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AGTS Degrees: Master of Arts in Counseling

The Master of Arts in Counseling (M.A.C.) offers both licensure (51-66 credits) and non-licensure (42-48 credits) tracks. The licensure tracks are designed to prepare Christian counselors to serve in the Church or community settings as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) and/or Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) and to prepare qualified graduates to practice in one or both of these counseling concentrations with appropriate professional and legal recognition and in an informed ethical, legal and professional manner. They also prepare students to integrate biblical, theological and psychological insights into effective counseling ministry, stimulate the development of personal maturity, self-understanding and interpersonal sensitivity.

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of this program are not only recognized in the secular marketplace, they are also innovative ministers in churches and districts. Current reports indicate a high success ratio in finding employment in counseling or related fields. Graduates are equipped to serve in a wide variety of settings including:

  • Private counseling centers
  • Public counseling agencies
  • State and federal institutions
  • Hospitals and medical clinics
  • Juvenile counseling units
  • Group home facilities
  • Family preservation units
  • Specialty counseling clinics
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Substance abuse clinics
  • Human service

51-66 Hour Degree Components and Requirements (Licensure)

The 51-66 hour M.A.C. offers four counseling concentrations: Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), Licensed Professional Counseling (LPC), LPC/MFT Dual Concentration or Intercultural Studies. The Dual Concentration is offered to prepare graduates for possible licensure or certification in both marriage and family therapy and licensed professional counseling. It consists of three elements and requires a 3.0 grade point average for admission and continuance in the program:

  • 3 credits of core foundational studies
  • 18 credits of required coursework in psychology and counseling
  • 30-45 credits in an area of concentration.

In the first year of their seminary education experience, students are required to attend a minimum of 10 personal growth therapy sessions (at their own expense) with a departmentally approved therapist.

Click here to view the courses that make up the M.A.C. Program and its concentrations.

Click here to view the Suggested Course Sequence.

42-48 Hour M.A.C. Program in Community Mental Health Service (C.M.H.S.T.) Degree Components and Requirements (Non-Licensure)

The 42-48 hour M.A.C., Community Mental Health Service (C.M.H.S.T.) is a non-licensure track designed to prepare students for work in the church and/or public health agencies that do not require licensure.  The C.M.H.S.T. requires a minimum grade point average of 2.5 for admission and continuance in the program.

Students in the C.M.H.S.T. who desire to apply to for a licensure track must have a 3.0 grade point average after completion of at least 30 hours at AGTS. If approved, continuation in a licensure track and enrollment in a clinical practicum is contingent upon the student’s ability to maintain a 3.0 gpa.

Students from the C.M.H.S.T. who qualify to transfer to a licensure track will forfeit any advanced standing awarded when initially admitted to AGTS for undergraduate counseling and/or psychology studies.

Counseling Licensure

Students should note that in both the Professional Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy concentrations, state licensure and professional recognition have additional requirements after completion of a graduate degree. These requirements include a specific number of hours of counseling under the clinical supervision of an approved supervisor and, in most states, the successful completion of a qualifying examination in the area of concentration.

Some states may require additional course work as well. Students are advised to determine the specific requirements in the state in which they plan to practice. In all cases, the prerogative of professional recognition rests with the membership committee of the professional association or state regulatory agency.

Students who want to pursue doctoral studies in the area of counseling may find this degree to be helpful preparation for those studies, but should discuss that possibility with the institution where they plan to do their doctoral studies.


The specific practicums required for each concentration are delineated in each degree program. Since practicums are designed to allow for the application of the principles and procedures studied in other courses, a sufficient academic foundation must be demonstrated prior to entering the counseling practicums. Timing is crucial and students should begin planning their practicums early in the academic program. Approval for a practicum must be secured through an interview scheduled with the counseling practicum adviser. Students will subsequently pursue individually attained placement upon approval. Registration for a practicum must be completed by the pre-registration date for the semester in which the practicum is to be taken. Additionally, the student should be aware that practicum requirements for specific state licensure may exceed AGTS requirements. Students should verify specific state requirements prior to beginning practicum. Practicums will be graded satisfactory, marginal or unsatisfactory. A fee of $250 is assessed to students enrolled in counseling practicums.

Graduation Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for graduation (see the AGTS Catalog), the student must pass a written comprehensive examination before the degree is awarded. Students who fail the comprehensive examination will be allowed to retake the exam following a three-week study period.

Policy for Retakes

Students failing the exam retake must audit or enroll in designated and approved courses, then retake and pass the exam. In the event of failure on the second retake, the student may not repeat the exam without an approved, rigorous remedial program.

Distance Learning

Due to state licensing requirements, counseling majors are advised not to take courses by distance learning or directed research. Some exceptions may be approved through the academic adviser for Bible or theology courses.

Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 1:02 PM


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