Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling

Request Information

Program Snapshot

60 Credit Hours 20 Classes
2 Years to Complete
$310 Per Credit Hour Learn more
On Campus
Online Learn more
Next Start Date August 5

All of the Bible, for all of life.

This degree program is designed to prepare students for a ministry of biblical counseling to individuals, couples, and families in a congregational, denominational agency, counseling center, or missions setting.

Counsel the Word

Biblical and Theological Studies
Course Number Description Credit Hours
20200 Introduction to the Old Testament I 3
20220 Introduction to the Old Testament II 3
22100 Biblical Hermeneutics 3
22200 Introduction to the New Testament I 3
22220 Introduction to the New Testament II 3
27060 Systematic Theology I: Theological Prolegomena, and the Nature and Works of God 3
27070 Systematic Theology II: Christ, Salvation, and the Holy Spirit 3
27080 Systematic Theology III: Baptist Theology of Scripture and the Church, and Eschatology 3
32100 Personal Evangelism & Devotion 3
32960 Introduction to Missiology 3
Total 30
Biblical Counseling Concentration
Course Number Description Credit Hours
34300 Biblical Counseling & Personal Ministry of the Word 3
34305 Practical Theology in Context 3
34325 The Care of Souls in the Congregation 3
34330 Typical Problems in Biblical Counseling 3
34830 Trauma and Crisis in Counseling 3
35100 Marriage and Family Counseling 3
35585 Biblical Counseling Practicum I 3
35590 Biblical Counseling Practicum II 3
35595 Biblical Counseling Portfolio 0
Total 24
Course Number Description Credit Hours
Unrestricted Electives 6
Total 6

Total Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling: 60

Additional Courses
Course Number Description Credit Hours
28999 Thesis Research and Writing (if required) +2
  1. Students interested in pursuing the thesis option must consult with the department chair for Biblical Counseling.
  2. Continuing students should consult the Academic Catalog for the year in which they started for course requirements as the current requirements may have changed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Pierre talking with student on campus

The M.A. in Biblical Counseling is meant to prepare students for service in ministry contexts.

The program does not prepare students for state licensure. See “ACBC Certification” tab for more information.

Students who are serving (or plan to serve) in full-time ministry are encouraged to consider the Master of Divinity program, as it contains a more robust core of bible, theology, and ministry training.

Students with an accredited bachelor’s degree (in any field/major) are eligible to apply for this concentration. It is not required that applicants have an academic background in biblical or ministry studies.

Click here to learn more or start your application.

Yes. Students with previous divinity credit may be able to transfer their credit into programs at Southern Seminary. See our Transfer Credit page for more information.

No. Our program teaches counseling from a biblical-theological perspective, not one seeking to align with state licensing boards.

Practicum courses are the application of knowledge gained in Biblical Counseling classes through counseling others (including classmates, church, or community members) and receiving observation of skills and feedback from professors and mentors.

Distance students will fulfill course requirements just like residential students via video-record sessions.

Biblical Counseling faculty includes:

Jeremy P. Pierre

Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Biblical Counseling and Practical Theology; Dean, The Billy Graham School

Robert D. Jones

Professor of Biblical Counseling and Practical Theology

John M. Henderson

Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling and Practical Theology

ACBC Certification

Southern Seminary is a certified training center through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

The Master of Arts with a concentration in Biblical Counseling provides a pathway for students to not only receive a master’s degree from SBTS but also pursue certification as a biblical counselor through the ACBC. The following information details what courses fulfill which requirements of the ACBC certification process:

PHASE 1 – Basic Training (1/3) + Reading

PHASE 2  – Theology Exam (1st half)

PHASE 1 – Basic Training (1/3) + Reading / PHASE 2 – 1/4 Counseling Exam

PHASE 1 – Basic Training (1/3) + Reading / PHASE 2 – 1/4 Counseling Exam

PHASE 1 – 10 Counseling Hours Observed / PHASE 2 – Theology Exam (2nd half)

PHASE 2 – 1/2 Counseling Exam / PHASE 3 – 12-15 Supervised Hours

*Courses taught by a certified ACBC counselor count towards certification.
**This course must be taught by an ACBC fellow in order for the supervised hours to count towards the certification process.

To start the certification process, create a login with ACBC and as students progress through our program they can complete the following:
1. Submit reading and observation logs.
2. Submit Fundamentals Training Certificate upon completing 34300, 34330, and 35100.*
3. Submit your Letter of Complete Sessions upon completing 35590.*

*You can obtain these documents from the Billy Graham School by emailing

NOTE: Students coming to study at Southern Seminary with partial or completion of their ACBC certification still must complete all courses for their academic degree requirements.  Any certification work such as the exams or observation log can be considered acceptable to fulfill the course assignments per discussion with the professor.

Click here for more information on the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).
Click here for more information on the ACBC Certification process.

Resources as a Southern Seminary student

Academic Support

Access academic advising, writing assistance, language tutoring and more as a Southern Seminary online or on-campus student.

Flexible Course Options

With multiple course delivery options you’ll find classes that fit around your schedule.

  • 100% online degrees
  • Main campus courses
  • Hybrid campus intensive options

Financial Aid

We are committed to making your education affordable. Our Financial Aid office can connect you with institutional & outside sources of aid.

Male student smiling in classroom


Contact Admissions

Phone: (502) 897-4200

Text: (502) 305-3554


Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Request Information