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Master of Arts in Counseling, Mental Health Track


The Master of Arts in Counseling is a degree program for individuals who wish to prepare for professional positions as mental health counselors. Upon completion of the program, graduates are qualified to sit for the mental health counselor licensure examination(s) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Master of Arts in Counseling program seeks to provide Christian training in biblical, theological and psychological disciplines. A major feature of this program is its commitment to supervised clinical practicum and internship experience. It offers professional and integrative seminars to provide students opportunities to integrate their biblical and theological studies with counseling theories and practices.

Regular individual supervision of students will take place in the clinical setting. Students will have frequent opportunities to participate in seminars, workshops, staff meetings, group supervision and other professional development activities. Those who complete this training program in counseling may expect significant growth in their professional development in preparation for Christian and/or secular employment opportunities.

Program Profile

Consistent with its vision to serve the diverse ethnic communities of Boston and surrounding cities, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Boston campus, The Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME), now offers a Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO)-Mental Health Licensure Track. This unique program integrates Christian theology and psychology within a multi-ethnic urban context. Emphasis is placed on equipping graduates to serve in a variety of urban-based mental health contexts and/or to serve the family counseling and mental health needs of congregations located in diverse urban communities.

The program structures its courses toward discipleship development (equipping one to become like Christ) and apprenticeship (equipping one to become a disciple-maker).

Understanding that the city is a positive locus of God’s redemptive grace, the MACO program embodies CUME’s Philosophy of Contextualization to reach the multicultural and socio-economically diverse communities of the Greater Boston area.

Students in the MACO program will gain an understanding of the 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. In so doing, students demonstrate academic excellence in their ability to effectively communicate materials learned from their study. In addition, the unique focus of the CUME’s MACO program offers a strategic approach to servant-leadership in a multi-ethnic and urban context.

Student Profile

The MACO Program serves gender and culturally diverse students representing many nationalities, races and ethnic groups. They are Christians who by their devotion to God and community, evidence a commitment to the authority of Scripture. They display essential qualities of wisdom, maturity and skills necessary for those who desire to pursue excellence in the field of counseling. Most are bi-vocational students with significant ministerial and professional experience. They come to learn how to integrate their ministerial challenges with their theological education, and to move from a problem-centered to a more person-centered viewpoint. MACO students reflect an urban kenosis: emptying oneself to serve others.

Faculty and Staff Profile

The faculty, board and administrative staff at Gordon-Conwell in Boston reflect the city’s multiethnic and multicultural reality.

Carlot Ducasse Celestin, D.Min., Administrator of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program, 2007. B.A (Nyack College); M.Div., M.A. (Alliance Theological Seminary); D.Min. (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary). Dr. Celestin joined CUME in 2003 with a wealth of experience as an Adjunct Professor. He specializes in teaching Old Testament Literature, Christian Education and Discipleship, and Marriage and Family Counseling courses. He is an ordained pastor and serves as the Assistant Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Congregation in Roslindale, MA. He speaks to a variety of audiences both nationally and internationally, including youth groups, young adults, marriage and family retreats, leadership and Bible conferences.

In addition, faculty members are drawn from the combined faculty of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, including Dr. Pablo Polischuk, Dr. Raymond Pendleton, Dr. Karen Mason and Dr. Rodney Cooper in addition to a unique group of adjunct faculty members from other local seminaries or universities and academic institutions: Dr. Victoria R. Fahlberg, Dr. Joseph Lombardi, Dr. Anthony Headley, Dr. Victor Griffiths, Dr. Lori Wiley, Dr. Linda Gagne and Dr. J. Abède Alexandre.


The Gordon-Conwell—Boston campus has a reference collec•tion housed in its administrative building, which is available for student use while in the program. All resources of the seminary’s libraries are available through computers located at the Boston campus. In addition, there are multiple resources available on CD, allowing students to search the periodical literature as well as utilize various biblical reference tools.
A Coordinator of Information Management and Library Ser•vices is available to assist students in their research and bor•rowing needs. MACO students have full borrowing privileges from the libraries of Gordon-Conwell. Resources are further expanded by Gordon-Conwell’s participation in the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), which students can access via the Internet. Students may borrow or utilize reference material in the eight other member BTI schools, subject to the particular regulations of each institution. Internet and email services are available for students, either through the library computers or in the computer center located on the third floor of the administrative building.

Course of Study

It is estimated that the counseling program at CUME will take at least four years to complete for those attending part-time. Courses will not be scheduled with as much frequency as a residential program, and students are expected to be heavily involved in their communities. At this time, the Boston Campus does not provide housing for students, and financial aid is limited to student loans. The application deadlines for the program are as follows:

  • Fall semester: April 30
  • Spring semester: October 30

Admission Requirements

Applicants admitted to this program:

  • Must have a completed bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university.
    • Must have followed an undergraduate or prior graduate degree program that included at least nine credit hours of undergraduate work in psychology or counseling. Twenty credit hours of prior work in psychology and/or related disciplines are recommended. (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.
  • Will have met the general admission requirements of the seminary.
  • Must have a vocational goal requiring the specialized preparation available in the Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO) Program.
  • Must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0+
  • After meeting general admissions requirements, candidates must complete a series of psychological tests. This is followed by a personal interview to review and interpret the tests assessment, the candidates’ academic program and personal readiness to participate in the program.

Download the MACO, Mental Health Track brochure.