Online Christian Counseling Degrees

Earning a christian counseling degree online can lead to new career opportunities. Here, we list the top schools available.

October 21, 2021 , Modified on May 26, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Christian Counseling Degrees is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Unlike traditional counseling, Christian counseling focuses on individuals' spiritual needs and growth. These counselors use a Bible-based perspective when helping clients. They spend much of their workday leading individual and small-group discussions, asking questions, and providing advice. Christian counselors work to improve clients' long-term mental health.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mental health counselors earn a median salary of $42,840 per year. Aspiring Christian counselors can begin by earning an online Christian counseling degree. Online counseling programs are often more accessible and affordable than on-campus options. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Christian Counseling Frequently Asked Questions by Students

What jobs can you get with a Christian counseling degree?

Christian counselors can work for church-based counseling organizations. They can also start a private practice, work in women's shelters, or assist clients remotely.

Can you be a Christian counselor without a license?

Christian counselors who work for churches or faith-based organizations do not need a license. However, counselors need a state-issued license to open a private practice.

What's the difference between a therapist and a counselor?

Therapists and counselors generally work with different types of patients. Both therapists and counselors work with clients with conditions such as depression and anxiety. However, psychologists and psychiatrists also work with clients who have more severe problems.

How much do counselors make a year?

According to BLS data, mental health counselors earn a median annual salary of $42,840. Factors influencing salary potential include licensure, education, and experience.

Why Get a Degree in Christian Counseling?

Many individuals pursue a degree in Christian counseling to increase their earning potential. Graduates often benefit from opportunities to achieve personal fulfillment and apply their faith in the workplace.

According to the BLS, master's degree-holders earn a median weekly salary about $250 higher than that of professionals with a bachelor's degree. Earning a Christian counseling degree online requires time and dedication. Graduates often feel pride in the accomplishment. Graduates of online Christian counseling degrees often secure positions in churches, faith-based counseling centers, and private practices. Traditional and Christian counselors strive to help clients overcome mental health problems, such as uncontrolled anger, grief, substance abuse, and addiction. While earning an online Christian counseling degree, students often network with peers, forging lifelong professional contacts in the Christian and counseling communities.

Courses in Christian Counseling School

Master's programs in the field typically prepare students to obtain a state-issued license. Professionals working for faith-based organizations can also earn the degree to improve their counseling skills. Curricula typically emphasize ethical considerations, crisis intervention techniques, and topics related to family dynamics. Degree-seekers typically demonstrate mastery of concepts during an internship experience.

The sample curriculum below highlights five courses students commonly take while earning a master's degree in Christian counseling. Course names and requirements vary by school, so students should contact an admissions or career counselor for details about their prospective program.

Scholarships for Christian Counseling Students

Private scholarship opportunities, such as those below, can help online Christian counseling degree-seekers avoid long-term student debt. Each of the following scholarship programs accepts applications in 2021. Typical application requirements include a satisfactory high school or college GPA, recommendation letters, and an essay.

Scholarships for Christian Counseling Students
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

American Music Therapy Association Scholarships

Varies These scholarships support undergraduate and graduate students with a faculty recommendation. Applicants must submit a personal narrative, recommendation letters, and official transcripts.

Central California Asian Pacific Women Scholarships

Varies Asian Pacific women residing in select central California counties can apply for these awards. The scholarship committee prefers applicants with a high GPA, leadership potential, and status as a first-generation college student.

NBCC Foundation Military Scholarship

Up to $8,000 This scholarship from the National Board for Certified Counselors supports active-duty service members, veterans, and military spouses. Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited master's in counseling program. The application window opens in May.

