The master of arts in counseling program at Messiah College is designed to help prepare you to become a competent counselor who is capable of working in a variety of settings. As a graduate of our program, you’ll emerge prepared to serve others in the counseling process, develop your leadership abilities in the counseling field, and reconcile relationships within the counseling setting.
Select the counseling track that works for your career goals
The master's in counseling program provides you with three distinct tracks to advance your education and career:
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credits)
- Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling (60 credits)
- School Counseling (51 credits)
- Certification for both elementary and secondary education counseling
Messiah also offers a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Counseling
Designed for students who already have a master’s degree in an appropriate counseling-related field, this certificate helps you earn additional credits toward state licensure or certification. Pennsylvania law requires licensed professional counselors to have completed at least 60 graduate credits. The courses taken in this program would allow counselors to meet this new requirement. The specific course work (a minimum of 12 credits) is tailored to the needs of the certificate student.
We prepare you for the next step after graduate school
Messiah’s master's in counseling program thoroughly prepares its students academically for the exam necessary to become licensed or certified in Pennsylvania as appropriate to their chosen profession:
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- PA School Counseling Certification
Although our program is relatively new, our pass rates are currently:
- Praxis II: School Counseling and Guidance Test – 93% pass rate
- National Counselor Exam – 83% pass rate: Overall, our students scored higher than the national average and higher than the average scores at other educational institutions.
Choose the program timeline that’s right for you
To accommodate graduate students’ active schedule and responsibilities, Messiah’s Master's in counseling program offers you a choice of three different models which determine the timing and sequencing of courses:
- Two-year model—an accelerated model, requiring students to take four courses over 16 weeks throughout most of the program
- Three-year model—follows the same time frame as the two-year model, except that the internships are taken in year three
- Four-year model—a relatively evenly paced, four-year distribution of the courses.
When you apply for acceptance into Messiah’s graduate counseling program, you will be asked to declare whether you intend to complete the program in two, three or four years, so that you may join the appropriate student cohort. If your circumstances change, you may change your mind about the length of time it will take you to complete the program and you may change cohorts during the program accordingly.
Messiah’s graduate courses offer quality, convenience and flexibility
Messiah’s program provides you with flexibility and convenience, with the majority of the courses being completed online. Students need only travel to Messiah College’s campus for two (2) one-week intensive sessions during the program. During the other terms, you’ll connect with professors and classmates via webcams, discussion forums, and other interactive features of Messiah’s online learning community. Throughout the program, you’ll connect with faculty and classmates communicating with each other both synchronously (live) and asynchronously (on your own schedule) during each term, including during practica and internships.
Regardless of which model or track you participate in, the master's in counseling program is delivered in a blended format of online and residential coursework and related practical experience:
- Semester-long practica/internship experiences at an approved off-campus site
- All other courses are offered as eight-week online sessions
Messiah’s academic and faith-based distinctive
Messiah’s reputation as a nationally ranked college that provides quality academics in a faith-based context uniquely positions our master’s in counseling program. Our curriculum includes courses that focus on spiritual formation and faith based counseling. Messiah’s faculty are experienced counselors and accomplished scholars who encourage and mentor students to consider their own faith, the faith of others, and the relationship between counseling and issues connected to faith in their professions. Our small class sizes enable professors to provide you with personalized attention and meaningful interaction.