The counseling field presents many opportunities for dedicated professionals to improve people's lives. If you want to help others using psychological best practices and your Christian faith, consider earning an online bachelor's degree in Christian counseling.
On this page, you can explore the best bachelor's in Christian counseling programs, typical courses, and application requirements. You can also review answers to common questions and potential career paths. Additionally, use the ranking's embedded links to learn the latest information about a program.
What Are the Best Christian Counseling Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top Five:
- The Baptist College of Florida - Graceville, FL
- The King's University - Southlake, TX
- Johnson University - Knoxville, TN
- Oral Roberts University - Tulsa, OK
- Crown College - Saint Bonifacius, MN
Earning a bachelor's in Christian counseling can be a first step toward becoming a licensed clinical counselor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the need for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors will grow by 22% between 2018 and 2028. This impressive projection outpaces the average projected growth rate for all professions by more than 15%. This information suggests that, upon graduation, individuals in this field should have strong job prospects across the United States.
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Christian Counseling Programs
The Baptist College of Florida
|Graceville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
BCF's online bachelor's in psychology program features a rigorous general education curriculum, psychology coursework, and a biblical/theological specialization. Courses include general psychology, personality theory, and research design and methodology. In their final year, students complete a counseling practicum and a directed research project.
Resources for online learners include a writing center and multiple research databases hosted by the library. When not studying, degree-seekers can participate in numerous virtual campus ministry activities.
BCF accepts GED scores, and all applicants should submit ACT or SAT scores. Other application materials include one personal and one pastoral recommendation. Over half of all undergraduates receive one of the college's institutional scholarships.
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Format: 100% online
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT
The King's University
|Southlake, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 33%||
The bachelor of biblical counseling program at TKU combines counseling best practices with Christian doctrine. Major coursework includes biblical counseling, personality development, and Old Testament studies. Additionally, the program concludes with a capstone project and a senior internship.
The school's student success center offers online learners one-on-one tutoring, academic coaching, and disability accommodations. Degree-seekers can take a SuccessNavigator assessment to create a customized academic success action plan. These and other valuable services help 91% of students locate a job after graduation.
TKU accepts GED scores and uses a GPA cutoff for high school graduates. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum 2.3 GPA. Automatic merit-based scholarships award up to $3,000 per year to eligible students.
Program Name: Bachelor of Biblical Counseling
Format: 100% online
GPA: 2.5 minimum
|Knoxville, TN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
JUTN's online pastoral care and counseling program prepares graduates to lead churches, develop sermons, and act as effective pastoral ministers. Courses in the major include interpersonal and family relationships, spiritual formation, and pastoral counseling. Additionally, learners can personalize the degree by selecting 11 elective credits.
JUTN provides online learners with time management, study, and writing tutorials. Additionally, students can make appointments for online coaching sessions. These resources help 71% of graduates find a job within 12 months of earning a degree.
JUTN accepts new students at six points throughout the year. Application requirements include standardized test scores, and prospective students should contact the admissions office to determine whether they should submit additional materials. Online degree-seekers may qualify for federal grant and loan opportunities.
Program Name: Bachelor's in Pastoral Care and Counseling
Format: 100% online
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or CLT
Oral Roberts University
|Tulsa, OK||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
ORU's online bachelor's in Christian counseling program features coursework in Christian leadership, crisis intervention, and developing helping skills. Although the degree does not include concentration options, students can personalize the program by selecting from multiple electives. Each course lasts seven weeks.
Christian counseling graduates can go on to work as chaplains, pastors, and lay counselors. ORU prepares learners for the future by providing Handshake job software, resume critiques, and links to popular job boards.
ORU accepts applications on a rolling basis, and all applicants receive a decision within three days. ORU also offers a U.S. military tuition discount. In addition to federal grant and loan programs, financial aid options include an interest-free payment plan.
Program Name: Bachelor's in Christian Caregiving and Counseling
Format: 100% online
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT
|Saint Bonifacius, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
Recent high school graduates and adult learners can pursue an online bachelor's in Christian counseling program at Crown. Students complete a Christian studies core before starting the major curriculum. Additionally, degree-seekers can complete an optional minor in drug and alcohol counseling.
Crown's Office of Career Services offers students and alumni career interest assessments, resume writing guides, and interviewing tips. The college's dedication to student success translates to 89% of alumni experiencing a successful career or graduate school outcome.
Prospective students submit high school transcripts, but Crown does not accept GED scores at this time. Other application materials include a statement of faith. Veterans and ministers-in-training may qualify for institutional scholarship opportunities.
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Counseling
Format: 100% online
Online Bachelor's in Christian Counseling Program Overview
Online bachelor's in Christian counseling programs emphasize psychology fundamentals and Christine doctrine. Most colleges and universities that offer this degree are affiliated with a Christian denomination and make spiritual life a cornerstone of students' academic and social experiences. In class, students develop a foundation of knowledge and skills related to leadership, ministry, and psychology. They can build upon these abilities by gaining professional experience and/or additional education.
Although bachelor's in Christian counseling graduates can pursue entry-level positions, many of the most lucrative and fulfilling career paths in this field require a state-issued license. As states ask that licensed counselors possess an advanced degree (among other requirements), undergraduates should start researching the best online master's in Christian counseling programs well before graduation. Like bachelor's programs, admission requirements for graduate school may include excellent grades, test scores, and recommendation letters.
