Why Study Counseling at a Seminary?

 

Karen Mason
Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology

One of the courses I teach as a Counseling Professor is called Research Methods and Design. Each year in this class, students conduct a qualitative interview with a fellow student to ask why they chose to study counseling at a seminary. These are obviously focused on Gordon-Conwell in particular, however, many are true of other seminaries as well.

Here are some of the answers that students give:

  1. At seminary, we are required to take Bible and theology courses. This focus demands the integration between theology and psychology. The Gordon-Conwell counseling program is committed to integration; we start with theology and integrate the science of psychology.
  2. Because the science of psychology has the historical reputation of being anti-Christian, seminary students seek to study it within the bounds of an explicitly Christian environment.
  3. The integration model taught in the Gordon-Conwell counseling program is unique and distinct.
  4. Students appreciate that classes include a spiritual component with explicit mention about the work of the Holy Spirit as healer of broken people.
  5. Some students study counseling at a seminary because they want to become pastors and be prepared for the counseling responsibilities of the pastorate. The Gordon-Conwell counseling program offers two tracks: mental health counseling and marriage and family counseling tracks.
  6. Gordon-Conwell is committed to academic excellence. Alumni recommend it  because of the rigorous preparation for ministry within a non-denominational evangelical context.

I hope this has been helpful as you consider where to study counseling.