Online Christian Counseling Degrees

  1. Lee University

    Cleveland, TN



    Lee University's Division of Adult Learning (DAL) offers a bachelor's degree in ministry leadership. This program offers 8 different areas of emphasis, including 1 in counseling for those interested in a ministry counseling career or graduate studies in counseling. Online programs through DAL are available in fully online 7-week terms, or in a hybrid format, which consists of 7-week terms combined with 2-week on-campus intensives. Courses are delivered through Lee Online, using the Moodle platform, plus students participate in online meetings with instructors for lectures, group discussions and mentoring. Graduates of the ministry leadership program are required to earn 120 credit hours and maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 in major courses, which include 30 ministry leadership and 24 counseling concentration credit hours. For admission to Lee's DAL programs, students must have a GED or high school diploma along with 3 years of life experience beyond high school graduation, as programs are geared towards adult learners. In addition to Lee's regional accreditation, DAL programs are accredited by the Association of Christian Distance Education (ACCESS) and the Christian Adult Higher Education Association (CAHEA).

  2. Johnson University

    Knoxville, TN



    At Johnson University's School of Congregational Ministry, students may earn a BA or BS degree in pastoral care and counseling. The BS degree is 100% online, and the BA is almost completely online (students must complete the language requirements for the BA on-campus at Johnson or through another institution). The curriculum combines biblical and arts and sciences core courses for a well-rounded approach, preparing students for counseling and leadership ministry roles. Sample courses include pastoral counseling, ministry counseling, family services, and conflict and communication. Students without transfer credits typically take 4 years to complete the program, taking 2 courses during 7-week terms. Those with transfer courses can shorten this time frame considerably and can transfer up to 90 credits towards the 120 credits required for graduation. Students can also plan to transfer credits through Tennessee Transfer Pathways, which provides smooth transfer of specific associate degrees from Tennessee community colleges to Johnson bachelor's degree programs.

  3. World Mission University

    Los Angeles, CA



    The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Counseling at World Mission University (WMU) is geared toward students interested in a career in counseling-related ministry, as well as to those planning to continue with graduate work. This is a fully online, 4-year program, consisting of 126 semester credit hours, with 45 being general education credit requirements and the remainder consisting of Bible, theology and major courses. WMU allows up to 84 approved transfer credits for this program, meaning only 42 credits need to be completed at WMU. Students can earn credits through a senior thesis project, and they must demonstrate Christian character and pass the Bible Comprehensive exam prior to graduation. Admission to WMU programs is open to Christians of all denominations, and is based on both academic and spiritual criteria, which includes active participation in church, a Christian ministry calling and baptism. Students will interview with the program director to determine if they meet all the requirements.

  4. The King's University

    Southlake, TX



    For students interested in a career in ministry along with counseling, The King's University (TKU) offers a fully online bachelor's degree in biblical counseling. This is considered a pre-professional program, which prepares graduates to work in areas such as local churches, nonprofit service and freedom ministry, while also providing a solid foundation for graduate-level studies in counseling or Divinity. Students will complete 124 credit hours prior to graduation, with a majority of the curriculum being general education and major courses, along with electives, Christian Foundation courses and practicum/experiential learning. Courses are offered in accelerated 7-week or traditional 15-week formats, and depending on transferable credits, program length can vary. Students can transfer up to 90 credit hours earned from previous colleges and may also be able to earn credits for previous life experience or CLEP testing. TKU is accredited by both TRACS (Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools) and ABHE (Association of Biblical Higher Education).

  5. Grace Christian University

    Wyoming, MI



    For students interested in a career involving Christian-based counseling, Grace Christian University offers a Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree. The program blends general psychological principles, traditional counseling methods and biblical counseling components to prepare students to bring a Christian outlook and ethics to their work. While it is geared towards those planning to serve individuals or communities in areas such as education, corrections, social services, recreation and business, it can also be applied in other careers or serve as a foundation for graduate work. The accelerated bachelor's degree portion of the program takes about 24 months to complete and consists of 48 core and 12 concentration credits. Classes cover topics such as the theology of leadership, working with teams, survival psychology and biblical counseling. Students can transfer credits from other schools to meet the 120 total credits necessary for graduation. A capstone project is also required.

