Cost?
The cost of earning an associate degree in Christian counseling varies by school and learners' residency status. Attending a two-year school costs an average of $7,460, according to EducationData.org. Students attending private or out-of-state schools pay more than learners attending public, in-district colleges.
Some state schools may take a scholarly approach to religion-related degrees. Since these schools receive government funds, they rarely offer Christian counseling degrees. So although state schools usually cost less than private colleges, learners may need to attend a private college for this degree.
How Much Do Christian Counseling Majors Make?
Professionals who work in community and social service jobs earn a median $47,520 annually, according to the BLS. However, many factors influence salary, including counselors' experience and geographic location. For example, counselors in Oregon earn a mean annual income of $59,910. Their peers in South Carolina earn $44,250.
The top-paying locations for counselors include Utah, Alaska, and the District of Columbia.
Courses in an Associate in Christian Counseling Program
Christian counseling associate programs require about 60 credits and take full-time enrollees two years to complete. Students who select a concentration or minor may take longer.
During their studies, degree-seekers hone their active listening and record-keeping skills. They explore the psychology theories that influence today's practice and ethical issues in counseling. Christian counseling degrees also include biblical studies. Students learn how to apply the teachings of the Christian religion to the therapy profession.
See below for three common classes in a Christian counseling program. Keep in mind that classes vary by school.
Learners examine biblical passages relating to counseling. They discuss Jesus' parables and approaches to helping those in need. The class also identifies practical applications of biblical counseling. Learners compare and contrast Christian and secular counseling practices. This class includes case study readings and course discussions.
This class discusses how human behavior and thoughts alter throughout life. Coursework highlights the human brain's anatomy and which sections scientists associate with memories and emotions. Learners explore developmental disorders and delays that impact mental health.
Enrollees examine how to help someone experiencing loss. Coursework highlights what the Bible includes about the afterlife. Learners explore best practices for coaching clients through the loss of a loved one or even the loss of a circumstance like a job. Part of the class discusses the differences and effectiveness of group therapy and one-on-one counseling.
Grief Counseling for Christians
Licensure for Christian Counselors
Not every employer requires a license to practice as a counselor. However, unlicensed counselors require supervision. All U.S. state licensing boards require licensed counselors to hold at least a bachelor's degree and gain around 3,000 supervised hours.
Many states use the National Board for Certified Counselors' exams to grant licensure. This organization offers an interactive map that lists each state's specific requirements. Many states use the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification to grant licensure. The test includes 200 multiple-choice questions. Test-takers can use study materials to prepare for the exam.