Master of Arts Biblical Counseling
The Master of Arts Biblical Counseling (MABC) degree is intended for students who will counsel as a primary responsibility of ministry in the local church, chaplaincy, college campus, high school, grade school, counseling ministry or other Christian ministries. This degree is also intended for students who will counsel as a supporting responsibility of ministry in the local church, the home or secular environment.
Will the MABC degree allow me to be state certified as a counselor?
Given the purpose of the MABC, the program does not qualify you for state certification or licensure. We recognize that certification reflects a particular level of proficiency and welcome that degree of accountability for our use of Scriptures in counseling. Therefore, we require each graduate to seek certification with the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC).
What is the National Association of Nouthetic Counselor (NANC)?
NANC exists to help pastors and those who would be ministers of the Word of God by providing help and encouragement in the following ways:
NANC is first and foremost a certifying organization. The certifying process is rigorous but attainable and has two goals. The primary goal is to bless the counselor. The training will challenge your walk with the Lord and cause you to examine your own heart. The testing will challenge you to think through important issues relating to the counseling process, and the supervised counseling will sharpen your skills and keep you relying on God for wisdom.
The second goal of the process is to be a blessing to others. Certification points hurting people to you as one who has been trained and tested. It tells a counselee the counselor has been examined and his counseling is biblical and consistent with the NANC doctrinal statement.
NANC seeks to be a source of encouragement and fellowship, provides key resources for biblical counselors in ministry, and exists to promote the cause of biblical counseling and the doctrine of the sufficiency of the Scriptures.
What makes this MABC program different than what other seminaries offer?
The MABC program is designed to train future leaders in the field of biblical counseling. We not only desire for you to be able to counsel effectively, but also understand the future of the biblical counseling movement depends upon the quality of education you receive today. That quality should not just include sound, methodological training (or the “how to’s” of counseling), but must provide the ability to evaluate counseling trends as to consistency with a proper interpretation of the biblical text. Since the biblical counseling movement includes a broad spectrum of theological perspective, understanding how exegesis influences counseling methodology is vital. What you believe the text says directly impacts what you do with it and the conclusions you draw from it. Therefore, we seek to develop in you the ability to interpret and apply the text consistently. Since the biblical text must drive all our counseling efforts, the future of the biblical counseling movement is contingent on the ability of those in the field to practice proper hermeneutics. Our desire is that your thinking and practice are both thoroughly biblical in nature.
In addition, the entire faculty of Baptist Bible Graduate School (BBGS) holds to the sufficiency of Scripture and its implications to daily life. Regardless of the field of instruction, each faculty member strives to help the student understand the text and make appropriate application to both his or her personal life and future ministry. In this way, BBGS is different from many seminaries in this level of consistency among its faculty members. This means what you hear about the Scripture in one class will not contradict what you hear in another.
Why does the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling require so many hours?
Are not most master's degrees 36 hours in length?
Yes, you are correct that the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC) is longer than a typical master’s program. The Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC) equips students to competently minister to the local church as a leader in the field of biblical counseling. A Christian leader requires a body of knowledge and skills that enables him or her to accurately interpret and apply God’s word, clearly communicate God’s word in oral and written form, to gather and carefully evaluate information and to lead others. In today’s complicated world where the awareness of the need to minister to hurting people in increasingly difficult life circumstances is immense, this program seeks to equip students not only to minister to those people effectively, but also to train others to do so (1 Pet 5:1-5). The Bible is clear that those who teach and preach God’s word are held to a higher standard and are accountable to the Lord (1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Tim 2:1-2; Jas 3:1).
How long does it normally take students to complete the MABC?
It usually takes students three years to complete the MABC; however, if you are a Bible college graduate, it is possible to complete your third year as a non-resident student.