  6. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

    Waxahachie, TX



    Students interested in a career in Christian counseling can find several 100% online bachelor's programs at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) to give them the background they need, including a counseling major that is a pre-professional degree, and a human services major with a counseling focus. For students planning to work in ministry and interested in counseling, SAGU offers an online bachelor's degree in child and family studies, which focuses on counseling, relationships and child development. While these are considered traditional degrees, all programs at SAGU integrate Christian faith with learning, and the curriculum is taught with a Christian worldview. In addition to typical college admissions requirements, students applying to SAGU must provide a Christian character reference along with demonstration of a born-again spiritual experience. Graduates from this program have found work in areas such as spiritual care, rehabilitation counseling, youth programs, social services, orphanages and in hospitals. Many also continue on to graduate school and earn licensure within the counseling field.

  7. Oral Roberts University

    Tulsa, OK



    Oral Roberts University is a Christian-centered institution based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is open to people of all denominations and is committed to a "Whole Person Education" philosophy of improving the spirit, mind and body. Among its available programs, ministry and leadership is its most popular, and its theology programs are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. ORU offers a 128-credit-hour, 4-year, online Bachelor of Science degree in Christian caregiving and counseling that combines psychology, crisis intervention, and assessment and evaluation with Christian caregiving courses such as developing helping skills or teaching the bible, to provide students with the skill sets needed to pursue careers in lay or pastoral counseling, or as community health workers or substance-abuse counselors. Each course term is 7 weeks long, and terms run year round so that students may complete their degrees earlier. A senior practicum paper is required in the final year.

  8. John Wesley University

    High Point, NC



    At John Wesley University, all undergraduate degrees are considered a double major ? each student completes their chosen major alongside a Bible/theology major. Students interested in an online Christian counseling degree can earn a BA in Christian ministry, with a concentration in counseling. The program includes internship and Christian community service requirements to prepare graduates to work as counselors in churches, camps, ministries and human service agencies, or to practice non-licensed Christian counseling for individuals, groups, couples and families. For those wanting to gain state licensing to become a counselor, this program serves as a solid foundation for the graduate studies required to do so. Students can complete the program in 4 years or less, depending on previous credits earned. There is no minimum credit hour requirement for transfer students, but a quarter of the 120 credits required for graduation must be earned at John Wesley. Students may also earn credits based on CLEP or DANTES testing, previous military and professional training and lifelong learning experiences.

  9. Toccoa Falls College

    Toccoa Falls, GA



    At Toccoa Falls College, students planning to work in areas such as ministry counseling, education and human services can earn a fully online bachelor's degree in counseling psychology, and can choose from minors in psychology, family studies or counseling. This degree also provides a stepping stone to graduate school for a professional counseling degree and licensure. The program typically takes 4 years but can be completed in fewer years with transferred credits. Students must earn 126 credits in order to graduate, and will also be required to participate in an internship along with research, service and outreach activities. Optional opportunities for involvement for online students includes intramural sports (if they live within a certain distance from the campus), student clubs, participation in the commencement ceremony, online videos of chapel services and opportunities for study abroad. Special tuition discounts are available for eligible full-time online students, such as for those living in certain counties, and a 50% tuition reduction for full-time emergency first responders.

  10. Johnson University Florida

    Kissimmee, FL



    Johnson University in Florida is part of the Johnson University System and offers a variety of bachelor's degrees through Johnson University Online, including a BS or BA in pastoral care and counseling. This program prepares students to work in counseling and leadership roles within the ministry. It's considered a 100% online program; however, the BA degree does require an on-campus foreign language component. All students will participate in a professional internship prior to graduation, and must earn 120 credits for program completion. The program usually takes 4 years to complete, but with up to 90 allowable transfer credits, this time frame can be shortened considerably. For the 4-year plan, students take 2 courses per 7-week term, including over the summer. Courses are asynchronous, and delivered through Sakai, the college's Learning Management System (LMS) that serves as the online classroom and main hub for online students, and provides students access to assignments, video conferences, chat features, discussion forums and group projects.

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