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
This program allows students to apply for licensure to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, the Virginia Board of Counseling, the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists, and the District of Columbia Board of Professional Counseling.
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.
|BE101||Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics||2|
|BE102||Old Testament History I||2|
|BE103||OT History II & Poetry||2|
|BE106||Acts & Pauline Epistles||2|
|BE107||Hebrews, General Epistles, & Revelation||2|
|BE109||Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, & Selected Epistles||2|
|ST101||Theological Method and Bibliology||2|
|ST103||Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology||2|
|ST105||Sanctification and Ecclesiology||2|
|Counseling Theory and Technique||27|
|BC102||Theological and Psychological Foundations of Counseling||3|
|BC215||Normal Human Growth||3|
|BC220||Counseling Methods & Techniques||3|
|BC225||Abnormal Human Behavior||3|
|BC230||Lifestyle & Career Development||3|
|BC235||Social & Cultural Foundations||3|
|BC240||Research Methods & Statistics||3|
|BC245||Appraisal & Assessmt Techniques||3|
|BC255||Addictions and Compulsive Behaviors||3|
|BC260||Psychopharmacology for Therapists||3|
|BC305||Counseling and Ethics Practicum I||3|
|BC310||Counseling Practicum II||3|
|BC315||Counseling Practicum III||3|
|BC320||Counseling Practicum IV||3|
|Spiritual Formation & Electives||8|
|PM105||Christian Life and Witness||2|
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.
Meeting the program course requirements enables a student to apply for licensure to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, the Virginia Board of Counseling, the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists, and the District of Columbia Board of Professional Counseling. In addition to completing the course requirements, students must also complete pre-degree and post-degree supervised-practicum or internship-clinical supervised hours. The number of hours required varies from one state board to another and must be checked directly with that particular board. Additional electives may be taken to also enable a student to apply to a state board for licensure related to marriage and family therapy. Any license as a mental health professional is granted by the state board of that particular state and will require the completion of postgraduate licensure requirements, including additional internship hours and state-licensing examinations. Students desiring professional licensing in a particular state should consult the licensing board of that state to determine licensure requirements and, in consultation with the department, structure their program accordingly. It is important to note that the seminary only grants the degree and the state board grants the license. Earning the MABC degree does not, in itself, guarantee the graduate will be licensed 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.
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 BC305 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.
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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.
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 4 million dollars of scholarship funds available every year.
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.
How to get started
The deadline for fall applications as July 1, for spring is November 1, and for summer is April 1.
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.
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.