Students considering a career in Christian counseling can expect to take courses in psychology, religious studies, and counseling methods. In addition, they will learn about professional practice and ethics to help them in working with clients on both an individual and group basis.
While programs in Christian counseling may cover a variety of different topics, some students choose to focus their specialization on a specific area such as family and marriage or addictions counseling. These types of programs may be offered at different levels of study, but a master’s degree is required for most positions in the field. Students can typically study any subject at the bachelor’s level before entering a graduate program, but a background in psychology, religious studies, or another related field could be helpful.
Some Christian counselors may work for churches or other religious organizations in a more informal capacity, while other programs actually prepare graduates to become licensed counselors. The specific requirements for this will depend on your area of specialization and the state in which you live and wish to practice. The National Board for Certified Counselors is an excellent resource for information about what eligibility requirements there are and what exams you will need to take.
As a counselor with a Christian perspective, you can expect to evaluate clients’ emotional and behavioral issues and develop a treatment plan. This may include individual, group, or family therapy. All counseling and client goals will come from a Christian point of view, incorporating spiritual aspects into treatment.