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Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO) Degree Program

Prepare for various careers in professional counseling through the Master of Arts in Counseling.

Hamilton Campus

Prepare for various careers in professional counseling through the Master of Arts in Counseling, which offers two specific tracks (students may pursue both concurrently):

Mental Health Counseling Track focuses on diagnosis and treatment of behavioral health issues.

Marriage and Family Counseling Track takes a systematic approach to counseling individuals within the context of family.

M.A. in Counseling graduates are qualified to sit for licensure examination(s) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Typical Student

M.A. in Counseling students are a diverse group who display essential qualities of wisdom, maturity and skills necessary for excellence in the field of counseling. Most have an undergraduate background in psychology or sociology, or significant life experience in the field. Whether you’re starting your first endeavor out of college or moving into a second career, the M.A. in Counseling degree will provide excellent preparation for Christian and/or secular employment opportunities.

Potential Counseling Careers

  • Agencies
  • Private practice
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Churches
  • Group homes
  • Detox centers
  • Pregnancy centers

Program Distinctives

  • Supervised clinical practicum and internship experience
  • Professional and integrative seminars designed to incorporate theological studies with counseling theories and practices
  • Opportunities for participation in workshops, staff meetings, group supervision and other professional development activities
  • Courses structured in discipleship development (equipping one to become like Christ) and apprenticeship (equipping one to become a disciple-maker)

Program Details

Degree requirements

Completion time: 3 years

Sample Courses

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Boston Campus

Integrate Christian theology and psychology as you prepare for various counseling careers in the multicultural, urban context. Our Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO) program offers a professional counseling degree within the framework of a broader seminary education. Students can choose from two tracks:

  • Mental Health Licensure Track will equip you for counseling as Christian ministry and for building strong individuals, children, youth and families. A major feature of this track is its commitment to supervised clinical practicum and internship experience. Mental Health Licensure Track graduates are qualified to sit for licensure examination(s) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
     
  • Pastoral Care Non-Licensure Track is for those who do not intend to pursue licensure, but want to better address the mental health needs of their congregations in diverse urban communities. If you decide to continue on to the Licensure Track, the majority of your work in the Pastoral Care Track is transferrable.

Typical Student

M.A. in Counseling students are a diverse group who display essential qualities of wisdom, maturity and skills necessary for excellence in the field of counseling. Most have an undergraduate background in psychology or sociology, or significant life experience in the field. Whether you’re starting your first endeavor out of college or moving into a second career, the M.A. in Counseling degree will provide excellent preparation for Christian and/or secular employment opportunities.

Potential Counseling Careers

  • Community agencies
  • Private practice
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Churches
  • Group homes
  • Detox centers
  • Behavioral health care organizations

Program Distinctives

  • Academic programs contextualized to the needs of the city
  • Emphasis on deep spiritual formation, global engagement and practical training
  • Convenient class locations in downtown Boston, and in cities across New England
  • Unique multi-ethnic focus offers a strategic approach to servant-leadership in an urban context

Program Details

  • Completion time: 3 years (license track); 2 years (non-licensure track)*
Admissions Requirements
Applicants admitted to this program:
  • Must have a vocational goal requiring the specialized preparation available in the Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO) program.
  • Will have met the general admission requirements of the seminary.
  • Must have a completed bachelor’s or master’s degree from an?accredited college or university (note: an introductory course in statistics is required for CO 699 Research Methods and Design).
  • Life experience will be evaluated on an individual basis and considered as modification of the academic background requirements stated above.
  • Must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0+.
  • After meeting general admissions requirements, students are expected to maintain an acceptable course grade average. Students will participate in on-going advising assessments of academic progress and personal readiness to participate in the program.
Degree Requirements

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*Degree can be completed with 3 years of full-time study, but may span longer if pursued part-time.

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

“Both inside and outside the classroom—through lectures, projects and discussion groups with fellow students and within my supervised counseling internships—I was challenged, invested in and had the opportunity to apply my learning practically. I consider my education from Gordon-Conwell to be an indispensible gift and tool as I continue my own purposeful journey.”

Jim Petipas, MAYM ‘92, MACO ‘09
Counselor and Life Coach, Xpedition Counseling | Chelmsford, MA