Published on May 3, 2023  
divinity courtyard

Starting in the fall of 2024, Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School will offer its first counseling-focused degree program—the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling.

Douglas A. Sweeney, dean of Beeson Divinity School, said he and other Beeson faculty are excited to meet a real need in our region for Christian counselors.

“This is one of those fields of ministry in which demand outstrips supply,” Sweeney said. “Under the guidance of the Lord and the leadership of our own professor, Dr. Gordon Bals, we hope to graduate a steady stream of biblically and theologically informed Christian counselors who will step into the gap and serve those who want care.”

Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Counseling will take courses in biblical and theological studies as well as in counseling theory and practice, helping them learn to integrate the two.

The program will require the successful completion of 54 semester credits consisting of seven courses (21 credits) in Bible and theology and 11 courses (33 credits) in counseling theory and practice.

Counseling-focused classes include Crisis, Trauma and Grief Counseling; Theological Foundations for Counseling; and Sexuality and Pastoral Care.

Samford’s Board of Trustees approved the new program during its recent meeting.

Bals, who will direct the program, said the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling will support Beeson’s mission to prepare students to serve the church.

“Students who can provide theologically driven counseling will strengthen, deepen and reinvigorate the work of the church,” Bals said. “This degree is a timely move to support the church in bringing the good news of the Gospel to those who are suffering.”

In addition to serving the church, graduates of the program will be ready to serve in international ministries and in Christian nonprofits and social service organizations.

This program does not prepare students for counseling licensure in the State of Alabama.

If you would like to learn more about the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling, please fill out this information request form. Find more information about Beeson’s degree programs or apply on its website.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.