Skip to Content

Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC)

Integrates biblical principles with best-practices in psychology for church, or private licensed counseling practices.


Prepare for licensed or church counseling

DTS’s unique counseling program integrates best-practices in psychology with deep biblical and theological training enabling you to address the entire person: body, mind, soul, and strength.

60 hours of counseling

Graduates of the MABC program are able to apply for licensure with the appropriate state boards of many states. For a list of states about which DTS has made a determination concerning the MABC program’s qualifications for licensure, see the Licensure Disclosure Statement.

66 books of the Bible

A 2-year MA at DTS offers more Bible and theology than a 3-year MDiv at most seminaries, including all 66 books (even Nahum) and an entire course on the Trinity.


Comprehensive preparation for today’s hurting world

The DTS counseling program includes coursework in that covers a variety of psychological, spiritual, emotional, and physical conditions, and integrates it with the same Bible and theology courses taken by pastors and other ministry professionals.

90 Hours
earn up to
hours online
Degree Available:
Ext Sites
Biblical Exposition 16
BE5101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 2
BE5102 Old Testament History I 2
BE5103 OT History II & Poetry 2
BE5104 OT Prophets 2
BE5105 The Gospels 2
BE5106 Acts & Pauline Epistles 2
BE5107 Hebrews, General Epistles, & Revelation 2
BE5109 Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, & Selected Epistles 2
Systematic Theology 12
ST5101 Theological Method and Bibliology 2
ST5102 Trinitarianism 2
ST5103 Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology 2
ST5104 Soteriology 2
ST5105 Sanctification and Ecclesiology 2
ST5106 Eschatology 2
Counseling Theory and Technique 27
BC5201 Theological and Psychological Foundations of Counseling 3
BC5210 Counseling Theory 3
BC5215 Normal Human Growth 3
BC5220 Counseling Methods & Techniques 3
BC5225 Abnormal Human Behavior 3
BC5230 Lifestyle & Career Development 3
BC5235 Social & Cultural Foundations 3
BC5240 Research Methods & Statistics 3
BC5245 Appraisal & Assessment Techniques 3
Licensure Preparation 27
BC5250 Professional Orientation and Ethics 3
BC5255 Addictions and Compulsive Behaviors 3
BC5260 Psychopharmacology for Therapists 3
BC5270 Family Systems 3
BC5280 Group Counseling 3
BC5305 Counseling and Ethics Practicum I 3
BC5310 Counseling Practicum II 3
BC5315 Counseling Practicum III 3
BC5320 Counseling Practicum IV 3
Spiritual Formation & Electives 8
PM5101 Christian Life and Witness 2
Electives 6

Use our Degree Plan Worksheet resource to chart out your MABC degree. For a description of courses offered, please see the catalog


Common Goals for Professional MA Programs

Students in all of professional MA programs at DTS will be able to:

  • demonstrate a general knowledge of the Bible, including a synthetic understanding of the major books;
  • evidence an understanding of the historical development of theology, a knowledge of premillennial theology, and an ability to support their theological views and apply them to contemporary issues; and
  • evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit.

Goals for MA in Biblical Counseling

In addition to the goals common to all professional degree programs at the seminary, students in this program will be able to:

  • understand and explain the issues and problems that people face in life from a thoroughly biblical point of view;
  • understand and evaluate secular and Christian psychological theories and practices from a sound biblical and theological point of view in order to develop professional competence within a thoroughly biblical framework focused on ministry;
  • develop deep levels of biblical and spiritual integrity in their own personal life, relationships, and ministry;
  • possess the personal and spiritual maturity, discernment, and wisdom needed to help people resolve spiritual, relational, and behavioral issues and problems; and
  • engage in effective biblically based counseling in the context of a local church, private practice, or mental health institution.

Course Requirements

The MA program in Biblical Counseling is three years in length, with 90 semester hours of coursework required as a minimum for graduation. Students in the MABC program complete core 3-hour Bible Exposition, Systematic Theology, and Pastoral Ministries courses for 2 credit hours. The reduction in credit hours corresponds to reduced coursework requirements in each of these classes. Of the 90 semester hours required, 16 are in prescribed Bible Exposition courses, 12 are in prescribed Systematic Theology courses, and 2 are in the Christian Life and Witness course. In addition, there are 54 hours in prescribed counseling courses and 6 hours in counseling electives. No thesis is required.

