MA in Counseling (MACO) - Gordon Conwell


MA in Counseling (MACO)

The Master of Arts in Counseling (MACO) is a CACREP-accredited 60-counseling-credit-hour degree program designed to prepare you to fulfill your calling to help others in various careers in professional counseling and to help you integrate your Christian faith throughout the program.

The integrated academic and clinical training is naturally embedded in a seminary because our context will allow you to acquire the necessary biblical and theological foundations to effectively provide whole-person care, to both people whose values and practices are framed in the Christian faith and those whose faith and practices are different from your own.

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Learn more about our MACO program:

Program Distinctives

  • 60 counseling credits
  • Couple your clinical skills with training in pastoral ministry through the optional MACO/MDiv dual enrollment opportunity.
  • Prepare for licensure in Massachusetts or elsewhere through our CACREP-accredited program.
  • Engage with experienced faculty passionate about coupling counseling and theology to provide holistic care.
  • Take what you learn in the classroom and serve the local community through internship opportunities.
  • Reap the riches of learning in community at our residential campus nestled on the charming North Shore of Massachusetts.
  • Study at any of the 10 theological institutions in the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium (BTI) and access their libraries.

Typical Students

MA 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 MA in Counseling degree will provide excellent preparation for Christian and/or secular employment opportunities.

Potential Counseling Careers


Private Practice




Group Homes

Chemical dependency/
substance abuse settings

Pregnancy Centers

Behavioral health care organizations

Para-church ministry



81 Credit Hours

Course List

Biblical Studies: 3 Courses / 9 Credit Hours

  • Exploring the Old Testament (OT500)
  • Exploring the New Testament (NT500)
  • Interpreting the Bible (NT/OT517)

Christian Thought: 4 Courses / 12 Credit Hours

  • Theology Survey I (TH501)
  • Theology Survey II (TH502)
  • Survey of Church History (CH500)
  • Ethics Course (Any ET/SE)

Integrative Counseling: 15 Courses / 45 Credit Hours

  • Introduction to Counseling (CO500)
  • Clinical Skills (CO507)
  • Lifespan Development: Implications for Counseling (CO/SF610)
  • Research Methods & Design (CO699)
  • Psychopathology (CO710)
  • Group Process (CO/PC711)
  • Multicultural Diversity in Counseling (CO/WM712)
  • Assessment in Counseling (CO735)
  • Career Counseling & Lifestyle Development (CO740)
  • Professional Standards & Ethics (CO790)
  • Integrative Seminar CO801
  • Counseling Elective (Choose from below)
  • Counseling Elective (Choose from below)
  • Counseling Elective (Choose from below)
  • Counseling Elective (Choose from below)

Counseling Electives

  • Human Sexuality (CO602)
  • Theories of Personality (CO611)
  • Family Systems Theory (CO614)
  • Cognitive Therapy (CO616)
  • Counseling for Crisis & Trauma (CO635)
  • Ministering to Women in Pain (CO/MC642)
  • Suicide Prevention for Professional Caregivers (CO/PC671)
  • Counseling in Addictive Behaviors (CO709)
  • Family Counseling/Therapy (CO714)
  • Couples Counseling (CO716)
  • Counseling in Abuse and Domestic Violence (CO717)
  • Child and Adolescent Counseling (CO724)

Practicum/Internships/Professional Seminars Requirements: 15 Credit Hours

  • Clinical Practicum (CO863) Credits: 3
  • Professional Practicum Seminar (CO871) Credits: 3
  • Clinical Internship I (CO865A) Credits: 3
  • Professional Internship Seminar l (CO873) Credits: 1.5
  • Clinical Internship II (CO865B) Credits: 3
  • Professional Internship Seminar ll (CO873) Credits: 1.5

This list is provided for you convenience. It seeks to be accurate and up-to-date but does not replace your graduation check sheet as the authoritative statement of degree requirements per your admission. That check sheet provides a fuller list of alternative courses and potential exceptions.

Alumni Experiences

Gilson Da Silva

“I have been graced with several different opportunities since receiving my degree from the MACO and MDiv programs, much beyond what I had anticipated. I’m currently working as a Chaplain and Grieving Counselor for a Hospice company, serving patients from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, opening doors for me to see them in their homes, surrounded by their families and friends. I also work as a Mental Health Therapist in a Counseling Center, providing individual therapy for children, adolescents and adults, many of whom are non-English speaking, who otherwise would have faced challenges communicating with their counselors. These opportunities only came to fruition because of the education I received through the programs at Gordon-Conwell, allowing me to continue to affirm my calling to help those in need.”

— Rev. Gilson Borges da Silva, MDiv, MACO
MHTherapist at First Orlando Counseling Center
Chaplain at VITAS Healthcare


Vocational Requirements

Applicants must have (and articulate) a vocational goal requiring the specialized preparation available in the Master of Arts in Counseling program.

Academic Requirements

Required Degree: Must have completed an undergraduate or prior graduate degree program
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0

It is recommended the applicant have at least 9 semester hours in psychology and/or related disciplines. Life experience will be evaluated on an individual basis and considered as a modification of this academic background requirement.

English Language Requirements

Gordon-Conwell requires a TOEFL score of 90 or better (IBT) for International Students. We also accept IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher, or a Duolingo score of 110. Students who have completed an undergraduate degree through an English-language university may request a TOEFL waiver.

Application Requirements

A Completed Online Application Includes:

  1. Application Form
  2. Application Fee
  3. Two Uploaded Essays
    • A 1-2 page personal statement addressing questions about your vocational goals, church involvement, encouragement from others, reasons for applying to Gordon-Conwell, and an assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses
    • A 1-2 page autobiographical statement
  4. Three Recommendations
  5. Official Transcripts
    • The seminary requires a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by a recognized accrediting agency.
    • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Gordon-Conwell, or hand-delivered in a sealed envelope. Copies and opened transcripts are not considered official.
    • Transcripts may be sent by any means your college(s) uses for transmitting official transcripts; official electronic transcripts are accepted.
    • Gordon-Conwell is a partner school of Parchment. If your college uses this service for transmitting electronic transcripts, search for and have the transcripts sent to “Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.”
    • We do need transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, even if the classes were transferred to another school and are reflected on their transcripts.

Faculty Interview

After meeting general admissions requirements, candidates will interview with two of the Counseling faculty as an assessment of their academic and personal readiness to participate in the program.

Once the file is complete, it is sent to the MACO department. The decision process includes reviewing all completed applications as well as a face-to-face (or video) interview with the applicant and two MACO faculty.

You Can Afford Seminary!

Scholarships and financial assistance are available.