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Master of Divinity / Master of Arts in Christian Counseling Dual Degree

Prepare for various careers in professional counseling and/or pastoral ministry through the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Counseling dual degree.* By integrating the theological training and ministry components of the M.Div. with the counseling training and practicum experience of the M.A. in Christian Counseling, you’ll expand the breadth of your foundation and the scope of your opportunities to serve.

Students will be prepared to meet ordination requirements for many Protestant denominations in the U.S., as well as service in chaplaincy programs (military, hospital, national parks and others). Upon graduating, they will also be qualified to sit for the national Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and/or Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) licensure examinations.

*Students who complete this program earn two separate degrees—the M.Div. and the M.A. in Christian Counseling. The dual curriculum allows up to 30 hours of shared credit, which reduces the amount of time required if both were pursued separately. Students interested in pastoral care and counseling as a concentration, rather than a degree, may consider the M.Div. Pastoral Care Track.

Typical Student

Students in the dual degree program are looking to integrate the strength of the M.Div. program (which enrolls nearly 40% of our students) with the focused training of the M.A. in Christian Counseling. They are a diverse group of people with an interest in ministering to and caring for others through pastoral or clinical counseling, military or hospital chaplaincy, or a variety of other settings.

Potential Careers

  • Pastoral ministry
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Chaplaincy
  • Various psychiatric and counseling services

Program Distinctives

  • Mentored Ministry component provides supervised practical ministry opportunities and carries course credit
  • Supervised clinical counseling practicum and internship experience
  • Professional and integrative seminars designed to incorporate theological studies with counseling theories and practices
  • Rigorous courses offered in various formats (evenings, weekends, week intensives and online/hybrid) to accommodate your schedule
  • Convenient, economical and innovative adult education system
  • Renowned, highly qualified and experienced faculty
  • Enhanced library services with capability to access theological databases from your home
  • Access to library resources and classes at other top-tier institutions through the Carolina Theological Consortium
  • Access to research and annual lectureship series through The Robert C. Cooley Center for the Study of Early Christianity
  • Graduates interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or Psy.D. are qualified to enter Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology or Rosemead School of Psychology with advanced standing upon acceptance to either program

Program Details

  • Degree requirements
  • Completion time: 4 years of full-time study (may span longer if pursued part-time)

M.Div. Degree Goals

  • To gain competency with the biblical languages in order to develop exegetical and hermeneutical skills using the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and the Greek text of the New Testament
  • To understand the basic content and themes of the Old and New Testaments in their historical and cultural settings, as well as the historical and theological dimensions of the Christian faith
  • To expound and proclaim effectively the biblical message of redemption
  • To develop skills appropriate for church leadership as a pastor, teacher, counselor, evangelist, chaplain, church planter, missionary or other role as a leader
  • To foster love for God and his Word and therefore to cultivate the practices of spiritual maturity and Christ-like character, and to understand the Christian's ethical responsibility in church and society
  • To acquire a biblical perspective and Christian worldview on the forces in our culture and to learn to engage those as they are at work both outside and inside the life of the church
  • To develop a global vision for the Christian faith so as to foster an appreciation and commitment to the worldwide proclamation of the gospel
  • To cultivate an appreciation for and a commitment to the personal and community sharing of the gospel

MACC Degree Goals

  • To understand the basic content and themes of the Old and New Testaments in their historical and cultural settings, as well as the historical and theological dimensions of the Christian faith
  • To demonstrate academic excellence in the ability to communicate effectively materials from the study of psychology and the biblical, historical and theological disciplines
  • To integrate psychological theory with biblical truth so that the knowledge and skills learned in studies and practice will be realized in professional application
  • To evidence a commitment to the authority of Scripture in personal and community relationships, as well as a personal commitment to spiritual formation
  • To foster love for God and his Word and therefore to cultivate the practices of spiritual maturity and Christ-like character, and to understand the Christian’s ethical responsibility in church and society
  • To gain experience in an understanding of cultural backgrounds toward effective expression of biblical truth, with the goal of ministering to Christians and to those who are not Christian believers
  • To demonstrate an awareness of national, racial, ethnic and cultural factors that impinge upon the teaching and modeling of biblical truth, and to develop the capacity for a critical evaluation of important cultural changes within the discipline of counseling

Spotlight Alum

“When I discovered the M.Div./MACC program, I was sold on Gordon-Conwell. I particularly liked the integrative approach in which we constantly looked at how Scripture applied to the concepts we were learning. The M.Div. gave me a depth of knowledge in the Scriptures and languages that allow me to speak with confidence into my clients lives.”

Jerry Lankford, MACC ’06, M.Div. ‘09
Founder and President, Lifecare Counseling and Coaching | Raleigh, N.C.; Founder, Corporate Grace | Cary, N.C.


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