Students move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the MABC program on the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 24 hours of coursework, including BC5305 Counseling and Ethics Practicum I. This normally occurs after the student’s third semester in the program. This process involves a Personal, Academic, and Professional Progress Interview with the department faculty and will help determine the appropriate fit for the profession. Students must successfully move to Stage 2 to continue in the program.

Students may take certain specialized counseling courses, other than those that are prescribed and/or offered in the MA in Biblical Counseling curriculum, at other accredited schools to fulfill any needed academic requirements for state licensure in locations other than Texas, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Biblical Counseling course transfers are subject to prior department approval, not to exceed 15 hours.


Professional Licensure

Meeting the MABC program course requirements enables a graduate to apply for licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) and/or a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with the appropriate state licensing board of many states. It is important to note that the seminary only grants the degree; the state board grants the license. Earning the MABC degree does not, in itself, guarantee licensure in a particular state. Each state board makes an independent decision based on its state regulations and its determination of the applicant’s completion of those requirements. Students desiring to pursue a license as a Professional Counselor (LPC) and/or a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in a particular state may view the following list of states/territories about which DTS has made a determination concerning the MABC program’s qualifications for licensure. Contact information for state licensing boards is also listed in order to provide additional assistance for students interested in pursuing professional licensure. Minor program modifications, with the approval of the MABC department, may be made to satisfy some state licensing board requirements. All additional questions concerning the MABC program and qualifications for professional licensure should be directed to the Department of Biblical Counseling.


Avenues for wholistic training

See the many ways students are prepared for a lifetime of fruitful ministry

Logos Bible Software

Every student at DTS receives a copy of Logos Bible Software customized with additional commentaries and resources, and DTS courses integrate Logos into assignments and learning.

Sexual Awareness Training

DTS has partnered with MinistrySafe to offer training on sexual abuse, effective preventative protocols, addressing the needs of abuse survivors, and an appropriate response to abuse allegations arising in ministry environments.


The DTS experience includes life-on-life connection in small groups (Spiritual Formation), on the job training for real world ministry skills (Ministry Formation Internships), and opportunities to serve, pray, and worship in community.


Counseling in churches, schools, and private practice

God has placed our graduates in a variety of ministry settings including LPC (licensed professional counseling) in clinics, church ministry, recovery and addition programs, and overseas trauma work.

Alec and Amy Zacaroli Work Toward Purpose in Washington DC
Karlos Lyons: Shaping While Studying in Seminary
From Doctor to Counselor: Dr. Ekpe Wade’s Journey to Houston
Counseling Grads Robert Rowling and Wendy Miller Bring Healing
Matthew Williams Ministers to Former Child Soldiers
Former Addict Starts Half-Way House

More scholarships, less debt

Over 90% of DTS students graduate without taking on additional educational debt. This is possible because of the generosity of our donors who make over 5 million dollars of scholarship funds available every year.

Scholarship List

Through our donors and Foundation, we are able to offer 100s of scholarships to students every year. See the full list of scholarships.

Financial Aid Calculator

Visit our tool to calculate your costs and see how affordable seminary can be with scholarships, church support, and payment options.


What we believe

DTS faculty affirm our full doctrinal statement every year, while our diverse community of students are centered around these seven core doctrines of evangelical faith.

the authority and inerrancy of Scripture
the Trinity
Hypostatic Union
Christ’s full deity and humanity
the spiritual lostness of the human race
Christ’s substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection
salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
Return of Christ
the physical return of Christ

How to get started

The deadlines for our Masters-level application are: July 1 for fall, November 1 for spring, and April 1 for summer. The deadlines for our doctorate applicants are: February 15 for summer, and August 15 for winter. The deadlines for our PhD applicants are: January 1 for fall, and September 1 for spring.

Application Steps


1. Submit Application

Begin your online application today. It should take about 2 hours.


2. Send Transcripts and References

Collect college transcripts and references from church and others.


3. Committee Evaluation

DTS will review your application and respond within 2-3 weeks.


4. Register for courses

When you receive your acceptance letter, you can plan your first classes.

Admissions Criteria


You show evidence of saving faith in Jesus Christ in your application testimony, and you adhere to the 7 core doctrines.


Your references speak to your character and dependence on the Holy Spirit for life and work.


You are endowed with appropriate spiritual gifts and involved in Christian ministry.


Previous education has prepared you for graduate theological education.


We’d love to send you more information

This form will enable us to email you with details about your campus and degree program and followup with additional information customized to your goals.