What Can I Do With a Master of Arts in Counseling?

November 30, 2023

 The Westminster Master of Arts in Counseling program prepares students for a variety of personal and vocational ministry opportunities by building comprehensive instruction in Biblical counseling on a strong foundation of Reformed theology. This article will explain the abilities and benefits that are fostered by the MAC program, ministry opportunities one might pursue after this training, and the difference between Westminster’s MAC and the Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) degrees.


Skills of MAC Graduates

As a student in the MAC you can expect to develop a foundational knowledge of Scripture and theology which is the solid ground upon which the principles of Biblical counseling is built. This model frames our counseling within the narrative and themes of Scripture, seeing the person holistically as saint, sufferer, and sinner; prayerfully offering challenge, redirection, and compassion in the midst of the growing instability of culture. The MAC not only explores the wisdom and beauty of Scripture, but helps you take account of psychological diagnosis and disorders with your mind set on the truth that Christ's authority is over all creation, not excluding the DSM-5. This will all serve to teach you the specific practice of applying God’s Word in counseling ministry. 

All of this depends upon the most central skill that is fostered in the MAC, namely, growing in your love for God, his people, his Word, and allowing his truth to shape Christ-like humility in you. These skills are, of course, applicable in every area of life, but will be especially useful in a vast number of ministry contexts even beyond formal counseling sessions.


Benefits of the Master of Arts in Counseling 

Westminster’s MAC program is among the most robust programs in Biblical counseling, consisting of 61 credit hours completed over the course of 3-5 years in an online format while simultaneously among the most accessible. The counseling courses in our MAC also exclusively feature teaching from expert staff at the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF), which has over 50 years of Biblical counseling and instructional experience.

CCEF’s long-standing relationship with Westminster began at the origin point of Biblical counseling, as Westminster alumni sought to apply Westminster’s unique apologetic method to secular psychology and counseling, ultimately culminating in the creation of the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. Therefore in the MAC program you will be drinking from the original fountain of Biblical counseling practices and will learn to apply the truths of Scripture with confidence, knowing that the work of counseling is the application of the person and work of Christ to the details of a person’s life.

The MAC is also offered in an exclusively online format, allowing you to receive training wherever you are located without sacrificing the quality of Westminster’s renown curriculum or CCEF’s expertise of Biblically based counseling. We are also dedicated to continually improving course material, developing new courses, and upgrading the visual content to engage students more effectively and enhance the learning experience. Our online instructors are dedicated to ensuring your questions are answered, and each of your courses will also be supported by a team of course developers available to address technical concerns.


Ministry Opportunities With a MAC

Though the MAC does not prepare students for state counseling licensure, there will be a vast number of opportunities available to you as a MAC alumnus. The MAC has been used to great effect in campus ministry as ministers counsel college students in some of the most formative years of their life. Another area of potential application is that of Christian adoption services or crisis pregnancy centers.

Those serving on staff in churches have benefited from the MAC degree as well, with several churches starting dedicated counseling centers. You can also use your skills in Biblical counseling in standalone parachurch Biblical counseling centers. Additionally, a number of graduates have used their MAC to boost their previous medical or nursing training for service in a variety of missions and ministries. Military chaplaincy is also an option.

Don’t take our word for it. Hear from MAC grads about the impact of the program on their lives and ministries.

A Note About Licensure

The MAC does not fulfill state licensure requirements partially because each state has different requirements. Additionally, many states change their requirements yearly and are becoming increasingly more hostile to counselors who hold to Biblical positions on marriage, homosexuality, abortion, and other topics. As such, we cannot offer administrative support for students seeking licensure. With additional schooling though, state counseling licensure is still a possibility for MAC graduates. And if you are already a licensed counselor and are new to the principles of Biblical counseling, the MAC would be a great way to strengthen your solid theological foundation for an existing counseling ministry.   


Difference Between MAC and MATS

The MAC and the MATS are similar in many ways, most notably in that they share many of the same courses and are both delivered exclusively in the online format. The platforms used are the same, and the level of student support is the same. However, the MAC’s 61 credits make it a much larger program than the MATS which only has 36. Those 36 credits from the MATS actually make up the theological portion of the MAC. In that way, the MAC contains all of the advantages of the MATS plus more. If you are only interested in the theological foundation that the MAC provides, the MATS would be a much shorter, cost effective, option that would fill that need.



The MAC provides the best training in Biblical counseling available with deep ties to the origin of the discipline, an expert faculty, accessible curriculum, and unrivaled student support. It prepares students for a wide variety of potential ministry positions and opportunities. If such an education would suit your needs we would encourage you to learn more about the program and to reach out to our admissions office to begin the application process.



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