In the following section, you can learn more about typical course requirements for online bachelor's programs in Christian counseling.
Common Bachelor's in Christian Counseling Degree Courses
- Developmental Psychology
This foundational course covers how people develop psychologically from birth through adulthood. The curriculum emphasizes the contributions of 20th-century psychologists, such as Jean Piaget and Abraham Maslow. Additionally, students analyze psychological development from psychosocial, cognitive, and biological viewpoints. Learners study different brain structures and the influence of each on psychological processes.
- History of Psychology
The history of modern psychology stretches back nearly 200 years and includes many important thinkers and theories. In class, students analyze each theory — even modern psychologists no longer considered valid — to gain an appreciation and better understanding of how 21st-century psychologists treat individuals. As in other history courses, students analyze primary and secondary source documents.
- Abnormal Psychology
Abnormal psychology deals with the hundreds of psychological disorders that can affect individuals of all ages. Coursework involves analyzing landmark case studies, pathology, and treatment. Typical course materials include the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the latest research studies. Learning outcomes include the ability to recognize the symptoms of various disorders.
- Survey of Biblical Literature
In this course, students analyze and discuss major biblical texts. One learning outcome involves interpreting the texts as both historical documents and manuals for spiritual growth and enlightenment. Most degree-seekers in a bachelor's in Christian counseling program take multiple courses on biblical literature and its impact.
- Systematic Theology
Systematic theology courses ask students to analyze Christian doctrines, including the concept of God, sin, and people's place in creation. Degree-seekers compare Christianity to other religions to understand and appreciate Christian beliefs. An online bachelor's in Christian counseling program may offer more than one systematic theology course, allowing learners to explore this topic on a deeper level.
Online Bachelor's in Christian Counseling Admission Requirements
Standardized Test Scores
Prospective students without prior college experience should take the ACT or SAT. Some schools use standardized test scores to help determine an applicant's academic readiness and make decisions regarding merit-based scholarships. As a result, you should prepare for the test before taking it. Schools do not generally accept scores more than five years old.
High School Transcripts
High school transcripts represent a crucial piece of a prospective student's application portfolio. Many schools use a high school GPA cutoff. If your GPA falls below a cutoff, a school may still allow you to apply if you submit additional materials, such as an essay or excellent standardized test scores.
Many online bachelor's in Christian counseling programs accept GED scores from applicants who did not graduate from a public or private high school. However, many schools use a GED score cutoff and may base financial aid decisions on an applicant's score.
Statement of Faith
Bachelor's in Christian counseling programs target applicants who possess strong Christian convictions. As a result, these programs often require a statement of faith. This statement may take one of two forms: a signature on a statement of faith or a short essay.
Nearly all online bachelor's in Christian counseling programs require 1-2 recommendation letters. Some programs ask that one letter come from the applicant's minister or pastor.
Online Bachelor's in Christian Counseling Career Paths
Earning a bachelor's in Christian counseling prepares learners for an entry-level career related to freedom ministry, biblical counseling, and nonprofit counseling. These positions typically do not require a license, and professionals can attain advancement within a faith-based organization without further education.
Christian counselors can also receive a state-issued counseling license by earning an advanced degree and meeting other licensure requirements. A license allows counselors to treat a broader range of individuals and open up a private practice. Counselors who possess a license must renew it regularly — a process that involves taking professional development courses.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What can you do with a bachelor's in Christian counseling?
Earning a bachelor's in Christian counseling can prepare students for a career working as an unlicensed Christian counselor. Alternatively, it can act as a springboard to a master's or doctoral program in counseling. Either way, students in a bachelor's program obtain numerous transferable skills — such as those related to communication, research, and analysis — that they can apply to nearly any career path.
- What degree do I need for Christian counseling?
Depending on the specific career, a Christian counselor may need a bachelor's or master's degree. The latter is a must if you want to earn a state-issued counseling license, open a private practice, or help individuals with serious mental problems. For this reason, be sure to determine what level of education you need to meet your professional goals.
- How much does a Christian counselor make?
According to the BLS, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earn a median salary of $44,630 per year. This figure takes into account counselors with different experience levels and degrees. Licensed, experienced counselors can earn much more than this figure. Also, counselors living in urban areas tend to earn significantly higher salaries than those residing in rural areas.
- How long does it take to get a Christian counseling degree?
As with most undergraduate degrees, earning an online bachelor's in Christian counseling takes about four years for a full-time student without prior college experience. However, some programs allow students to learn at an accelerated rate. Additionally, degree-seekers can graduate faster if a school awards credit for relevant life experiences or for passing challenge exams.
- What is the best degree for Christian counseling?
That answer depends on your personal and professional goals. Some programs emphasize psychology topics over Christian doctrine and vice versa. For this reason, you should speak to an enrollment or academic counselor to learn more about a program's learning outcomes and which career paths graduates typically choose.
Discover Similar Degree Programs
Looking for something else? Explore these other online degrees.
Additional Reading and Resources
Want more? We have additional resources to help you in every stage of your educational journey.